Evagoras Pallikarides

  (Redirected from Evagoras Pallikaridis)

Evagoras Pallikarides (Greek: Ευαγόρας Παλληκαρίδης; 26 February 1938 – 14 March 1957) was a Greek Cypriot revolutionary and poet, and member of EOKA during the 1955–1959 campaign against British rule in Cyprus.

Evagoras Pallikarides
(Ευαγόρας Παλληκαρίδης)
Born(1938-02-26)26 February 1938
Tsada, Paphos District
Died14 March 1957(1957-03-14) (aged 19)

Early yearsEdit

Pallikarides was born in Tsada, Paphos District, one of five children of Miltiades and Aphrodite Pallikarides. He studied at the Greek High School of Paphos where, at age 15, he participated in his school's boycott of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.[citation needed]

Due to celebrations in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, the British raised the Union Jack at all schools throughout Cyprus. Paphos was the only town where celebrations were not held because Pallikarides had deliberately taken down the British flag from the Paphos Gymnasium Gym propylaea (entrance) and knew full well what the consequences of such an act would be. He carried on his resistance with other secondary school pupils by forcibly bending during the night all British flag bearing iron posts along the main street entrance to Paphos as well as with demonstrations.[citation needed]


When EOKA began the struggle against the British authorities in 1955, Pallikarides took part in several anti-British demonstrations and joined EOKA when he was 17 years old. In November 1955 on his way to school he saw two British soldiers mercilessly beating a friend who had been arrested and tied to an electricity pole because he refused to say who lowered the British flag during the previous night in the grounds of the Paphos Hospital. Pallikarides assaulted, struck the two British soldiers and freeing his friend escaped the scene. He was arrested himself later on the same day and sent for trial at the Paphos District Court on alleged charges of rioting. Pallikarides denied the charges and was ordered to reappear for trial on 6 December 1956. Anticipating imprisonment in the special concentration camps set up by the British for mere suspects, he decided to take to the mountains, where he joined one of the many EOKA guerrilla groups that operated throughout Cyprus.[citation needed] Over the next year, Pallikarides participated in several guerrilla operations. Meanwhile, a reward of 5,000 pounds was put on his head by the British Army.[citation needed]

Pallikarides was arrested on 18 December 1956 because he was caught red-handed with his guns loaded on a donkey. The police had privately reported that he had murdered a man, considered to be a British collaborator by EOKA, although there was no evidence for this claim of murder.[1]

"I know you will sentence me to death, but whatever I did, I did as a Cypriot who wants his liberty"

Evagoras Pallikarides, speaking during his trial where he was sentenced to death for the possession of a non working firearm[2][3]

Trial and hangingEdit

At his trial Pallikarides did not deny possession of the weapon. He said he did what he had to do as a Greek Cypriot seeking his freedom. He was sentenced to death by hanging for firearms possession on 27 February 1957. Pallikarides was hanged on 14 March 1957, at the age of 19. A propaganda leaflet was published after the hanging with a fabricated description of how he had murdered a traitor.[1] The lawfulness of his execution has been subsequently questioned in light of the fact that the weapon held by Pallikarides at the time was not functional. A. W. B. Simpson in his book Human Rights and the End of Empire, claims that the real reason for his execution was that the authorities believed, but were unable to prove,[1] that he had earlier murdered an elderly individual who was a suspected collaborator with the British authorities.[4]

He was buried at the Imprisoned Graves in the Central Jail of Nicosia.


Pallikarides is also known for the poetic legacy he left behind. Most of his poems have the theme of either nature or the struggle for freedom. A number of his poems have been set to music. The most prominent example is the poem that Pallikarides left behind for his classmates before joining EOKA.

I'll take an uphill road
I'll take the paths
To find the stairs
That lead to freedom
I'll leave brothers, sisters
My mother, my father
In the valleys beyond
And the mountainsides
Searching for freedom
I'll have as company
The white snow
Mountains and torrents
Even if it's winter now
The summer will come
Bringing Freedom
To cities and villages
I'll take an uphill road
I'll take the paths
To find the stairs
That lead to freedom
I'll climb the stairs
I'll enter a palace
I know it will be an illusion
I know it won't be real
I'll wander in the palace
Until I find the throne
Only a queen
Sitting on it
Beautiful daughter, I will say,
Open your wings
And take me in your embrace
That's all I ask


  1. ^ a b c George Grivas. The Memoirs of General Grivas, edited by Charles Foley, p. 121. Longmans, London, 1964.
  2. ^ United States Congress, Committee on Foreign Affairs (1967). Hearings. U.S. Govt. Print. Off. p. 15.
  3. ^ "Amendment to the Anglo-American Financial agreement". 1957. p. 15. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  4. ^ Simpson, Alfred William Brian (2001). Human Rights and the End of Empire: Britain and the Genesis of the European Convention. Oxford University Press. pp. 876–877. ISBN 978-0-19-926789-7.