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GERSTL: THE LEGACY

126,250 words

THE LEGACY
Volume One of The Motherland Trilogy

A Novel

By Hugo N. Gerstl
(R28) 2005 by Hugo N. Gerstl

GERSTL: THE LEGACY

Since the dawn of mankind, our land has been a bridge. East and West meet within its frontiers. Warrior and vanquished have spilled, shared, merged blood. The footsteps of forever have crossed our motherland. They have never diminished our spirit, but have added to it. Come, visitor. You are but the latest. Enter, and look into the mirror of man's soul. -Ibrahim, 1912

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3 Prologue

Todays my sixty-first birthday. My God, how did time pass so quickly? Where did the years go? It seems like only yesterday. Turhan Turkoglu. Halide Orhan. Nadji Akdemir. Into the fading pages of time Shortly after I graduated law school, more than thirty-eight years ago, I received my commission in the Air Force. Join the service, see the world. For the first year-and-a-half, "the world" was Luke Air Force Base, west of Phoenix. One day, early in 1968, I got orders to rotate overseas to Ankara, Turkey, for two years. It wasn't Vietnam, but it wasn't exactly Europe. I was disappointed. When it came to serious countries, Turkey wasn't even a player. Or so I thought. Turkey bordered Syria, Iraq and Iran, but it also shared frontiers with Greece and Bulgaria which were in Europe. Hey, I thought. I'd probably be able to get to the continent during my leave time. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all. The official information pamphlet published by our Air Force said Turkey was a land bridge, three percent in Europe, the rest in Asia, that its capital, Ankara, had a population of just over a million, and was a modern, growing metropolis. My sponsoring officer's letters were more candid. "Don't expect your appliances to work. Turkey uses fifty-cycle electricity. You can't drink city water. It only runs two hours a day. You buy bottled water, then put bleach in it. Turkish ideas of hygiene don't meet American standards. Be prepared for culture shock. If you're in an automobile accident and you're only twenty-percent at fault, you can go to jail. The Turks reason different than we do." Not exactly a glowing testimonial. The day I left Arizona, Phoenix broiled. One hundred eighteen in the shade. I

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toured England and Scotland the real Europe before flying to Turkey. I revisited London, the well-tended, rolling hills of Kent, and the Lake District. The West End, where I bought the cheapest theater seats I could find, then moved down to the front row when the curtain went up. Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus and the misty rain that clothed you everywhere you went in this verdant land. Oxford and Cambridge, Stratford and Edinburgh. Loch Lomond and tiny villages in the Cotswolds. And everywhere the luscious, cool greens, High Tea, the Pubs, the wonderfully civilized way they acted and spoke the English tongue. When the PanAm 707 landed at Yeilky airport outside Istanbul, I realized right away that Turkey was different. It looked barren and felt hot and humid. The terminal's air conditioning didn't work. The place reeked of sour sweat, strong tobacco, garlic and onions. It was noisy. People pushed, shoved and elbowed their way through the densely crowded room. The language they bellowed, shouted, or shrieked, was harsh and guttural. When I bought a Pepsi, it was warm, unutterably sugary. The Turkish Airlines turboprop bound for the capital was delayed three hours. When we finally took off, late in the afternoon, we spent two hours bouncing around in choppy air the cobblestone skies of Turkey watching an unending panorama of mottled, brown earth below. By the time the plane landed, the weather was at least tolerable. The drive into the city took the better part of an hour. There was little vegetation. The modern, four-lane superhighway ended five miles beyond the airport. We crawled into Ankara on a pot-holed two-lane road crowded with smoky diesel trucks, buses, and horse carts. My first sight of the Turkish capital was of brightly-colored slum houses crawling up exhausted hills. During my first three months in Turkey, my worst prejudices were confirmed over

