Love and Death in Cyprus
is the story of Alexander Forbes and Leyla Ozkara.
After a tragic and dramatic
opening, the story begins with the growing up of Alexander in Scotland
and Leyla in a small Turkish Cypriot town in northwest Cyprus.
The story of Alexander, a
pharmacist, in basic training and the problems he faces before going to
Cyprus in 1957 as part of his National Service will appeal to everyone
who has served in the armed forces. Alexander joins a Medical Field unit
that is as weird and wonderful as M.A.S.H.
He volunteers to become involved
in a chemical spraying operation that requires the cooperation of muktar
or mayor Mehmet Ali Ozkara. He meets Mehmet Ali's only child Leyla and
over time they fall deeply in love.
The novel relates all the
EOKA terrorist activities, the political intrigue, promises made and broken,
and military operations from 1950 to 1975.
A shooting takes place in
the infamous Ledra Street that changes the lives of Alexander and Leyla.
The novel moves between Cyprus,
Turkey and Australia as the Republic of Cyprus disintegrates in 1963.
A large, thought-provoking
book, Love and Death in Cyprus will strike a cord with readers familiar
with terrorist campaigns and the suffering inflicted on innocent civilians.
The exciting and bloody climax
reminds us of a forgotten period and a forgotten people, the Turks of Cyprus.
A must read for those who
love an action-filled book of love, humour and exotic places.
The book can be ordered on
a cost of a little over 15 pounds including postage. Alternatively, a cheque
to Blackley, 2/20 Hewat Dr, Highton, Victoria, Australia 3216.
Keith from Swindon rated this book
I don't think the author has made his mind up whether this book should be
a fiction or non-fiction book. The central characters are believable and their
stories convincing, if only the same could be said about the rest of this book which
is supposedly meant to be true. There are glaring innaccuracies with the political
events presented in this book and their seems to be an unfortunate bias towards the
Turkish side in the Cyprus conflict. Things are obviously much more complicated then
the authors' "good guys, bad guys" approach. The author has provided a good
fictional work which unfortunately is let down by the author's attempt to take sides
and portray a particular side in a bad light.
F. Kutlu rated this book
I live now in Northern Cyprus and reading this excellent book made only my suspicions become more confirmed. I have made the acquaintance of Turkish Cypriots who have lived through such a hell as Leyla Ozkara, the female hero who had to live through in this "fiction". Some of them have been still children when Makarios started his "crusade" for a free and "sterile" Cyprus belonging only to Greek Cypriots. These people have "lived" the massacres, have been roughed up like animals inside barns and been set on fire. One of these children, a girl who was about 11 years old then, was the only one among 11 people in such a barn/house who could be saved while the house was still in flames as her grandfather fell on top of her who was just stabbed in front of her eyes by Greeks minutes before the house was put on fire. The only reason for this stabbing was that the old man wanted to protect his family while greek soldiers were barricading the outer side of the house so that nobody should escape. As he had the "nerve" to rise against one of these soldiers, the next "guardian" just slaughtered him down. The lady who has told me this story is now 55-56 years old, is quite educated, has now her own grandchildren. While she was telling me all these stories, she was re-living everything as if time would have stopped. You could still see the scars "bursting" through all these years and the tremendous horror still nestled in her eyes and in the back of her mind. Or others who have been brought as children in garbage carts "over" the "borders", who have been seperated from their parents, their families, their lives ... only to be known in safe territories but still to be "disregarded" by the rest of the world. What a shame, what a pity to those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf, who have tongues but are silent...
Personelly, I do believe in peace, but I also do believe that one' s liberty ends where another one' s starts. I congratulate the author Mr. Harry Blackley to such a marvellous book and his efforts, to show also the "unspoken" side of the (known) truth. I, too, strongly believe that he might have been partially involved, maybe it could even be a kind of biography of himself as Pete O'Brien is mentioning it in his comments. An internet search about him did not bring out anything at all so that I believe, that even his name might be his "author pseudonym".
Definitely a must-read-book! Lefkosa, 14.10.2009
Ferah Huseyin rated this book
My mother and father were born in cyprus, then migrated to Australia in 1980. Me and my siblings were born and raised in Australia, we were always curious about why, how and for what reasons the war erupted and what all the propoganda was about. We were regularly told stories about our families hardship throughout the 1974 war. My mother purchased this book off Harry Blackley at the Federation Square Turkish Festival in Australia. Via this book, I truely understood what hardship the people of cyprus, the soldiers that served in cyprus and the leaders of Cyprus and Turkey actually went through, I also accrue a superior appreciation towards Turkey.It was a very touching, immensely educational and a doubtlessly superb book,I applaud and thank Harry for his time and effort that he outlay into this book. He clarified and answered alot of the question marks in my head. I think that everyone that is curious about what actually went on should certainly reed this book.
rated this book
I'm a Turkish Cypriot.Up to now I listen the stories from my family and wonder how they succeed not to have any physicological
problem.I want to learn if the conversations between Denktas and Küçük are based on real documents.I read the translated version of the book (Turkish), I couldn't find the Greek name of the village that is named as Gaziantep.Thanks for informing world about the story of Turkish Cypriots.
rated this book
I live in Cyprus and listen to the propaganda on a daily basis, on how the Greek Cypriots were the victims and never the protagonists. Harry gave a signed copy to my aunt who is a friend of his and i was sent it from Melbourne Australia, and i enjoyed every bit of it and how refreshing to hear about the war from someone who lived it and was impartial rather than the rhetoric from those that were never involved, or were so naive to believe all the BS their government spued. Will treasure the book and also hope to get it back as its doing the rounds of friends and their friends. It will soon be all round Cyprus.
rated this book
Having served in Cyprus during 1957 and 1958 this book brought back many memories. Some great, some not so good and whilst reading this novel I became quite emotive, as I'm sure that any serviceman serving in Cyprus, not only at this time, but until the 1970's would agree.
It's supposed to be fiction, but this guy relates too many things for it to be so. It's compelling reading for any ex-Cyprus 'vet' who served from 1950-1970 and beyond. This guy has been there, seen it and I suspect has 'the T shirt.
It really is a great read! Go buy it if you want to reminice.
My daughter brought me mine for Fathers Day knowing of my interest.
rated this book
My daughter bought me this book for 'Fathers Day' and I couldn't put it down. It is a superb novel about the troubles in Cyprus during the EOKA terrorist campaign and beyond. I served in Cyprus between 1957 & 1959 and although this book is listed as fiction, there are too many topics which are fact, that it could be a biography of the writer. It is compelling reading and a must for anyone who served in Cyprus. For me it brought back many memories,and at some stages I became quite emotive,some were happy, others not so good.
It's a bloody good read.
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