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Hellenic Force in Cyprus

Hellenic (Greek) Force in Cyprus
Ελληνική Δύναμη Κύπρου (ΕΛΔΥΚ)
Active 1959–Present
Country  Cyprus
Allegiance  Kingdom of Greece (1959-1973)
 Greece (1973–present)
Branch Army
Type Mechanized Group
Role Military Force
Size c. 1000
Part of Hellenic Army
Garrison/HQ Nicosia, Cyprus ("Camp of Major Sotirios Staurianakos")
  • ELDYK (Greek: ΕΛΔΥΚ)
  • Eldykarioi (Greek: Ελδυκάριοι)
Motto The same blood/ancestry and common language and common religion and common traditions
(Greek: Το όμαιμόν τε και ομόγλωσσον και ομόθρησκον και ομότροπον)
Uniform Camouflage Greek Lizard
Service Rifle G3
Engagements Turkish invasion of Cyprus
Website Hellenic Army Official Website
Dionysios Arbouzis (first)
Patch of the formal uniforms
Patch of the everyday and combat uniforms
Abbreviation ΕΛΔΥΚ or ΕΛ.ΔΥ.Κ.

The Hellenic (Greek) Force in Cyprus (Greek: Ελληνική Δύναμη Κύπρου), commonly known in its abbreviated form as ELDYK or EL.DY.K. (Greek: ΕΛΔΥΚ or ΕΛ.ΔΥ.Κ., Greek pronunciation: ), is the permanent Greek military force stationed in Cyprus. Its role is to help and support the Cypriot National Guard.


  • History of ELDYK 1
  • ELDYK at Cyprus (until 1974) 2
    • Violence between the two communities (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots) 2.1
    • Turkish invasion of Cyprus (1974) 2.2
      • Battles 2.2.1
      • Classes 2.2.2
      • Equipment 2.2.3
  • The Tomb of Makedonitissa 3
  • ELDYK Today 4
    • Badge 4.1
    • Motto 4.2
    • Personnel 4.3
    • Military ranks and ranks insignia 4.4
    • Uniforms 4.5
    • Equipment 4.6
    • Headquarters Camp 4.7
    • Museum 4.8
  • In popular culture 5
  • Additional Information 6
  • Monuments-Memorials 7
    • Cyprus 7.1
    • Greece 7.2
  • Gallery 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
    • In Greek 11.1
      • About ELDYK 11.1.1
      • About Turkish invasion of Cyprus 11.1.2
    • In English 11.2
      • About Turkish invasion of Cyprus 11.2.1
  • External links 12
    • Videos 12.1

History of ELDYK

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 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 (Greek: Τουρκική Δύναμη Κύπρου, abbreviated: ΤΟΥΡΔΥΚ or ΤΟΥΡ.ΔΥ.Κ, Greek pronunciation: ) with 650 men, as it was agreed in the Zürich and London Agreement.

ELDYK at 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.

Violence between the two communities (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots)

On 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 avoided after the intervention of the United Kingdom.

On March 1964 the ELDYK's Sergeant First Class Sotirios Karagiannis died during some riots.

On May 1964 the Major Dimitrios Poulios and Captain Vasileios Kapotas murdered at the Turkish Cypriot district of Famagusta, Captain Panagiotis Tarsoulis injured. Their driver, police officer Konstantinos Pantelidis murdered too.

Turkish invasion of Cyprus (1974)

During the period of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, between 20 July and 16 August 1974, ELDYK fought against the Turkish invaders 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 sent in many places in Cyprus to help the Cypriot National Guard.


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

  • The battle of Paphos (20 July 1974)
  • Attacks against the area of Kioneli (20–21 July 1974)
  • The battle at 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 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 at 1974 were 103, 105 and 107.

The class 103, were old soldiers that returned to Greece with the Greek Landing Ship Tank (ex-USS LST-389) "LESBOS" (Greek: "ΛΕΣΒΟΣ") because their military service ended. They left from Cyprus at 19 July 1974, after the arrival of the class 107. When the invasion started, at 20 July 1974, Hellenic Navy ordered the commander of the ship, Lieutenant Commander Eleftherios Chandrinos, to change the direction of the ship and return to Cyprus, the ship at that time was near the island of Rhodes. The afternoon of the 20 July 1974, ELDYK's soldiers of class 103 arrived at Cyprus and disembarked at Paphos. They helped the Cypriot National Guard to fight the Turkish Cypriot forces which were there. The Turkish Cypriot forces there surrendered and their weapons and equipments captured. After the defeat of the Turkish Cypriot forces at Paphos, ELDYK's men, of the class 103, moved during the night towards the Nicosia International Airport. At the morning, they arrived at the Airport and from there they moved toward the ELDYK's camp.

The class 107, were new recruits that came to replace the class 103. They arrived at Cyprus with "Lesbos" at 19 July 1974, one day before the invasion.

UNFICYP monitored the rotation of the ELDYK's classes and they keep informed their HQ's about the process of the operation. When Lesbos disembarked they confirmed that it had brought 410 men and 11 vehicles (class 107) and taken out 422 men and 10 vehicles (class 103).


