TURKISH DELIGHT


| May/June 1985


108 Garfield Avenue Madison, NJ. 07940

Morton writes in his book, 'In The Footsteps of Saint Paul', that to see Turkey one must see it through the eyes of a Turk. I have just returned from a 2,000 mile circuit of Turkey in the company of an ardent Turkish citizen, Ali Fuat Icel : artist, historian, philosopher and friend. The trip was more than just viewing one ancient ruins after another but rather was a confrontation with history for it truly is a new country in an old land that many will recall as Asia Minor. It is a place where the New Testament reads like a travelogue.

This nation of some 45 million people in an area about the size of Texas and Louisana combined is basically an agricultural economy that has a history beginning before 3,000 BC and which, only in recent times, has it moved into the twentieth century.

One day while visiting Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul, and specifically the well of the ancient city, I wandered through a market street looking into shops only to be approached by a merchant. I thought, 'Oh, no, not another rug salesman.' He smiled broadly and said, 'You American?' I nodded affirmatively and with that he grabbed my hand in his and started shaking it vigorously all the while repeating, 'Good, good!' At least here was one Turkish national who appreciated what the United States has done in its aid programs.



After World War II, t and other subsequent aid programs were not always appreciated fully throughout Europe. A British friend once remarked to me, 'Your American aid really is a subsidy of your own industry,' for what was happening was that our aid money was used to buy American products-... machines and supplies. I wondered, as I noticed such names as John Deere, which they pronounce 'John Deere', just how far and how long that had continued. This is what brought me to observing the farm scene and the tractors now replacing the donkey, the horse and camel.

The high Anatolian Plateau is the breadbasket of Turkey and here was my introduction to the Turkish version of the ubiquitous pick-up truck. Here, the modern farmer owns a tractor that is a machine of many uses.














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