PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK “TRUTHFULLY. THE LIFE OF CHARITA MANTOLES”
On 21 April 2016, an event was held by the HARH to present the book “Truthfully. The Life of Charita Mantoles”, which was under the auspices of the Consulate General of the Republic of Cyprus in Thessaloniki. The book was presented by the Associate Professor of Contemporary Greek History at the University of Cyprus, Mr. Petros Papapolyviou. The event was attended by the author Mrs. Evridiki Pericleous Papadopoulou, the heroine of the book Mrs. Charita Mandoles and the teacher Mrs. Eleni Fokas who was trapped in occupied Karpassia. The Mixed Choir of the Municipality of Kalamaria artistically accompanied the event under the direction of Ioannis Koukas.
The book highlights the pain, suffering and humiliation the barbarity of the conquerors has spread. The idea for his writing was born after the funerals of Charita’s relatives. Through the pages of the book, they are praised the catalytic role of the Cypriot woman, of every wife like Charita, of the mother and sister, and of the strength she can draw from pain, offering support to the preservation of her family.
Charita Mantoles is one of the most recognizable figures of the Cypriot tragedy, as in a mass execution of civilians in which her entire family was present, on 21 July 1974, her father Neophytos, her husband Andreas, the wives of her brothers, Phoevos and Theodoros, her uncle Savvas Tsakas and her cousin Panagiotis were murdered. A total of twelve men were executed by the Turkish army, including the little Giannakis Kozakos. They were all on the missing persons list for 34 years by the time scientific DNA research identified their bones and were handed over to their relatives for burial.
The reader who will read this book will be informed about how the women of the missing grew up their children as refugees and the huge problems they had to face. For the tragic weight they were asked to lift and now lifting their children, who grew up with a photo at hand and with thousands of huge unanswered questions. At the same time, one will admire the mental fortitude of Charita Mandoles, a fighter and a stubborn from her childhood, who, in spite of the times and many other difficulties, did not cease to stand up and fight.
As the professor of the University of Cyprus, Mr. Papapolyviou, says, the book is “one of the best books that have been written about the events of the Turkish invasion of 1974 and their consequences. For those who seek models of competitiveness, but also a crack of hope and optimism in the grim and suffocating phenomena of the decline of public life.”