National Geographic : 1909 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Hamdi Bey has agreed to open an art school for women some day in the neai future. In fact, there is no subject that is being discussed with greater interest and vigor in the Turkish press today than that of the education of women. Now is the opportunity for foreign edu cation in Turkey, when not only the Greeks, Armenians, and Bulgarians de sire American education, but the Turks themselves look to America for help. They are crowding into our schools, and there is not room to receive them. American education in Turkey is a pow erful ally to the Committee of Union and Progress. SUNSHINE IN TURKEY* BY HOWARD S. BLISS PRESIDENT SYRIAN PROTESTANT COLLEGE AT BEIRUT T HOSE of you who have had the good fortune to visit Constanti nople know that the gloom of a rainy day in that city is exceedingly gloomy, and you also know, if your so journ has been somewhat prolonged, that the glory of a sunshiny day in Constanti nople is exceedingly glorious. Such a day was yesterday-a day that stands out and to all appearances will stand out in the history of the Ottoman Empire as one of its great days; and in your behalf, I venture to say, as well as in behalf of our fellow-citizens throughout the coun try, we may well thank our representa tives in Congress for sending across the water to the people of Turkey good wishes and congratulations upon the oc currences of yesterday. As you read the papers last evening and this morning, you followed in imagi nation that crowd as it surged down from Galata over the bridge and up the slopes to the Mosque of Sophia. You saw the Sultan start from his palace and take that route which is a new one for His Majesty. Everywhere the appear ance of the streets indicated that it was a festival day. The splendid Turkish soldiers, than whom you can find no finer set of men in all the world; the Turk ish flags, the huzzas of the people, the crowds of women-now a new factor in the gatherings in Turkey; not only the houses, but even the mosques, crowded with spectators looking down upon this new, strange scene-you could see it all! I took the pains today to look up the record of the meeting of the first Parlia ment, in 1877, and there appeared in the London Times a long letter from a Con stantinople correspondent describing the opening of that first Parliament. Appar ently all the details were given, but the account lacked those characteristics of popular enthusiasm which fill the ac counts that appear in today"s papers; and this enthusiasm of the people is full of happy augury for the future. The scene in that Parliament chamber yesterday, where the Sultan, after his speech had been read before the repre sentatives, j ined in the prayer of the judge-the priest-judge-who asked God's blessing upon that gathering, was a scene of great solemnity, followed by a scene of great enthusiasm, participated in by hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children. The contemplation of all this takes us back five months, to those other scenes that accompanied the strange events in July. None of us had the remotest idea that the revolution was coming so soon. Although I was .not present, I know something about the effect that was pro duced in Beirut, Syria, when it was an nounced that the constitution had been granted. Beirut is the largest seaport town of Syria. It is a city of one hun- * An address to The National Geographic Society, December 18, 19o8.