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Pitargou is a village located in Ezousas valley, thirteen kilometers northeast of Paphos (Ktima) and two kilometers southeast of Letimbou. The origin of the name is obscure. According to Esat Fellehoğlu, the village was most probably named after its founding landlord. On the other hand, Goodwin claims that during the pre-Christian era, the early inhabitants of the village were originally from Epidavros in Peloponnesus and called their new home Epivadria. The name first changed from Epivadria to Epidarum under the Romans, and then in the middle ages it became Pithariou. Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name Akkargı in 1958. The literal meaning is “white javelin,” though the reasons for adoption of this name are unknown.
As may be seen from the chart above, Pitargou/Akkargı was a Turkish Cypriot village from the Ottoman period. Throughout the British period, the total population of the village fluctuated, eventually increasing from 113 in 1891 to 192 in 1960.
No one was displaced during the emergency years of the late 1950s. However, on 3 February 1964, due to rising tension in the region and within the village, the Turkish Cypriots of Choulou(298) and Kourtaka(313) evacuated their villages and sought refuge in Pitargou/Akkargı(. Only three days later, Greek Cypriot forces laid siege to Pitargou. After some deliberation amongst themselves, the Pitargou villagers and the displaced Turkish Cypriots from Choulou(298) decided to seek refuge in Axylou(297) village, believing that joining together with the Axylou Fighters would enable them to better defend themselves. Although many of the displaced Turkish Cypriots of Pitargou remained in Axylou(297) until 1975, overcrowding forced others to seek refuge in other locations, such as Mandria/Yeşilova(322) and Paphos(329)(Ktima). In May 1964, some families also decided to move back to Pitargou. Sometime later more families joined them. In 1971, Richard Patrick recorded 75 persons (out of 192 in 1960) residing in Pitargou. Following the ceasefire in late August 1974, around 20 Pitargou Turkish Cypriots fled the village through the mountains to the Turkish-controlled north. Another 55 persons remained in the village until 30 August 1975 when they were evacuated by UNFICYP and taken to the north. Many of those Pitargou Turkish Cypriots who had remained in other locations since 1964 also escaped through the mountains to the north or to the British Sovereign Base Area, from where they would be transferred via Turkey to the north in January 1975. Others who were not able to leave in this way remained in the villages where they were staying and were eventually transferred by UNFICYP to the north in August 1975.
Pitargou is currently empty and in ruins.
Books and Reports:
Colonial Office (1893), “Cyprus: Report on the census of Cyprus, taken 6th April 1891,” Mediterranean, No. 39. London: Colonial Office.
Department of Statitstics and Research, 1997. Estimates of Turkish Cypriots and Settlers from Turkey, Ministry of Finance [Republic of Cyprus], Nicosia.
- Fehmi, Hasan (2003), “Güney’de Kalan Değerlerimiz,” Lefkoşa (Nicosia): Özyay Matbaacılık.
- Fellahoğlu, Esat (2010), “Ulusal Direnişte Baf Köyleri,” İstanbul: Bayrak Matbaacılık.
- Giray, Halil: KKTC Yerleşim Birimleri, Yürürlükteki ve Eski İsimler Listesi KKTC İskân Bakanlığı : KKTC Coğrafi İsimler Kataloğu : (Cilt – I and II), Lefkoşa.
- Goodwin, Jack C. (1984), “An Historical Toponymy of Cyprus (Forth edition),” Nicosia (copy number 6).
- Hart-Davis, C. H (1922), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1921, taken on the 24th April, 1921,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
- Hart-Davis, C. H (1932), “Report of the Census of 1931,” Nicosia: Cyprus Government Printing Office.
- Hatay, Mete, (2005). “Beyond Numbers: An Inquiery into the Political Integration of the Turkish ‘Settlers’ in Northern Cyprus,” PRIO/Cyprus Centre Report 4/2005, Nicosia/Oslo, PRIO.
- Hill, Sir George, (1952). A History of Cyprus, Vol. IV., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Ioannides, Christos P., 1991. “In Turkey’s Image: The Transformation of Occupied Cyprus into a Turkish Province,” Aristide D. Caratzas, New York.
- KKTC Başbakanlık Devlet Planlama Örgütü Müsteşarlığı, “15 Aralık 1996 Genel Nüfus Sayımı Sonuçları (Özet), 26, November 1997,” Nicosia.
- Mavrogordato, Alexander (1901), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1901, taken on the 1st April, 1901,” Nicosia: Government Printing Office.
- Mavrogordato, Alexander (1912), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1911, taken on the 2nd April, 1911,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
- Menardos, Simos (2001), Τοπωνημικαι και Λαογραφικαι Μελεται (Topographical and Folkloric Studies), Nicosia: Centre for Scientific Studies
Perry, Frederic W., 1884. Report on the Census of Cyprus 1881, Eyre and Spottiswoode, London.
- Republic of Cyprus, 1961. “Census of Population and Agriculture, 1960: Volume I: Population by Location, Race, and Sex,” Nicosia
- TRNC 2006 census preliminary results can be found at: www.devplan.org
TRNC Prime Ministry State Planning Organisation Statistics and Research Department, Census of Population: Social and Economic Characteristics of Population, December 15, 1996, TRNC Prime Ministry, Nicosia, 1999.
- Standing Cypriot Commission for the Standardization of Geographical Names (2007), “Οδηγος Τυποποιησης Ονοματων (Guide to Standardized Names),” Nicosia: Ministry of Education and Culture.
- Ministry of Finance (1973), “Micro-Census (April 1973) Population by Village and Ethnic Group, Volume I.” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research.
- Özad, Murat Hüsnü (2002), “Baf ve Mücadele Yılları,” Lefkoşa (Nicosia): Akdeniz Haber Ajansı Yayınları.
- Patrick, Richard (1976), “Political Geography and the Cyprus Conflict: 1963-1971,” Department of Geography, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo.
- Percival, D.A. (1949), “Census of population and agriculture 1946 report,” Nicosia: Cyprus Government Printing Office.
- Republic of Cyprus (1962), “Census of population and agriculture, 1960,” Nicosia: Government Printing Office.
- Republic of Cyprus (1984), “Census of population 1982,” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research, Ministry of Finance.
- Republic of Cyprus (2003), “Census of population 2001,” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research, Ministry of Finance.
- St John-Jones, L. W., 1983. “The Population of Cyprus: Demographic Trends and Socio-Economic Influences” (with a foreword by W. H. Morris-Jones), Maurice Temple, Smith Limited, London.
- T.C. Başbakanlık Devlet Arşivleri Genel Müdürlüğü (2000), “Osmanlı İdaresinde Kıbrıs (Nüfus-Arazi Dağılımı ve Türk Vakıfları),” Ankara: Osmanlı Arşivi Daire Başkanlığı Yayın No: 43.
- Yorgancıoğlu, Oğuz: Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Yer Adları ve Veriliş Yöntemleri Üzerine Bir Araştırma Kıbrıs Araştırmaları Dergisi, Cilt : 2, Sayı : 3, Yıl : 96