Military of Cyprus
The Cypriot National Guard is the main military institution of the Republic of Cyprus. It is a combined arms force, with land, air and naval elements. The National Guard is a required 24 month service for all men upon completing their 18th birthday.The land forces of the Cypriot National Guard comprise the following units:
- First Infantry Division (Ιη Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
- Second Infantry Division (ΙΙα Μεραρχία ΠΖ)
- Fourth Infantry Brigade (ΙVη Ταξιαρχία ΠΖ)
- Twentieth Armored Brigade (ΧΧη ΤΘ Ταξιαρχία)
- Third Support Brigade (ΙΙΙη Ταξιαρχία ΥΠ)
- Eighth Support Brigade (VIIIη Ταξιαρχία ΥΠ)
The air force includes the 449th Helicopter Gunship Squadron (449 ΜΑΕ) – operating SA-342L and Bell 206 and the 450th Helicopter Gunship Squadron (450 ME/P) – operating Mi-35P, BN-2B and PC-9. Current Senior officers include Supreme Commander, Cypriot National Guard: Lt. Gen. Konstantinos Bisbikas, Deputy Commander, Cypriot National Guard: Lt. Gen. Savvas Argyrou and Chief of Staff, Cypriot National Guard: Maj. Gen. Gregory Stamoulis.
Military of North Cyprus:
Northern Cyprus has an indigenous 5,000-man Turkish Cypriot Security Force (TCSF), which is primarily made up of conscripted Turkish Cypriot males between the ages of 18 and 40. There is also an additional reserve force consisting of about 11,000 first-line, 10,000 second-line and 5,000 third-line troops conscripted up to the age of 50. The TCSF is lightly armed and heavily dependent on its mainland Turkish allies, from which it draws much of its officer corps. It is led by a Brigadier General drawn from the Turkish Army. It acts essentially as a gendarmerie charged with protection of the border of Northern Cyprus from Greek Cypriot incursions and maintaining internal security within Northern Cyprus.
In addition, the mainland Turkish Armed Forces maintain a Cyprus Turkish Peace Force (CTPF) consisting of around 30-40,000 troops drawn from the 9th Turkish Army Corps and comprising two divisions, the 28th and 39th. It is equipped with a substantial number of United States-made M48 Patton main battle tanks and artillery weapons. The Turkish Air Force, Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard also have a presence in Northern Cyprus. Although formally part of Turkish 4th Army, headquartered in İzmir, the sensitivities of the Cyprus situation means that the commander of the CTPF also reports directly to the Turkish General Staff in Ankara. The CTPF is deployed principally along the Green Line and in locations where hostile amphibious landings might take place.
The presence of the mainland Turkish military in Cyprus is highly controversial, having been denounced as an illegal occupation force by the Republic of Cyprus government. Several United Nations Security Council resolutions have called on the Turkish forces to withdraw, though failed Annan Plan of 2004 allowed for some troops to remain.