National Geographic : 1952 Jun
766 Ge ge r'iceo, niree L ions A Turkish Farmer Makes an Offer for Some New "Threshing Machinery" Grain is still harvested by ancient methods on the high plateau. Cut by scythe or sickle, it is gathered with wooden pitchforks. The farmer rides an ox-drawn wooden sled (right) around and around on a com munal threshing floor out on the open plain. Embedded flints break up the ears. Husband, wife, and children toss the chopped grain into the air, allowing the wind to separate wheat from chaff. heavily for his patriotism. He is a jeweler by trade, and his left arm is so shattered that he may never be able to repair a watch or fashion a brooch again. Back in Erzurum, on the way home, I saw other signs of steady Turkish nerves. There are no air raid shelters in this city of 54,000, although Erzurum is only ten minutes' flying time from the Russian border. Turks Keep Cool and Steady My last night in Erzurum showed me a symbol of Turkey's unterrified spirit. Hulusi Koymen, the Minister of Defense, was in town on an inspection trip. The Army commander had arranged a party for him, and I was invited. As part of the entertainment, six lithe young men in white shirts and black sleeve less jackets performed a local folk dance that had come down through the ages (page 765). Clarinet and kettledrum combined in wild music that suggested the skirl of bagpipes. One of the dancers brandished a vicious looking knife as he advanced with catlike steps toward his partner. He twirled the knife under the partner's eyes and nose, but the latter never flinched as he backed slowly away, in time to the beating of the drum. Now it was the second man's turn to take the offensive. He too took out a knife and twirled it as if it were the baton of a drum major in a college band. He advanced on his partner while the music rose. Both men had been within a fraction of an inch of serious injury. Neither had shown so much as a flicker of fear. It seemed to me, watching this spine-tingling performance, that I was seeing the confident, steady-nerved Tur key of today, our newest ally.* * For other postwar articles on Turkey, see, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Turkey Paves the Path of Progress," August, 1951, and "Turkish Repub lic Comes of Age," May, 1945, both by Maynard Owen Williams.