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and over again. There was one traffic signal in a city of over a million people. No one paid it any attention. The Turks drove like maniacs. An unbearable screeching sound passed for music, and it was everywhere. Worse yet, every Turkish male under thirty thought he was the current pop singer idol Tom Jones and bawled Delilah almost every hour of the day or night. Everything was "Mashallah" and "Inshallah," "God willing." Winters in Ankara could be brutal. The city sits in a bowl, about five thousand feet above sea level, and crawls up a series of hills. Often, the roads climbing these hills become icy, and it was not that unusual to see cars sliding sideways down these roads. At that time, I lived near the top of one of those hills, in Gazi Osman Pasha, a residential section of town. One day, in the winter of 1968, a taxi pulled up to the curb outside the apartment where I lived. I was surprised to see a Turkish colonel, who knew my father, Edwin Baumueller, come to our door. He presented me with an envelope in which there was a card, embossed on heavy cream vellum paper, inviting me to a small party at his home. Great, I thought cynically. Just what I need. Ive never been one for cocktail parties and the hiding behind social masks that passes for intelligent conversation. Even more disconcerting, at that point, my Turkish was rudimentary at best, certain to embarrass me once I said anything more than, Good evening, my name is On the other hand, how could I refuse him? He somehow felt he owed my father so much, if for no other reason than that father had been his friend in a strange land. Taxis in Turkey were an expensive luxury, an invitation such as he presented was even more so. While we took tea together, hed told the taxi to wait for him outside. Turkey was a poor

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nation. This man had to support a wife and two children on roughly half my salary (and I was a very junior Air Force Captain back then). I realized that good manners, if nothing else, trapped me into saying Id be glad to come. The party started out as boring as Id feared. Raki, the powerful, anise-flavored tigers milk, the alcoholic beverage of choice in Turkey, for which Id never developed a taste. Delicious hors douvres, vapid, rapidly-delivered conversation in a language where I was doing well if I understood every tenth word. Lovely. I tried to make myself as inconspicuous as possible, standing in a far corner of the room. Of a sudden, I heard a gravel-throated growl in perfect English. Is there anything more boring that a cocktail party, Captain? I turned to see a wiry man of about seventy, with thinning, wispy hair, dressed in a threadbare tweed coat, which didnt quite match his gray pants, and brown shoes that looked like theyd been polished with a brick. The look on his face was one of intelligent, amused cynicism. He was smoking an awful-smelling Turkish cigarette and his fingers seemed as permanently stained as his throat, no doubt from years of tobacco use. I dont believe weve met. We havent, but I know your father very well indeed. Im Turhan Trkolu. He held out his hand and we shook, western style. Mister Trkolu? Indeed Ive heard about you. My fathers mentioned your name several times over the years. He told me if I didnt look you up when I came to Turkey hed disown me. He said the two you go back more than thirty years. So now Baumueller fils is an American Air Force captain, he continued in English. He hesitated a moment, while he took a deep drag on his cigarette. Coming from

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Baumueller stock, youre undoubtedly an intelligent, sensitive young man. So what do you think of our country, Captain? Its beautiful. All those antiquities, so much history, great food, low prices I started to say enthusiastically, in what I believed was what a host in a foreign nation wanted to hear. Captain Baumueller, Turkoglu sighed, smiling sardonically. If you keep droning your State Department bullshit, youll be underlining exactly what I said and I imagine exactly what you think about cocktail party palaver. I flushed at the rude manner in which hed cut me off without even allowing me to finish my first sentence. Thats not fair, I said, curtly. All I ask is that you speak honestly. Tell me what you really think? Ulker told me you were one of the few Americans hed met who really was different who really wanted to learn about this place. OK, if you want it straight, this whole country could use a bath and a shave, the sycophants who work for our government smile to our faces and knife us behind our backs, the taxi drivers screw you, and you dont dare leave hubcaps on your car cause theyll be stolen the next day. I was warming to the subject, and whether I was going overboard or not didnt concern me. If he wanted a warts and all description of his country, Id give it to him. Your court system is confusing and takes forever, every Turk Ive met says what a wonderful country this is, but they dont have one nice thing to say about any of their countrymen, your drivers are almost ready for the wheel, and and your young men should learn not to sing Delilah at three oclock in the morning. The last brought a flurry of laughter from two other people whod approached us

