The Hellenic (Greek) Force in
Cyprus (Greek: Ελληνική
Δύναμη Κύπρου), (Turkish: Kıbrıs Yunan Alayı), commonly
known in its abbreviated form as ELDYK or EL.DY.K. (Greek: ΕΛΔΥΚ
or ΕΛ.ΔΥ.Κ., Greek pronunciation: [elðˈik], 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
1.1 ELDYK in
Cyprus (until 1974)
1.2 Intercommunal violence
1.3 Turkish invasion of
2 The Tomb of Makedonitissa
3 ELDYK Today
3.4 Military ranks scale and ranks insignia
3.7 Headquarters Camp
4 In popular culture
5 Additional information
6 Monuments and memorials
8 See also
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
ELDYK was formed on November 20, 1959 at Agios Stefanos, Athens, soon
after the Zürich 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
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 (Greek: Τουρκική
Δύναμη Κύπρου, abbreviated: ΤΟΥΡΔΥΚ or
ΤΟΥΡ.ΔΥ.Κ, Greek pronunciation: [turˈðik]) with 650 men,
as it was agreed in the Zürich and London Agreement.
Cyprus (until 1974)
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: "ΛΗΜΝΟΣ") and "ALIAKMON"
(Greek: "ΑΛΙΑΚΜΩΝ"), 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 Gerolaκkos 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.
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
In March 1964,
Sergeant First Class
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. At the same period, members of ELDYK were involved in violent
incidents against the Turks.
Turkish invasion of
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 (20–23 July 1974) and until 9
August, and Lieutenant
Colonel Panagiotis Stavroulopoulos, from 10
August and during all the second phase of the invasion (14–16 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. 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.
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 (20–21 July 1974)
The battle of the ELDYK camp (22–23 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 (14–16 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
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: "Λέσβος"). 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.
The Tomb of Makedonitissa
Main article: The Tomb of Makedonitissa
The Tomb of Makedonitissa
The Tomb of Makedonitissa (Greek: Τύμβος της
Μακεδονίτισσας), is a military cemetery and war
memorial, west of Nicosia, at
Engomi in the area of Makedonitissa
(35°09′15″N 33°18′29″E / 35.15417°N 33.30806°E /
35.15417; 33.30806). This was the place where one Greek Nord Noratlas
was shot down by friendly fire on 22 July 1974, during the Operation
Niki (Greek: Επιχείρηση "ΝΙΚΗ"). "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.
Greek Cypriot officers and soldiers (as well as some Greeks) who were
killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion of
Cyprus are buried in this
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
with a common laurel wreath. Between the two countries is the emblem
of the Greek Army. Under the wreath is written "ΕΛΔΥΚ 1960",
which is the abbreviation of the force in Greek ("ΕΛΔΥΚ") and the
year it disembarked at
Cyprus ("1960"). At the top is written the
motto of ELDYK: "ΤΟ ΟΜΑΙΜΟΝ ΤΕ ΚΑΙ ΟΜΟΓΛΩΣΣΟΝ
ΚΑΙ ΟΜΟΘΡΗΣΚΟΝ ΚΑΙ ΟΜΟΤΡΟΠΟΝ". 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
The motto of ELDYK is "Το όμαιμόν τε και
ομόγλωσσον και ομόθρησκον και
ομότροπον", which means: "The same ancestry and common
language and common religion and common traditions".
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: "...αύτις το ελληνικόν εόν
όμαιμόν τε και ομόγλωσσον και θεών
ιδρύματα κοινά και θυσίαι ήθεά τε
ομότροπα...", which means: "...the Greek nation is from the
same ancestry and have common language and common sanctuaries and
common sacrifices and common traditions...". The meaning is that
Greeks share the same national identity and consciousness, regardless
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
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
Men who are selected for ELDYK are nicknamed Eldykarioi (Greek:
Ελδυκάριοι), singular: Eldykarios (Greek:
Ελδυκάριος). 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
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
Uniform-ASU), and the everyday combat uniform (like the
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: "ΕΛΔΥΚ"
(ΕΛΔΥΚ 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: ελδυκόσημα),
singular: eldykosimo (Greek: ελδυκόσημο), which means: "the
badge of ELDYK". The uniform camouflage pattern is the Greek Lizard.
