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Hellenic Force in Cyprus

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Hellenic (Greek) Force in Cyprus
???????? ????? ?????? (?????)
Active 1959present
Country Cyprus
Allegiance Kingdom of Greece (19591973)
Greece (1973present)
Branch Army
Type Mechanized Group
Role Military Force
Size c. 1000
Part of HellenicArmySeal.svg Hellenic Army
Garrison/HQ Nicosia, Cyprus ("Camp of Major Sotirios Staurianakos")
ELDYK (Greek: ?????)
Eldykarioi (Greek: ??????????)
Motto(s) ?? ????? ?? ??? ????????? ??? ????????? ??? ????????
(Greek: The same blood/ancestry and common language and common religion and common
Uniform Camouflage Greek Lizard
Service Rifle G3
Engagements Turkish invasion of Cyprus
Website Hellenic Army Official Website
commanders Dionysios Arbouzis (first)
Patch of the formal uniforms ELDYK patch formal.jpg
Patch of the everyday and combat uniforms
(low visibility) Eldyk patch.jpg
Abbreviation ????? or ??.??.?.
The Hellenic (Greek) Force in Cyprus (Greek: ???????? ????? ??????), (Turkish:
Kibris Yunan Alayi), commonly known in its abbreviated form as ELDYK or EL.DY.K.
(Greek: ????? or ??.??.?., Greek pronunciation: [el?'ik], Turkish: KYA, Turkish
pronunciation: [kejea]) is the permanent, regiment-sized Greek military force
stationed in the Republic of Cyprus. Its role is to help and support the Cypriot
National Guard. Soldiers are selected from the ranks of conscripts doing their
military service in the Greek army.

Contents [hide]
1 History
1.1 ELDYK in Cyprus (until 1974)
1.2 Intercommunal violence
1.3 Turkish invasion of Cyprus (1974)
1.3.1 Battles
1.3.2 Classes
1.3.3 Equipment
2 The Tomb of Makedonitissa
3 ELDYK Today
3.1 Emblem
3.2 Motto
3.3 Personnel
3.4 Military ranks scale and ranks insignia
3.5 Uniforms
3.6 Equipment
3.7 Headquarters Camp
3.8 Museum
4 In popular culture
5 Additional information
6 Monuments and memorials
6.1 Cyprus
6.2 Greece
7 Gallery
8 See also
9 References
10 Further reading
10.1 In Greek
10.1.1 About ELDYK
10.1.2 About the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
10.2 In English
10.2.1 About Turkish invasion of Cyprus
11 External links
11.1 Videos
ELDYK was formed on November 20, 1959 at Agios Stefanos, Athens, soon after the
Zrich and London Agreements established the independence of Cyprus. Per the
subsequent Treaty of Guarantee, Greece, along with Turkey and the United Kingdom,
would be the new state's guarantor powers. To that end, the permanent presence of a
small military detachment from both Greece and Turkey was authorized, in addition
to the British military presence in the Sovereign Base Areas. It was established as
a tripartite headquarters of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. In this headquarters
belonged the Hellenic Force in Cyprus with 950 men and the Turkish Force in Cyprus
(error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help), Greek pronunciation: [tur'?ik])
with 650 men, as it was agreed in the Zrich and London Agreement.

ELDYK in Cyprus (until 1974)[edit]

On August 16, 1960, the day that Cyprus became officially independent, ELDYK
soldiers and officers disembarked at Famagusta from the Greek Landing Ship Tanks
"LIMNOS" (Greek: "??????") and "ALIAKMON" (Greek: "????????"), the total force was
950 men. The first commander of ELDYK was Colonel Dionysios Arbouzis, a
distinguished officer who had already led the Greek Expeditionary Force in Korea.
Its camp were established west of Nicosia at the Gerola?kos or Yerolakkos area,
next to the camp of the Turkish Force in Cyprus. The camp was destroyed during the
Turkish invasion of Cyprus at 1974.

