The Cypriot Community of Melbourne and Victoria, the Coordinating Committee of the Cypriot Struggle, and the Cypriot Community of Northern Suburbs of Melbourne have joined forces for the upcoming presentation of the book “As Truly: The Life of Harita Mandoles.

Poet and author of the book, Eurydice Pericles Papadopoulou has come from Cyprus to speak to audiences about her book at a presentation event featuring speaker  philologist Yannis Milidis.

Harita Mandoles – to whom the book refers – from Elia in Kyrenia, has become a symbol of the struggle following the Cypriot tragedy of 1974.

She saw her husband, her father and other close relatives killed in front of her. She saw Turkish soldiers raping women in front of her eyes and managed to save her children the very last moment.

The book “As Truthfully”, follows the trajectory of Harita’s happy childhood years through to the tragic days of 1974.

The woman symbol of the anti-occupation struggle in Cyprus

Since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, she has always been at the forefront of the struggle for closure to the whereabouts of those gone missing, for freedom and return to the ancestral homes. Harita Mandoles is one of the most recognisable figures of the 1974 tragedy and has become a symbol of the anti-occupation struggle.

On 21 July 1974 she was arrested by Attila’s troops together with her family, relatives and fellow countrymen and witnessed a mass execution, alongside other women present. Just a few meters away from her house in Elia Kyrenia, she saw her father, her husband, the husbands of her sisters, Giannoula and Maro, an uncle and a cousin of hers being piled up dead. Until 2008, the 12 people executed in Elia were considered missing. Following the discovery of a mass grave, DNA testing was used to identify human remains, which were then handed over to their relatives for burial.

Harita Mandoles’ struggle, however, did not end with the burial of her husband and her loved ones. It is ongoing and will continue on, she says, “until the occupation troops and settlers leave Cyprus. Until the last refugee returns home, until the whereabouts of all Cypriots and Greeks gone missing in 1974 are determined”.

Her story was captured in the book “As Truthfully – The Life of Harita Mandoles” by Eurydiki Pericleous Papadopoulou published by Nefeli Publications.

The book highlights the pain and suffering owing to the brutality of the conquerors, human stories of humiliation and degradation.

In its pages, it celebrates the catalytic role of Cypriot women, every wife, mother and sister, whose strength and resilence became a beacon of hope for persecuted families.

The presentation will take place at the Cypriot Community of Melbourne and Victoria, 495 Lygon St, Brunswick East, on Wednesday, 18 October, 7:00 pm.

For more information contact Professor Yannis Milidis on 0416 043 335