Personnel of ELDYK are using Greek's army equipment. The service
rifles of ELDYK soldiers are some variants of G3.
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
Major after his death. 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
In Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, the character Kure Galanos is the
daughter of an ex-ELDYK sharpshooter.
The Greek music band "ΕΡΩΣ-ΕΛΛΑΣ" created the song "Της
ΕΛΔΥΚ τα παλληκάρια" (English: The lads of ELDYK).
At Limasol, a road is named "Machiton ELDYK" (Greek: Μαχητών
ΕΛΔΥΚ) (34°42′28″N 33°3′16″E / 34.70778°N
33.05444°E / 34.70778; 33.05444), which means "Warriors of
In 2010, a commemorative event was held at Strovolos,
Nicosia in order
to celebrate the 50 years of ELDYK's presence in Cyprus.
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, has a weekly 1-hour radio show,
dedicated to ELDYK.
Monuments and memorials
Name of the Memorial/ Monument
ELDYK's HQ camp Memorial
35°01′53″N 33°10′58″E / 35.03139°N 33.18278°E /
35.03139; 33.18278 (military area)
The Tomb of Makedonitissa
35°09′15″N 33°18′29″E / 35.15417°N 33.30806°E /
ELDYK Memorial Park
34°53′38″N 33°37′57″E / 34.89389°N 33.63250°E /
( * ) The word "Cyprus" is engraved on the tomb in order to honor the
men who were killed in Cyprus.
Name of the Memorial/ Monument
The Tomb of the Unknown
Syntagma Square in Athens
37°58′31″N 23°44′10″E / 37.97528°N 23.73611°E /
Memorial for the men who killed at Cyprus
37°58′45″N 23°43′00″E / 37.979180°N 23.716647°E /
38°00′47″N 23°40′56″E / 38.013054°N 23.682172°E /
38°53′38″N 22°26′45″E / 38.89378°N 22.44571°E /
38°45′40.68″N 23°25′12.07″E / 38.7613000°N
23.4200194°E / 38.7613000; 23.4200194
Armored Personnel Carriers (ELBO Leonidas-2) and a Mercedes-Benz
G-Class vehicle of the Hellenic Force in Cyprus.
Cypriot National Guard
Turkish Armed Forces in Northern Cyprus
Turkish Cypriot Security Force
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
^ a b "A brief history of ELDYK from Greek Army" (PDF). Retrieved 21
^ Μακάριος Δρουσιώτης, "Επιστράτευση
στην Κύπρο" στο Βαγγέλης
Παναγόπουλος(ed.) Κύπρος 1974: Τα
Παρασκήνια της τουρκικής Εισβολής,
Ε-Ιστορικά 17 Ιουλίου 2003, σ.27.
^ a b c "Γενικό Επιτελείο Στρατού - Τελετή
Επίδοσης Λαβάρου στην ΕΛΔΥΚ". www.army.gr.
Retrieved 21 July 2017.
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;..."
^ "Γενικό Επιτελείο Στρατού - Συνθήκες
διαβίωσης στην ΕΛΔΥΚ". www.army.gr. Retrieved 21
^ "Γενικό Επιτελείο Στρατού - Αντγος
Σταυριανάκος Σωτήριος". www.army.gr. Retrieved 21
^ "Machiton ELDYK". cy.geoview.info. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
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πλήττει την Κύπρο [Attila hits Cyprus]. Athens:
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[Decision-Landing]. Athens: Στρατηγικές
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Τούρκους από ...Έλληνες [
Cyprus didn't capture
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ΙΠΠΟΣ. ISBN 960-630-211-3.
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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)
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Panagiotis Stavroulopoulos interview (in Greek). Deputy commander of
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Παγωμένος Χρόνος [Frozen Time] (in Greek). 2011.
ΕΛ.ΔΥ.Κ. - Οι σύγχρονοι ήρωες [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 Greek).
Cypriot National Guard
Hellenic Armed Forces
Ministry of National Defence
Council of General Staff Chiefs
National Defence General Staff
Hellenic Air Force
Hellenic Coast Guard
Hellenic Coast Guard (paramilitary)
Hellenic Military Academy
Hellenic Air Force
Hellenic Air Force Academy
Hellenic Naval Academy
Military awards and decorations
Tomb of the Unknown
Cypriot National Guard
Military of G