Intercommunal violence[edit]
In December 1963 serious riots and violence broke out between Greek Cypriots and
Turkish Cypriots, the generalization of the conflict and the involvement of the
Hellenic Force of Cyprus and Turkish Force of Cyprus was avoided thanks to the
intervention of the United Kingdom.[1]

In March 1964, Sergeant First Class Sotirios Karagiannis was murdered during a new
round of violence. In May 1964 Major Dimitrios Poulios and Captain Vasileios
Kapotas were murdered in the Turkish Cypriot district of Famagusta, while Captain
Panagiotis Tarsoulis was injured. Their driver, police officer Konstantinos
Pantelidis was murdered too.[1] At the same period, members of ELDYK were involved
in violent incidents against the Turks.[citation needed]

Turkish invasion of Cyprus (1974)[edit]

During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, between 20 July and 16 August 1974, ELDYK
fought against the Turkish forces in several battles. The commander of EDLYK, at
that time, was Colonel Nikolaos Nikolaidis. Second in command were Lieutenant
Colonel Konstantinos Papagiannis, during the first phase of invasion (2023 July
1974) and until 9 August, and Lieutenant Colonel Panagiotis Stavroulopoulos, from
10 August and during all the second phase of the invasion (1416 August 1974).
Panagiotis Stavroulopoulos was deputy commander of the ELDYK till September of the
same year. During the invasion, ELDYK's units were dispatches to various places in
Cyprus in order to help the Cypriot National Guard. Along with ELDYK, Greece
managed to involve an airborne battalion in fighting, raising the total number of
Greek troops to 1500-2000 men.[citation needed] The Cypriot National Guard managed
to mobilise only a fraction of its 10,000 force, while the total number of the
Turkish invading force, was around 40,000.[2]

The most notable battles involving ELDYK forces at 1974, were:

Location of Turkish forces during the late hours of 20 July 1974. ELDYK contingents
in blue.
The battle of Paphos (20 July 1974)
Attacks against the area of Kioneli (2021 July 1974)
The battle of the ELDYK camp (2223 July 1974)
The battle of Nicosia International Airport (23 July 1974)
The battle of Lapithos (6 August 1974)
The battle of Karavas (6 August 1974)
The battle of Vasilia Passage (7 August 1974)
The battle of the English College (14 August 1974)
The second battle of the ELDYK camp (1416 August 1974)
A total of 105 men were lost (47 dead and 58 missing). Some of these men are buried
in the Tomb of Makedonitissa.

The classes of ELDYK that fought in 1974 were the 103th, 105th and 107th.

Class 103 consisted of soldiers who were being discharged and were due to return to
Greece on board the Greek Landing Ship Tank (ex-USS LST-389) "Lesvos" (Greek: "???
??"). They departed Cyprus on 19 July 1974, after the arrival of their replacement
class 107. When the invasion started on the 20th of July 1974, the Hellenic Navy
ordered the commander of Lesvos (by then sailing off Rhodes), Lt Cdr Eleftherios
Handrinos, to change course and return to Cyprus in order to disembark its troops.
That same afternoon, the ship arrived at Paphos and class 103 disembarked. Soldiers
from class 103 manned the ship's guns and for over two hours shelled the Turkish
Cypriot forces in the area. The Turkish Cypriot forces surrendered to the Cypriot
National Guard and their weapons and equipment were captured. Soon after, the men
of class 103 moved during the night towards the Nicosia International Airport. In
the morning, they arrived at the airport and from there they eventually reached the
camp of ELDYK.

Class 107 was composed of new recruits who had come to replace class 103. They
arrived at Cyprus on "Lesvos" at 19 July 1974, one day before the invasion. UNFICYP
monitored the rotation of ELDYK's classes and they kept their HQ informed
concerning the progress of the operation. After the Lesvos disembarkation, UNFICYP
confirmed that she had brought 410 men and 11 vehicles from class 107, and taken
out 422 men and 10 vehicles from class 103.

The equipment of ELDYK's men at that time were:

M1 carbine (Service rifle)

FN FAL (Soldiers of the class 103 equipped with these weapons)
Captured G3 rifles from the invading Turkish troops.
M1 helmet
The Tomb of Makedonitissa[edit]
Main article: The Tomb of Makedonitissa
The Tomb of Makedonitissa (Greek: ???? ??? ??????????????), is a military
cemetery and war memorial, west of Nicosia, at Engomi in the area of Makedonitissa
(3509'15N 3318'29E). This was the place where one Greek Nord Noratlas was shot
down by friendly fire on 22 July 1974, during the Operation Niki (Greek: ??????????
"????"). "Niki" was a military operation of the Greek Army to send some elements of
the Greek special forces by air to help the Cypriot National Guard.

In this tomb are buried Greek Cypriot and some Greek officers and soldiers who
killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus at 1974.

