National Geographic : 1956 Jun
884 R. O. Wideson Greeks and Turks, Neighbors All, Banter and Bargain at a Country Fair Until the recent strife, Cypriotes paid little heed to national origins. Greek and Turkish farmers tilled land side by side and gathered at the same markets for pleasure as well as profit. Here countrymen haggle over a basket of soujoukko, a stick candy made by repeatedly dipping strings of nuts in warm grape juice. Men wear the pantaloons and boots of rural Cyprus. every year from veins first mined about 3,000 years ago. One of the island's leading sources of in come today, however, stems from the strategic position of which my friend complained. When Britain yielded her Suez Canal base to Egypt, she moved the headquarters of her Middle East Command to Cyprus. A $200,000,000 construction program-air fields, administrative headquarters, housing for troops and their families-is under way. In addition, more than $30,000,000 a year is reported spent for and by the island's troops. Apart from the current military boom, the British point to improved living conditions during their 78 years of rule. Modern houses of tile and glass brick rise in the shadow of ancient city walls. Malaria, once the scourge of the island, has been wiped out. Denuded mountain areas have been reforested. An ex cellent system of highways, with 760 miles hard-surfaced, has been built. Enrollment in Greek and Turkish schools in 1955 had climbed to more than 85,000. And Britain holds that her military obliga tions in the Near East cannot be met without "assured ... unfettered use" of Cyprus. Thus today, as for 3,000 years, geography subordinates the destiny of Cyprus to the demands of strategy. And the Island of Love continues to play a vital role in the grim busi ness of defense. Notice of change of address for your NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE should be received in the offices of the NationalGeographic Society by the first of the month to affect the following month's issue. For instance, if you desire the address changed for your August number, The Society should be notified of your new address not later than July first. Please give BOTH your OLD and NEW addresses, including postal-zone number.