Among the sights of Pigadia (Karpathos town) there a small monument, called Captain Konstantinos Iliakis Monument (Μνημείο Σμηναγού Κώστα Ηλιάκη). This monument is a memorial for Kostantinos Iliakis, an air force captain, who was tragically killed in action on 23rd May in 2006, near to Karpathos island.
The story of Captain Konstantinos Iliakis
Captain Konstantinos (Kostas) Iliakis was a Hellenic Air Force pilot who was born in Crete island, Greece. On 23rd of May in 2006 the Greek Army noticed that foreign airplanes violated the airspace of Greece, and the air defense was alerted immidiately. Captain Iliakis took off with his fighter jet from Souda, one of the military airports of Crete. It quickly became clear, that Turkish fighter planes violated the Greek airspace without any official announcement.
When the Turkish jet fighter entered deep into Greek airspace without any permisson, Kostas Iliakis, the first who arrived to the scene tried to warn and catch the invader. The Turkish fighter pilot unfortunately made a dangerous maneuver and took his plane to dangerous proximity, resulting a collision of the two fighter jets. The pilot of the Turkish Air Force ejected successfully, but Captain Konstantinos Iliakis could not jump, and fell into the Aegean Sea with his plane.
He lost his life while he tried to defense Greece, his homeland. After the incident, the situation was extremely tense between Turkey and Greece, and several political consultations took place for months.
About Captain Konstantinos Iliakis Monument in Pigadia, Karpathos island
In Karpathos island his monument was built in Pigadia, near the small port, and called Captain Konstantinos Iliakis Monument (Μνημείο Σμηναγού Κώστα Ηλιάκη).
- Location: Pigadia, near small port
- Coordinates: 35.508276, 27.209268