ELDYK Today[edit]
ELDYK is still in Cyprus and its headquarters is near Nicosia; its previous camp
was destroyed in 1974 and the surrounding area (Gerolakkos or Yerolakkos area) is
now under Turkish control. Its role is to support the Cypriot National Guard; for
this reason, ELDYK regularly holds joint military exercises in cooperation with the
Cypriot National Guard.

The ELDYK emblem shows the silhouettes of Greece and Cyprus crowned with a common
laurel wreath. Between the two countries is the emblem of the Greek Army. Under the
wreath is written "????? 1960", which is the abbreviation of the force in Greek
("?????") and the year it disembarked at Cyprus ("1960"). At the top is written the
motto of ELDYK: "?? ??????? ?? ??? ?????????? ??? ?????????? ??? ?????????". The
two blue tints on the emblem represents the blue of the sky and the blue of the
sea, symbolizing the same sea and sky surrounds these two countries.[3]

The motto of ELDYK is "?? ????? ?? ??? ????????? ??? ????????? ??? ????????",
which means: "The same ancestry and common language and common religion and common

This is an alteration of the work of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who had
written in the eighth book of Histories, entitled Urania, at 144:
"...????? ?? ????????? ??? ????? ?? ??? ????????? ??? ???? ????
??? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ???????...", which means: "...the Greek nation is
from the same ancestry and have common language and common sanctuaries and common
sacrifices and common traditions...".[3][4] The meaning is that Greeks share the
same national identity and consciousness, regardless of borders.[3]


Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Dimitrios Droutsas, visiting the camp
of ELDYK in 2010.
Soldiers and officers of the Hellenic Force in Cyprus(ELDYK) are all Greek
citizens. Soldiers are selected among the ranks of conscripts who do their military
service. Although some men volunteer for the unit, the core of the force is
selected directly by the Greek Army General Staff on the basis of physical ability
and skills.

After the completion of their basic training in Greece they are dispatched to
Cyprus on planes, separated into two detachments totalling approximately 300 men:
one detachment departs from Sparta and the other from the armored training camp of
Avlon. Although not as demanding as the training received in units of the Special
Forces, the training of ELDYK is considerably harder than the training received by
ordinary infantrymen serving in Greece, making it one of the most battle ready
units of the Greek Armed Forces. In compensation for serving abroad, the men of
ELDYK are salaried and have access to better facilities.[5]

Men who are selected for ELDYK are nicknamed Eldykarioi (Greek: ??????????),
singular: Eldykarios (Greek: ??????????). This nickname stays with them long after
they return to Greece. When their service at Cyprus is completed and they are about
to return to Greece to continue their service there, the army awards them with
special honors for their service at Cyprus.

Military ranks scale and ranks insignia[edit]

ELDYK follows the Greek's army ranks scale and insignia (Officers ranks and ranks
insignia, Non-commissioned officers and soldiers ranks and ranks insignia), which
has the NATO standard ranks scale.


Patch of the formal uniforms

There are 2 types of military uniforms, one formal for parades, celebrations, and
other special occasions (like the Army Service Uniform-ASU), and the everyday
combat uniform (like the Army Combat Uniform-ACU). The uniforms are the same as in
the Greek army, with the difference of embroidered patches on both shoulders
(shoulder sleeve insignia), which have black letters that form the word: "?????"
(????? is the abbreviation of the force in Greek).

The patches are dark green (low visibility patches) in the combat military
uniforms, and yellow in the formal uniforms. Unofficially, these patches are
called: eldykosima (Greek: ?????????), singular: eldykosimo (Greek: ?????????),
which means: "the badge of ELDYK". The uniform camouflage pattern is the Greek

Personnel of ELDYK are using Greek's army equipment. The service rifles of ELDYK
soldiers are some variants of G3.

Headquarters Camp[edit]
The headquarters camp is near Nicosia. Its name is "Camp of Major Sotirios
Staurianakos". The camp is named in honor of the Captain Sotirios Staurianakos, who
was killed at 16 August 1974 during the last day of the battle of the ELDYK camp.
He was posthumously promoted to Major after his death.[6] In the camp, there is a
memorial representing a soldier who gestures with his hand towards the area of the
previous camp of ELDYK (destroyed during the Turkish invasion at 1974) and has
inscribed on a marble slab the names and the ranks of the officers and soldiers of
the force who were killed or are missing.

