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Acheritou or Akhyritou is a village in the south Mesaoria plain, located just to the west of the Agios Nikolaos part of the Dhekelia Sovereign Base area and seven miles west of the town of Famagusta. Although the village was most of the time predominantly inhabited by Greek Cypriots, it always also/or: since Ottoman times it had a Turkish name, Güvercinlik, which means “pigeon loft.”
Historical Population

During the Ottoman period the village was a mixed one (at least in 1831). As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians constituted 77% and Muslims constituted 23% of the village’s population. This ratio changed in 1891, when Christians constituted almost the sole population of the village. During the British period, the population of the village increased considerably, from 338 in 1891 to 1035 in 1961.


All of the village’s inhabitants, by then entirely Greek Cypriots, were displaced in August 1974, fleeing from the advancing Turkish army to the southern part of the island. Most of the Acheritou Greek Cypriots now live in a new settlement called St. George of Acheritou or Vrysoulles, only two kilometers from their original village. Many of the Acheritou villagers fled their homes to this location just across the Green Line, which became a refugee camp first (many were housed in a fruit-packing factory) and was later turned into refugee housing. The number of the Acheritou Greek Cypriots who were displaced in 1974 was around 1,270 (1,267 in the 1973 census).

Current Inhabitants:

Today the village is mainly inhabited by people from Turkey who arrived in the island in 1976. They are mainly from the Adana, Kahramanmaraş and Osmaniye provinces of Turkey. The 2006 Turkish Cypriot census puts Akhyritou/Güvercinlik’s population at 887.  

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