PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK “TRUTHFULLY. THE LIFE OF CHARITA MANTOLES”
On April 21, 2016, HARH held a presentation event of the book “Τruthfully. The Life of Charita Mandoles” which was held under the auspices of the Consulate General of the Republic of Cyprus in Thessaloniki. The book was presented by Mr. Petros Papapolyviou, Associate Professor of Contemporary Greek History at the University of Cyprus. The event was attended by the author Mrs. Evridiki Pericleous Papadopoulou, the heroine of the book Mrs. Charita Mandoles and the school teacher Mrs. Eleni Foka who was trapped in occupied Karpassia. The Mixed Choir of the Municipality of Kalamaria contributed artistically to the event, under the direction of Ioannis Koukas.
The book highlights the pain and suffering, the humiliation and degradation spread by the brutality of the occupiers. The idea for its writing was born after the funerals of Charita’s relatives. Through the pages of the book, the catalytic role of the Cypriot woman, every Charita wife, mother and sister, is celebrated, and the strength she can draw from the pain, offering support for the preservation of her family.
Charita Mandoles is one of the most recognizable figures of Cypriot tragedy, as her father Neofytos, her husband Andreas, her sisters’ husbands Phoebus and Theodoros, her uncle Savvas Tsakkas and her cousin Panagiotis were murdered in a mass execution of civilians in which her entire family was present on 21 July 1974. In total, twelve men were executed by the Turkish army, including little Yannakis Kozakos. All of them were on the list of missing persons for 34 years until the moment when scientific DNA research identified their remains and they were handed over to their relatives for burial.
The reader who reads this book will learn about how the women of the missing persons raised their children in the refugee camp and the enormous problems they had to face. About the tragic burden they were asked to carry and are carrying for their children, who grew up with a photograph in their hands and with thousands of huge unanswered questions. At the same time, he will admire the mental toughness of Charita Mandoles, a fighter and stubborn woman from her childhood, who, in spite of the times and many other difficulties, did not cease to claim and fight.
According to Professor Papapolyviou of the University of Cyprus, the book is “one of the best books ever written on the events of the 1974 Turkish invasion and their consequences. For those who seek standards of struggle, but also a crack of hope and optimism in the gloomy and suffocating phenomena of the decline of public life”.