When the Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960, 60
of Turkish Cypriots lived in villages. The rest lived in
urban centers of Nicosia (Lefkosa), Famagusta
Larnaca, Limassol, and Paphos. Few Turkish Cypriots lived
Kyrenia (Girne). During the period of intercommunal
urban-rural distribution of the Turkish Cypriot population
unclear because of the thousands of refugees living in
temporary shelters. After the de facto division of the
1974, however, there was a gradual change in the
By the late 1980s, 51 percent of the Turkish Cypriot
lived in urban areas. Given the small number of Turkish
however, urban centers were not large. As of 1987, the
Cypriot section of Nicosia had only about 38,000
Famagusta 20,000, and Kyrenia 7,100.
One reason for increased urbanization was the
program after 1974, which placed refugees from territory
by the government of the Republic of Cyprus in houses
occupied by Greek Cypriots in the urban areas of Kyrenia,
(Güzelyurt), and Famagusta. Immigrants from Turkey were
settled in villages.
Resettlement was an extensive process that directly
about two-thirds of the Turkish Cypriot population.
some estimates, about 60,000 Turkish Cypriots moved from
places of residence following the establishment of a cease
1974. Most managed to move behind Turkish military lines
own. Others, however, required international agreements or
diplomatic initiatives to join their ethnic community.
Turkish Cypriots took refuge in the British base areas.
8,100 came to territory controlled by Turkish forces after
negotiations between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot
under United Nations (UN) auspices resulted in an
exchange populations. While all Turkish Cypriots moved to
controlled by their community, not all Greek Cypriots
areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus. Most of these
Cypriots lived in the Karpas Peninsula.
The growth in the urban sector was also a reflection of
changed Turkish Cypriot economy. In 1960 agriculture
nearly half of all Turkish Cypriots. By 1990 this sector
for well under a third of the work force, while about half
economically active Turkish Cypriots earned their
the service sector and one-fifth in construction and
Except for agricultural work, most employment was in urban
Despite the marked decline in agricultural employment,
end of the 1980s, 49 percent of Turkish Cypriots still
areas classified as rural. Urbanization was not as
suggested by employment figures. The discrepancy resulted
small size of the "TRNC." Many of those who worked in
were able to remain in their villages because the distance
most villages and urban centers was less than an hour's
car. Workers did not migrate to areas of employment, but
commuted. An effect of commuting between urban and rural
that other urban developments, such as changes in
education and social values, were more easily diffused
otherwise would have been the case.
Data as of January 1991