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

  • FN FAL (Soldiers of the class 103 equipped with these weapons)

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


ELDYK is still in Cyprus and its headquarters is near Nicosia, its previous camp destroyed at 1974 and the area it was (Gerolakkos or Yerolakkos area) is now under Turkish occupation. Its role, is to help and support the Cypriot National Guard. For this reason, ELDYK participate in many military exercises in cooperation with the Cypriot National Guard.


ELDYK badge shows the Greece and Cyprus crowned with a common laurel wreath. Between the two countries is the emblem of the Greek Army. Under the wreath writes: "ΕΛΔΥΚ 1960", which is the abbreviation of the force in Greek ("ΕΛΔΥΚ") and the year it disembarked at Cyprus ("1960"). At the top, is 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, the meaning is that the same sea and sky surrounds these two countries.[1]


The motto of ELDYK is: "Το όμαιμόν τε και ομόγλωσσον και ομόθρησκον και ομότροπον", which mean: "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...".[2][3] The meaning is that Greeks have the same national identity and consciousness, regardless of borders.[4]


Soldiers and officers of the Hellenic Force in Cyprus(ELDYK) are all Greek citizens, selected among the ranks of conscripts that are beginning their 9 month 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 with planes, separated in 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 fightworthy 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 have the nickname: Eldykarioi (Greek: Ελδυκάριοι), singular: Eldykarios (Greek: Ελδυκάριος). This nickname will keep on following them while they are in Cyprus and 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 provides them with an honorary award for their service at Cyprus.

Military ranks and ranks insignia

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


Patch of the formal uniforms

There are 2 types of military uniforms, one is the formal that soldiers wear at the parades, celebrations and other special occasions and the other is the everyday and combat uniform. The uniforms are the same as in the rest Greek army with the difference of embroidered patches on the 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 green in the everyday and combat military uniforms and yellow in the formal uniforms. Unofficially, these patches are called: eldykosima (Greek: ελδυκόσημα), singular: eldykosimo (Greek: ελδυκόσημο). 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.

Headquarters Camp

The headquarters camp is near Nicosia. Its name is "Camp of Major Sotirios Staurianakos". The camp has this name to honor the Captain Sotirios Staurianakos, who was killed at 16 August 1974 during the last day of the battle of the ELDYK camp. He became Major after death.[6]

In the camp, there is a memorial, representing a soldier who shows with his hand the area of the previous camp of ELDYK (destroyed during the Turkish invasion at 1974) and has on a marble the names and the ranks of the officers and soldiers of the force who were killed or are missing.

The museum of ELDYK is in the camp.


The museum of ELDYK is in its headquarters camp. Because the museum is located in a military area and is under the control of the army, if someone wants to visit it he/she must request permission from the army.

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) (), which means "Warriors of ELDYK".[7]

Additional Information

At 2010 held an event at Strovolos, Nicosia for the 50 years of ELDYK at Cyprus.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, has every week a radio show, which has a duration of 1 hour, dedicated to ELDYK.



Name of the Memorial/ Monument Area Coordinates
ELDYK's HQ camp Memorial Nicosia (military area)
The Tomb of Makedonitissa Nicosia
ELDYK Memorial Park Larnaka


( * ) It is written the word "Cyprus" on the tomb to honor the men who killed at Cyprus.

Name of the Memorial/ Monument Area Coordinates
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier * Syntagma Square in Athens
Memorial for the men who killed at Cyprus Athens
ELDYK Memorial Peristeri
ELDYK Memorial Lamia
ELDYK Memorial Spathari Village


See also


  1. ^ Greek Army website
  2. ^ Greek Army website
  3. ^ 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;..."
  4. ^ Greek Army website
  5. ^ Greek Army website
  6. ^ Greek Army website
  7. ^

Further reading

In Greek


  • Παπαγεωργίου, Σπύρος (2000). Πεθαίνοντας στην Κύπρο [Dying in Cyprus] (3rd ed.). Nicosia: Επιφανίου.  
  • Βλάσσης, Σάββας Δ. (2004). Άγνωστοι Στρατιώτες [Unknown Soldiers]. Athens: ΔΟΥΡΕΙΟΣ ΙΠΠΟΣ.  
  • "ΣΤΡΑΤΟΠΕΔΟ ΕΛΔΥΚ 1974 Οι Θερμοπύλες της Κύπρου" [The Camp of ELDYK 1974 The Thermopylae of Cyprus]. Στρατιωτική Ιστορία 95. July 2004. 
  • Καρκαλέτσης, Σταύρος Γ. (2008). Η μάχη της Κύπρου Οι προδομένοι ήρωες αντιμετωπίζουν τον "Αττίλα" [The battle of Cyprus The betrayed heroes face "Attila"]. Athens: Περισκόπιο.  
  • Βλάσσης, Σάββας Δ. (2009). Άγνωστοι Στρατιώτες 2 [Unknown Soldiers 2]. Athens: ΔΟΥΡΕΙΟΣ ΙΠΠΟΣ.  
  • Χρυσάφης, Αθανάσιος Γρ. (2009). Οι άγνωστοι στρατιώτες της ΕΛΔΥΚ 1974 Οι τελευταίοι ήρωες, οι εφιάλτες των Αθηνών και η προδοσία της Κύπρου [The unknown soldiers of ELDYK 1974 The last heroes, the nightmares of Athens and the betrayal of Cyprus]. Thessaloniki: Χρυσάφης, Αθανάσιος Γρ.  
  • Δελλής, Σπυρίδων (2012). Η αυτοθυσία της Ελληνικής Δύναμης Κύπρου (ΕΛΔΥΚ) Μία μαρτυρία [The self-sacrifice of the Greek Force in Cyprus (ELDYK) A witness]. Athens: Παπαζήση.  

