National Geographic : 1939 Jan
THE TRANSFORMATION OF TURKEY shy they appeared, these intrepid, white uniformed young women. I felt a pang of sympathy for their best beaux, doomed to wait five years before marriage while their sweethearts serve the State as instructors. The laughing-eyed director of Bluebird, after showing us the hangars and rows of dainty practice planes, jumped into one and circled over our heads as our automobile headed for Camp Inonii, a dozen miles away. Upon arrival, he was waiting to re ceive us. From a barren dome, star-and crescent-marked gliders sprang into brief animation (page 15). Turkey has nine glider schools. Five hundred and fifty girls and 550 boys took the three months' course last year. Para chute jumping is included. The most capable are selected for training in the Avia tion School. A FEMININE LEGISLATOR "I am only the tail to our domestic kite nowadays," lamented the husband of a chic and witty congresswoman with mock solemnity. "After practicing my profes sion for nearly twenty years in one of our coastal cities, I arrive home one evening to find that my wife has been elected to Parlia ment. And I have to pack up, move to the capital and begin life anew! Isn't that an anomaly for Turkey?" Archeological work now going on in Tur key should yield important contributions to historical knowledge. A number of expedi tions have been digging in various portions of the land: American, French, Swedish, English, German, and Turkish (page 27). I spent many interesting hours with Dr. H. H. von der Osten, German archeologist, now active on the staff of Ankara Univer sity, whose Researches in Anatolia, and other archeological material on this region, have been published by the Oriental Insti tute of the University of Chicago. Together we tramped up to the summit of the Citadel, with its bewildering mixture of civilizations. Five minutes after pass ing the People's House,* perched on a mound above Atatiirk Boulevard, one plunges from today into the Turkey of for mer centuries. We mount through the street of the arti sans. Coppersmiths whack at their ruddy wares with staccato hammer stroke; iron workers' anvils yield a glowing harvest of plowshares. The fezmakers of former days have found other jobs. There is garlic-breathed haggling, barter ing, in the grain market. Hand-in-hand in pairs wander lonely-eyed hillsmen, shod with rawhide, oblivious to the changes taking place in the new city at their feet. Storks, with feather brakes set, wheel slowly in search of an evening meal. Off to the south stretches a range of hills, trademarked as Turkish with gleaming crescents where unmelted snow hides in curving scars of their purple sides. MARATHONS OF DISCOURSE Whether it be the stimulation of Ankara's winelike air or an aversion to wasting time in sleep, I cannot guess, but this city likes to stay up all night. "I have sat as President Atatiirk's dinner guest from nine in the evening until seven next morning, with hardly a break in the conversation," a foreign ambassador told me. "Were you not exhausted?" I inquired, incredulous of such a feat. "Not at all! The magnetism of that ex traordinary man was such that he could animate a whole tableful of guests to mara thons of discourse." The Karpic Restaurant is a sort of un official department of the State. High officials stage many of their dinners here. White-aproned, a sardonic smile on his clever, handsome old face, Karpic circulates about the hall, seeing all, hearing all, knowing every whim of his guests. In the midst of a course arrives a waiter with some delicious and extravagant item not printed on the menu. "I am not content with the dish you are eating," announces Karpic. Plates are whisked away and the new concoction takes its place. No additional charge! So over generous is he that at intervals come eco nomic difficulties; but new capital from some mysterious source rescues him and he carries on anew. I saw a characteristic gesture of this be loved buffoon. The room was hot. A group in the corner wished the multipaned window by their table opened. Waiters could not budge it. Karpic floated into the picture, wrapped a large napkin about his *The People's Houses, established all over Tur key by the People's Republican Party, are cultural establishments designed to supplement the work of the schools. They are centers of activity for sports, rural welfare, fine arts, theatrical perform ances and concerts, libraries and museums, and studies in various fields of knowledge.