On this day in 1955, Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston was founded

On this day in 1955, Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston was founded

On April 1, Cyprus commemorates the start of the insurgence against the British in 1955.

On this day in 1955, Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston was founded
On April 1, Cyprus commemorates the start of the insurgence against the British in 1955.

Following the Russo-Turkish War (1877 – 1878), Cyprus was leased to the British Empire and was formally annexed by Britain at the end of the First World War.

On this day in 1955, Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston was founded

Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston (EOKA) was a Greek-Cypriot guerrilla organisation founded on April 1, 1955 that aimed to fight for Cyprus’ independence against the British colonies and its union with Greece

Although the Cypriots were against war and violence, the British's strong and persistent attitude prevented them from resorting to an armed struggle, which was limited only to guerrilla warfare and defensive opposition.

On this day in 1955, Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston was founded

The most glorious battle for EOKA was the Battle of Spilia, fought on 12 December 1955, when 12 Greeks took on 700 British soldiers in the Troodos mountains and won. The British Army attempted to encircle the headquarters of EOKA, but it did not work out that way. Instead, Georgios Grivas, leader of the EOKA guerrilla organisation, divided fighters in two as the British came up the mountain in two units. EOKA then retreated to the summit of the mountain after fighting the British in heavy fog. Eventually, the British reached the summit in heavy fog and thought they surrounded the EOKA fighters. They began shooting and calling airstrikes at each other for over 8 hours. In this battle, the British suffered 127 deaths, 102 injuries and 21 missing. A lot of this came from the confusion EOKA made by withdrawing from their positions in heavy fog with two British units fighting against each other, with EOKA only having to pick off straddlers and not losing a single man.

Watch this video titled '1st April 1955'-

Cyprus continued the fight for almost four years, hoping that the British would grant their petition. The people remained strong and determined in spite of the many tortures and captures they faced by the British.

The campaign of the EOKA formally ended on March 31, 1959.

On August 16, 1960, EOKA declared a cease-fire because of the Zurich agreement.

Ever since 1960, the 1st of October marks the anniversary of the island country’s independence from the British colonialists after the EOKA struggle in 1955-1959.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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