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Agios Theodoros or Aytotoro (for Turkish Cypriots) is a village located in the Karpasia/Karpaz peninsula, situated on the main road between Trikomo/Yeni İskele and Rizokarpaso/Dipkarpaz. Agios Theodoros means “Saint Theodore” in Greek. There are many villages with the same name in various locations in Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots adopted an alternative Turkish name, Otluk or “pasture,” in 1958, but in 1975 they renamed the village again, choosing the name Çayırova, meaning “pastureland.” 
Historical Population:

As may be seen from the chart above, Agios Theodoros was always a mixed village, and census records always show a Greek majority. In the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians constituted approximately 52% of the population. However, this percentage increased considerably to 79% in the first decades of the British period. During the first half of the 20th century, while the Christian (Greek Cypriot) population continued to increase steadily, the Muslim population declined. In the 1946 census, Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted only 8% of the population, a drop from 21% in 1891. The Turkish Cypriot population continued to decline until independence. The 1960 census put the Turkish Cypriot population at only 2%.


In 1958, due to intercommunal strife, all the Turkish Cypriots from this village fled and took refuge in nearby villages. After the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, only 23 of the approximately 80 Turkish Cypriots of Agios Theodoros chose to return to the village. The rest stayed where they had sought refuge in 1958 or resettled in other locations, mainly in the cities. As soon as news of the first Nicosia fighting reached the village in December 1963, all the Turkish Cypriots who came back after 1960 fled the village and sought refuge in Galateia/Mehmetcik(144) and Livadia/Sazlıköy(166) villages. They stayed in those locations until 1974.

Most of the Greek Cypriots of Agios Theodoros were displaced in August 1974, although 30 remained in the village until October 1975. By December 1976, all but five of the villagers had left for the southern part of the divide. There were no Greek Cypriots remaining in Agios Theodoros/Çayırova by December 1981.

Current Inhabitants:

Apart from a small number of the village’s original Turkish Cypriot population who chose to return after 1974, the village now is home to many displaced Turkish Cypriots from Lefkara(362), Kofinou/Geçitkale(360) villages and the city of Larnaca. In addition, a small number of families from the nearby Turkish Cypriot village of Ayios Evstathios/Zeybekköy(119) and some families from Turkey also settled in the village in 1976-77. The 2006 census puts the village’s population at 430.  

Books and Reports: