National Geographic : 1959 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine such roads all across Turkey, east to west. A nation once notorious for poor communications has now superb dirt highways everywhere. U. S. Helps Build Turkish Roads Money, men, and machines from the United States have helped Turkey stretch its highway network from 7,800 miles of all-weather roads in 1947 to more than 20,000 miles today. An 11-year-old American aid program total ing some $42,000,000 has sent thousands of trucks, tractors, power shovels, graders, and other road-building machines to Turkey. American engineers and technicians have ad vised and trained Turkish counterparts in highway construction and equipment use. In Karakose (Agri), a provincial capital of perhaps 20,000 people, I stopped to pay my respects to Gov. Ali Akseven. He insisted we stay for lunch. Afterward he turned to Mercedes and asked if we would like coffee. This was the ultimate in hospitality, for Tur key, the nation known for its good coffee, has none these days. It has no foreign exchange with which to buy it. Only a few, like Governor Akseven, have a precious re serve left from earlier years. Mercedes, knowing these things, quickly answered: "No, we prefer tea." After lunch our host insisted on escorting us to the town of Zidikan (Eleskirt) to see that we got gasoline there. We had not fol lowed him far when we saw that he was in trouble. He had tried to pass an oxcart on a soft, steep embankment. His car leaned at a precarious angle; Uras and I pushed, but with each spin of the wheels it slipped farther down the bank.