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Knodara is a old Turkish Cypriot village located in the Famagusta district, four miles west of Lefkoniko/Geçitkale(162) in the northern part of the Mesaoria plain. The meaning of the name is obscure. Before they adopted a new Turkish alternative name in 1959, Turkish Cypriots called the village Gonetra. The alternative name that the Turkish Cypriots adopted in 1958 is Gönendere, meaning “humid stream.”
Historical Population:

Although the village was always known to be a Turkish Cypriot village, as may be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831 Christians constituted almost 10% of the village’s population. However, for most of the British period the village was solely inhabited by Turkish Cypriots, with only a small number of Greek Cypriots appearing in the records until 1931. During the first half of the 20th century, the village’s population fluctuated between 490 and 550. A considerable increase was recorded after 1946, when the population rose from 518 in that year to 623 in 1960.


From its original population no one was displaced; however, during the intercommunal troubles of 1963-4, the village served as a reception centre for many displaced Turkish Cypriots. From 1964 to 1974, it was administratively part of the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Kiados(Chatos)/Serdarlı(135). The majority of those displaced people who sought refuge in Knodara/Gönendere came from villages such as Arnadi/Kuzucuk(129) and Vitsada/Pınarlı(202). Political geographer Richard Patrick estimated the village’s population at 739 in 1971, a rise from 623 in 1960. He also claimed that there were 105 displaced Turkish Cypriots still living in Knodara in that year.

Current Inhabitants:

Currently the village is mainly inhabited by its original villagers. Around five Turkish families from Turkey also chose to move to the village after 1975 as part of the agricultural work force, and gradually settled there. Since 1974, the village has been a victim of emigration, as youth have migrated to the cities and overseas. Some villagers also moved to nearby vacant Greek Cypriot villages. However, the village has also more recently received some Turkish Cypriot returnees from England, who have built houses and settled in the village. The 2006 Turkish Cypriot census puts the population at 394, a decrease of almost half from its 1973 population.  

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