National Geographic : 1951 Aug
186 George Pickow, Three Lions Cappadocia's Sugarloaf Cones, Once Homes and Monasteries, Now Serve as Pigeon Roosts Volcanic towers near Urgiip were hollowed out by early Christians. Some had as many as 10 floor levels. Thousands of doves nest in the chambers. Their guano, collected once a year, fertilizes fields. Commenting at length on what a wonderful year 1950 had been for Turkey, this friend said: "As long as we were a one-party govern ment, we had a lot of explaining to do. But we have no apologies to make for the election of 1950! "Turkey is like a tennis player, to whom Atatiirk taught many of the tricks of the game. But the people, studying democracy in other lands, knew that they were not yet first-class players. The May 14, 1950, elec tion showed that we are at last on the way to becoming first-class democrats." Even under the sultans there was a toler ance, family loyalty, and democratic conduct among the Turks. The 1950 elections, far from violating the people's natural tendencies, gave them political expression. For a young republic, built on the decayed ruins of many centuries of absolute monarchy, that achievement is a source of hope that gov ernment "of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." When Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg, and the weak, extravagant Sultan Abdul Aziz was bankrupting the Ottoman Empire, even the Great Emancipator could not foresee the day when his democratic principles would be sup ported by Turkish bayonets, Turkish ballots, and American bulldozers as they clear the path for progress in Turkey.* * For additional articles on old and new Turkey, see "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Cumulative Index, 1899-1950."