The museum of ELDYK is at its headquarters camp. Because the museum is located in a
military area under the control of the army, permission from the army must be
granted in order to visit.

In popular culture[edit]
In Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, the character Kure Galanos is the daughter of an ex-
ELDYK sharpshooter.

The Greek music band "????-?????" created the song "??? ????? ?? ??????????"
(English: The lads of ELDYK).

At Limasol, a road is named "Machiton ELDYK" (Greek: ??????? ?????) (3442'28N

333'16E), which means "Warriors of ELDYK".[7]

Additional information[edit]
In 2010, a commemorative event was held at Strovolos, Nicosia in order to celebrate
the 50 years of ELDYK's presence in Cyprus.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, has a weekly 1-hour radio show, dedicated to

Monuments and memorials[edit]

Name of the Memorial/ Monument Area Coordinates
ELDYK's HQ camp Memorial Nicosia 3501'53N 3310'58E (military area)
The Tomb of Makedonitissa Nicosia 3509'15N 3318'29E
ELDYK Memorial Park Larnaka 3453'38N 3337'57E
( * ) The word "Cyprus" is engraved on the tomb in order to honor the men who were
killed in Cyprus.

Name of the Memorial/ Monument Area Coordinates

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier * Syntagma Square in Athens 3758'31N
Memorial for the men who killed at Cyprus Athens 37.979180N 23.716647E
ELDYK Memorial Peristeri 38.013054N 23.682172E
ELDYK Memorial Lamia 38.89378N 22.44571E
ELDYK Memorial Spathari Village 3845'40.68N 2325'12.07E

Armored Personnel Carriers (ELBO Leonidas-2) and a Mercedes-Benz G-Class vehicle of