About Turkish invasion of Cyprus

  • Καρδιανός, Διονύσιος (1976). Ο Αττίλας πλήττει την Κύπρο [Attila hits Cyprus]. Athens: Λαδιάς. 
  • Birand, Mehmet Ali (1984). Απόφαση-Απόβαση [Decision-Landing]. Athens: Στρατηγικές Εκδόσεις-Φλώρος.  
  • Χαραλαμπόπουλος, Χαράλαμπος (1992). Περιμένοντας τον Αττίλα [Waiting Attila]. Athens: Εστία.  
  • Ιορδανίδου, Σοφία (1998). Νταλγκά νταλγκά Κύματα κύματα: Η μαρτυρία ενός τούρκου αξιωματικού για τη δεύτερη εισβολή στην Κύπρο [Dalga dalga Waves Waves: The testimony of a Turkish officer for the second invasion in Cyprus]. Athens: Α. Α. ΛΙΒΑΝΗ.  
  • Σέργης, Γεώργιος (1999). Η μάχη της Κύπρου Ιούλιος - Αύγουστος 1974 Η ανατομία της τραγωδίας [The battle of Cyprus July-August 1974 The anatomy of the tragedy]. Athens: Αδελφοί Βλάσση.  
  • Γεωργιάδης, Σταύρος (2001). Η Κύπρος δεν Εάλω Προδόθηκε και παραδόθηκε στους Τούρκους από ...Έλληνες [Cyprus didn't capture Betrayed and handed over to the Turks by ...Greeks]. Thessaloniki: Κάδμος.  
  • Καρδιανός, Διονύσιος (2003). Ο Αττίλας πλήττει την Κύπρο [Attila hits Cyprus] (3rd ed.). Nicosia: Επιφανίου.  
  • Βλάσσης, Σάββας Δ. (2004). Ο Απόρρητος Αττίλας Το Σχέδιο Και Η Υλοποίηση Της Τουρκικής Εισβολής [The Confidential Attila The Plan and Implementation of the Turkish Invasion]. Athens: ΔΟΥΡΕΙΟΣ ΙΠΠΟΣ.  
  • Καρύκας, Παντελής Δ. (July–August 2006). "ΚΥΠΡΟΣ 1974 Η χαμένη νίκη του Ελληνισμού" [CYPRUS 1974 The lost victory of Hellenism]. Πόλεμος & Ιστορία 97: 26–33. 
  • Δημητριάδης, Κωνσταντίνος Α. (2011). Κύπρος 1974 Η μεγάλη προδοσία [Cyprus 1974 The great betrayal]. Athens: Πελασγός.  
  • Αδαμίδης, Μάριος (2011). Η τραγική αναμέτρηση και η προδοσία της Κύπρου-Κύπρος 15-24 Ιουλίου 1974 [The Tragic Duel and the Betrayal of Cyprus-Cyprus 15-24 July 1974]. Athens: Αδαμίδης, Μάριος.  

In English

About Turkish invasion of Cyprus

  • O'Malley, Brendan; Craig, Ian (2001). The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion. I.B.Tauris.  
  • Adamides, Marios (2012). The Tragic Duel and the Betrayal of Cyprus-Cyprus 15-24 July 1974. Athens: Adamides, Marios.  

External links

  • Η Ιστορία της ΕΛ.ΔΥ.Κ. [The History of EL.DY.K.]. ΣΤΡΑΤΙΩΤΙΚΗ Επιθεώρηση (Νοέμβριος-Δεκέμβριος 2010) (in Greek) (Greek Army): 6–19. November–December 2010. 
  • A brief history of ELDYK from Greek Army. (Greek)
  • Military museum of ELDYK. (Greek)
  • Men of ELDYK from the island of Mytilene (Greek)
  • Interview in the Greek newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos (Greek)
  • Photos of the men of ELDYK before the Turkish invasion
  • The Emblem of ELDYK (Greek)


  • Αργύρης, Ντινόπουλος (1998). "ΕΛΔΥΚ 1974 [ELDYK 1974]" (in Greek). Στον δρόμο (On the road). 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. 
  • ]EL.DY.K. The modern heroesΕΛ.ΔΥ.Κ. - Οι σύγχρονοι ήρωες [ (Television production) (in Greek). Cyprus:  
  • Interview of Greek veterans who were in Cyprus at 1964-1967 club president. (in Greek). 
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