National Geographic : 1962 Jul
TURKEY AND TIMELESS ISTANBUL quickly won ardent devo tees. Many Turkish laws still on the books stem from Justinian's reign, in the days when this city was Constantinople. Local scholars helped us trace the rise and fall of numerous civilizations from two continents that had flowered and faded here where Asia and Europe meet. We saw the mighty Rumeli Hisar, or Eu ropean Castle, and the great mosque of St. Sophia, built by Justinian as a Christian ca thedral. We admired the Byzantine chapel of Kariye, the Sultan's Topkapi Palace, the Roman cisterns. In these and other monu ments, we perceived how antiquity lay over this great city-a metropolis with as rich a texture as a Turkish carpet. But we did not slight modern Turkey. The United States Information Service arranged excellent lectures for us, and one day Lt. Col. Turhan Caglar, then head of Radio Istan bul, invited us to his station. In response to one student's abrupt ques tion, "How do you start a revolution?" the cherubic colonel obligingly'explained how he had been among a handful of military men who on May 27, 1960, had overthrown the government of Premier Adnan Menderes. Student Janet Rogers later witnessed a tense day in the trial of Menderes, accused of high crimes against the state, a trial that led to his execution in September, 1961. Our classroom in Istanbul was a room in the Turkish-American Language Center. It commanded a wide view over the Bosporus and Golden Horn. Outside, winter quietly gave the city a fairy lightness, for all the mosques, floating beneath their minarets, were haloed in falling snow. Our professors spelled out for us the chang es wrought by the social revolution that has swept Turkey in the past 40 years. The cul tural about-face engineered by Mustafa Kemal Atatiirk, first President of modern Turkey, even changed everyday habits of the people: women's faces were unveiled and the Roman alphabet replaced Arabic script. "If you're wondering where the new Turk ish culture is going," a Turkish woman social worker told us, "just look at the teen-agers in Istanbul. They're enthusiastic over every thing American." Since most of us were living with teen aged hosts, we had already noticed her point. Lucy Dances the "Charliestone" "We were at a professional basketball game between Turkey and Israel," Lucy Langohr told us one morning. "Before play began, the Turkish star, Ali Baba-he was my date later in the evening-traded bouquets with the Israeli captain. Then he kissed his flowers and threw them to me. Someone yelled 'Amer ican!' The whole audience burst into cheers, and two photographers flashed away at me. "At a nightclub after the game," she said, "they insisted that I demonstrate the 'Char liestone,' as they called it. My performance and it was pretty corny-brought wild shouts for encores. "Afterward, six carloads of Turkish stu dents followed us home, just to wish me 'Allahsmarladik'-'MayAllah go with you.' " Sunset Fleet Fishes in the Golden Horn Trailing handlines, Istanbul anglers harvest winter wa ters where tunalike palamut feed in vast numbers; they often take feathered hooks as well as bait. Twilight plates the estuary with bronze; frosted rooftops glint with snow. Scaffolding webs min arets under repair at the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent. Turkish schoolboy of Kiiciikbakkal near Istanbul reads his geography home work for his classmates and American guests.