the Hellenic Force in Cyprus.
See also[edit]
Cypriot National Guard
Hellenic Army
Turkish Armed Forces in Northern Cyprus
Turkish Cypriot Security Force
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
^ Jump up to: a b "A brief history of ELDYK from Greek Army" (PDF). Retrieved 21
July 2017.
Jump up ^ ???????? ??????????, "???????????? ???? ?????" ??? ???????? ????????????
(ed.) ?????? 1974: ?? ?????????? ??? ????????? ???????, ?-???????? 17 ???????
2003, ?.27.
^ Jump up to: a b c "?????? ????????? ??????? - ?????? ???????? ??
???? ???? ?????". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
Jump up ^ Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 144 "...there is the bond of Hellenic race, by
which we are of one blood and of one speech, the common temples of the gods and the
common sacrifices, the manners of life which are the same for all;..."
Jump up ^ "?????? ????????? ??????? - ???????? ???????? ???? ?????".
Retrieved 21 July 2017.
Jump up ^ "?????? ????????? ??????? - ?????? ???????????? ????????".
Retrieved 21 July 2017.
Jump up ^ "Machiton ELDYK". Retrieved 21 July 2017.
Further reading[edit]
In Greek[edit]
About ELDYK[edit]
????????????, ?????? (2000). ??????????? ???? ????? [Dying in Cyprus] (3rd ed.).
Nicosia: ?????????. ISBN 9963-576-74-5.
???????, ???? ?. (2004). ???????? ?????????? [Unknown Soldiers]. Athens: ????????
?????. ISBN 960-88355-1-8.
"?????????? ????? 1974 ?? ????????? ??? ??????" [The Camp of ELDYK 1974 The
Thermopylae of Cyprus]. ??????????? ???????. 95. July 2004.
???????????, ??????? ?. (2008). ? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ????????? ????? ????
????????? ??? "??????" [The battle of Cyprus The betrayed heroes face "Attila"].
Athens: ??????????. ISBN 978-960-87242-5-9.
???????, ???? ?. (2009). ???????? ?????????? 2 [Unknown Soldiers 2].
Athens: ???????? ?????. ISBN 978-960-88355-6-6.
????????, ????????? ??. (2009). ?? ???????? ?????????? ??? ????? 1974 ?? ??????????
?????, ?? ???????? ??? ?????? ??? ? ???????? ??? ?????? [The unknown soldiers of
ELDYK 1974 The last heroes, the nightmares of Athens and the betrayal of Cyprus].
Thessaloniki: ????????, ????????? ??. ISBN 960-93-1819-3.
??????, ???????? (2012). ? ????????? ??? ????????? ?????? ?????? (?????) ???
??????? [The self-sacrifice of the Greek Force in Cyprus (ELDYK) A witness].
Athens: ????????. ISBN 960-02-2694-6.
About the Turkish invasion of Cyprus[edit]
?????????, ????????? (1976). ? ??????? ??????? ??? ????? [Attila hits Cyprus].
Athens: ??????.
Birand, Mehmet Ali (1984). ???????-?????? [Decision-Landing].
Athens: ??????????? ????????-??????. ISBN 978-960-8094-37-6.
??????????????, ????????? (1992). ??????????? ??? ?????? [Waiting Attila].
Athens: ?????. ISBN 960-05-0387-7.
??????????, ????? (1998). ??????? ??????? ????? ?????: ?
??????? ???? ??????? ?????????? ??? ?? ??????? ?????? ???? ????? [Dalga dalga
Waves Waves: The testimony of a Turkish officer for the second invasion in Cyprus].
Athens: ?. ?. ??????. ISBN 9789602369678.
??????, ???????? (1999). ? ??? ??? ?????? ??????? - ????????? 1974 ? ?????
?? ??? ????????? [The battle of Cyprus July-August 1974 The anatomy of the
tragedy]. Athens: ??????? ??????. ISBN 960-302-049-4.
??????????, ???????
(2001). ? ?????? ??? ???? ????????? ??? ?????????? ????? ???????? ??? ...???????
[Cyprus didn't capture Betrayed and handed over to the Turks by ...Greeks].
Thessaloniki: ?????. ISBN 960-8184-14-2.
?????????, ????????? (2003). ? ??????? ??????? ??? ????? [Attila hits Cyprus] (3rd
ed.). Nicosia: ?????????. ISBN 9963646131.
???????, ???? ?.
(2004). ? ????????? ??????? ?? ?????? ??? ? ????????? ??? ????????? ??????? [The
Confidential Attila The Plan and Implementation of the Turkish Invasion].
Athens: ???????? ?????. ISBN 960-630-211-3.
???????, ???????? ?. (JulyAugust 2006). "?????? 1974 ? ????? ???? ??? ?????????"
[CYPRUS 1974 The lost victory of Hellenism]. ?????? & ???????. 97: 2633.
??????????, ???????????? ?. (2011). ?????? 1974 ? ????? ???????? [Cyprus 1974 The
great betrayal]. Athens: ????????. ISBN 9605222817.
???????, ?????? (2011). ? ??????? ????????? ??? ? ???????? ??? ??????-?????? 15-
24 ??????? 1974 [The Tragic Duel and the Betrayal of Cyprus-Cyprus 15-24 July
1974]. Athens: ???????, ??????. ISBN 978-9963-9961-0-0.
In English[edit]
About Turkish invasion of Cyprus[edit]
O'Malley, Brendan; Craig, Ian (2001). The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and
the Turkish Invasion. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1860647376.
Adamides, Marios (2012). The Tragic Duel and the Betrayal of Cyprus-Cyprus 15-24
July 1974. Athens: Adamides, Marios. ISBN 9963996108.
External links[edit]
? ??????? ??? ??.??.?. [The History of EL.DY.K.]. ??????????? ?????????? (???
????-???????? 2010) (in Greek). Greek Army: 619. NovemberDecember 2010.
Archived from the original on 2012-06-27.
A brief history of ELDYK from Greek Army. (in Greek)
Military museum of ELDYK. (in Greek)
Men of ELDYK from the island of Mytilene (in Greek)
Interview in the Greek newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos (in Greek)
Photos of the men of ELDYK before the Turkish invasion
The Emblem of ELDYK (in Greek)
???????, ??????????? (1998). "????? 1974" [ELDYK 1974]. ???? ???? (On the road)
(in Greek). Greece. ANT1.
Panagiotis Stavroulopoulos interview (in Greek). Deputy commander of the ELDYK from
10 August 1974 and during all the second phase of the Turkish invasion.
???????? ?????? [Frozen Time] (in Greek). 2011.
??.??.?. - ?? ????????? ????? [EL.DY.K. The modern heroes] (Television production)
(in Greek). Cyprus: PIK1.
Interview of Greek veterans who were in Cyprus at 1964-1967 club president (in
[show] v t e
Military of Cyprus
[show] v t e
Hellenic Armed Forces
Categories: Military of CyprusMilitary units and formations of GreeceMilitary units
and formations established in 1959Turkish invasion of Cyprus1974 in CyprusOverseas
or abroad military installations
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