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Foinikas or Phinikas is a village located in the Xeros Potamos valley, sixteen kilometers east of Paphos (Ktima) and five kilometers northeast of Anarita. Foinikas means date palm in Greek. Turkish Cypriots, on the other hand, always called the village Finike, and they believe that the village was named after a town called Finike in south Turkey. They also claim the most of the Turkish inhabitants of Foinikas had originally come from there.
According to the Ottoman census of 1831, the village was solely inhabited by Muslims. Later censuses show that Foinikas remained a Turkish Cypriot village, with only a small number of Greek Cypriots occasionally appearing in the records. Throughout the British period, the total population of the village steadily increased from 57 in 1891 to 181 in 1960.
No one was displaced during the tensions of the late 1950s, nor was anyone displaced during the intercommunal strife of 1963-64. The village served as a Turkish Cypriot enclave until 1975. Most of the Turkish Cypriot Fighters and their families fled the village on 22 July 1974 after a Greek Cypriot offensive (mounted in response to the Turkish offensive in the north), and sought refuge in Stavrokonnou(338) village. Some of those who stayed behind fled over the mountains to the north, while the remaining 58 persons were eventually evacuated to the northern part of the divide under UNFICYP escort on 16 August 1975. Those who sought refuge in Stavrokonnou/Aydoğan(338) were also transferred to the north, together with the Stavrokonnou(338) villagers, on 7 September 1975. Many of them were resettled in Karavas/Alsancak(226), although some also settled in Lapithos/Lapta(237), Koma tou Gialou/Kumyalı(154), Dikomo/Dikmen(217) and Nicosia(074). The total number of the Foinikas Turkish Cypriots who were displaced after 1974 was approximately 240 (235 in 1973 census).
After the departure of the Turkish Cypriots, some displaced Greek Cypriots from the north were initially resettled in the village. However, the government later moved most of these persons in order to build a large dam near the village. Today the village is empty and in ruins.
Books and Reports:
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Department of Statitstics and Research, 1997. Estimates of Turkish Cypriots and Settlers from Turkey, Ministry of Finance [Republic of Cyprus], Nicosia.
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Perry, Frederic W., 1884. Report on the Census of Cyprus 1881, Eyre and Spottiswoode, London.
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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.
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- Yorgancıoğlu, Oğuz: Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Yer Adları ve Veriliş Yöntemleri Üzerine Bir Araştırma Kıbrıs Araştırmaları Dergisi, Cilt : 2, Sayı : 3, Yıl : 96