A note on the population of Cyprus
Halil İnalcık is professor of Ottoman History at
Bilkent University, Ankara.
The fact that Cyprus is an island caused drastic changes in its population over time. In the course of
its history, especially in times of drought and locust invasions, famine broke out and caused largescale
migrations from the island to Anatolia and Syria, which resulted in sudden, considerable
changes in the population and ethnic structure of the island.1 But most of the emigrants
subsequently returned home. Also, the adverse economic and social conditions led to continual
emigration and long-term depopulation of the island.