National Geographic : 1929 Oct
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE your skirts." At Beykoz, where a solemn company sat, daring a phonograph to be funny, forks began to beat a tattoo when "Dixie" leaped out from an American medley. Give a Turk a chance to hear what he considers good music and he will travel far and listen long. This year, a casino at Chibukli (now Cubuklu) draws the crowds. The central decoration on each table is a dewy bottle of the local spring water. Old ladies in the black of yore have lifted their veils, revealing gold-rimmed spectacles and shrewd faces. Whitewashed latticed balconies, dotted with colorful dresses and a few furs, rise against the hill. A musician spends half an hour tun ing-or de-tuning-a piano, and the con cert begins. Can any Westerner describe this quavering, nostalgic music passed back and forth from piano to zitherlike kanoon; divided between violin and its lap-held embryo, the kemence; punctuated by the shrill pipings of the ney and the rattle of the tef? THE SWEET WATERS OF ASIA HAVE LOST THE GLAMOUR OF THE PAST Gen. Lew Wallace, Pierre Loti, Claude Farrere, and many another have described the charm and pageantry of the Sweet Waters of Asia. But for some reason this former playground of princes, this ren dezvous of rich and poor, of daring gal lant and twice-veiled lady, is no longer the vogue. Fishermen hang their dark-brown nets beside the still waters and market gardeners pile high rude barges of cab bages or beans before rowing them to Stamboul. The valley has lost none of its quiet beauty, but the glamour of the past is gone. When the north winds sweep down from the Black Sea, adding their force to that of the Devil's Current, my boatman, ferrying me back from Asia, rows high up the backwaters of Asia until I can gaze up at the domed ceiling of a room which has been described as "the most precious thing of its kind . . . in all the world." It is the house of the Kuprili family, five of them grand viziers. To relate how they ruled the empire of a hunt-loving sultan and captured Candia after the longest of sieges, or to discuss how European history might have been changed if their unique dynasty had not been interrupted by the viziership of Kara (Black) Mustafa, would fill a volume. In the garden of this humble dwelling, poised above the Bosporus, a group of men sat talking near where their spotless motor boat was moored. A young man in plus-fours and checkerboard stockings, on being asked if we might enter, said "Sure !" Now a student in an American school near Paris, his English was learned in New York. In that priceless room, for which res toration would mean ruin, a phonograph occupied one small table and a racing shell was stretched along the northern wall. The gold leaf on the ceiling hung in shreds. The graceful marble fountain was still, an eloquently muted tombstone of a vanished day. Slanting across the Bosporus at its nar rowest, we watched the massive towers of Rumeli Hissar swing against the evening sky, and I thought of the words of Dr. Edwin A. Grosvenor concerning the strait: "Whoever undertakes its delineation must be painfully self-conscious at the start that his omissions will be manifold more than all he says." But in these days of Munchausen travel tales, verbal skill is suspect and history has crowded this canvas with exploits which no modern may match. Rather let the unimaginative but accurate lens serve until your dream ship, plowing Eurasian waters, reveals this glorious panorama while you share with holiday-making East erners a Bosporus week-end! 508 "~ ~"