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while I was carrying on. I turned to face a tall, strikingly handsome man whom I took to be in his mid-sixties, with iron gray hair and military bearing, and a small, elderly woman, who was bent over like someone in the throes of arthritis, but who had the gentlest, most spirited eyes Id ever seen. I guess you had that coming, Turhan, she said. You and your everlasting search for truth. Bravo, Captain! she said, winking at me. One moment at a time, the small talk unconsciously drifted into larger talk, the kind that builds friendships. After a while, we sat down in an adjoining room. We were just getting into the heart of things, when our host, Colonel Ulker, unobtrusively joined our small group. Excuse me, please, he said. Im sorry to disturb you, but its two oclock in the morning. The party ended hours ago, and my wife and I would like to go to sleep. If you dont mind, Im going to bed. General, he said, addressing the tall man, youve got a key to the door. Lock up when you all leave. That was the first, but not the last, time I met Turhan Turkoglu, Halide Orhan, and Nadji Akdemir. Our paths were to cross again. Not frequently, but always meaningfully. As we all walked down the road of life, there were many changes, some happy, others not so happy. For me, it was a success in my familys newspaper business, a failed marriage, followed by a truly idyllic one; the making of a small fortune and the loss of a larger one at a much later age; and, overall, a peaceful, satisfying life in Connecticut. Throughout the years, one thing has remained a constant: three people in a very distant land, through a haze of fading memories, heroes all. They were my friends. And this is their story. - Edwin Baumueller IV. Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. February 3, 2005.

GERSTL: THE LEGACY

PART ONE

TURHAN

1897 - 1912

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The mottled brown hawk circled slowly over the dun-colored hills, its eye alert for prey, as it flew toward the setting sun. Before it lay the sluggish Euphrates. Behind it, beyond its view, another river, the Tigris, descended from distant mountains. A single telegraph wire, strung on a row of wooden poles, stretched along a dirt road as far as the raptor's eye could see, the only scar across the vast landscape. Usually the outskirts of the village provided ample fare. Field mice, a rabbit. Sometimes, if the hawk were lucky, a very young lamb. Today the fields were empty. The hawk flew over the squat, mud huts with thatched roofs, and stone minarets from the village's two mosques. On the outskirts of the village, a tall spire, attached to a white, wooden building, rose as high as the minarets. The great bird dipped for an instant toward a large, noisy crowd of people, then rose sharply into the sky, wheeled about, and headed east, toward the high mountains. The village was observing Kurban Bayram, the holiday commemorating the patriarch Ibrahim's aborted sacrifice of his son Ishak thousands of years ago. Every Turk who could afford to do so, and many who couldn't, bought and slaughtered a lamb on this day each year, distributing portions of its meat to the truly poor. Near the central square a small, slender Turkish boy with black hair, dark eyes, and tawny complexion held his grandfather's hand tightly. Everywhere he looked, the village's dusty paths were filled with crowds of men and herds of sheep. The gamy odor of animals mingled with the pungent smell of unwashed human bodies. The raised voices and bawling, jittery animals made him nervous, but he forced himself to be brave. After all, Grandfather had allowed him to wear long pantaloons and a turban for the first time. He dare not

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disgrace the older man. He was four years old. Blent the harness maker turned to his grandson with a cheerful wink and said, "Well, Turhan, what do you think, should we buy the white one or the gray?" Turhan pointed to a small, white lamb, a portion of its fleece dyed blue, a symbol of the occasion. "A very wise choice, young master," the shepherd said, fawning over the boy. "Clearly Allah would approve the sacrifice of this whitest of lambs. Now, good sir," he said, turning to the tall, bearded man who held Turhan's hand, "since it pleases the youngster, I'll give you my best price, ten kurush." At that moment a rooster, strutting amidst the crowd, crowed incongruously. Grandfather laughed good-naturedly. "Excuse an ignorant old man, shepherd effendi, but whatever that rooster may think, this is the end of the day. Most villagers have already purchased the best lambs. This scraggly fellow is worth no more than two kurush." "Allah! Would you bargain for blessings on this of all days? I'd sooner give this perfect lamb to the imam, the priest, for nothing. But I won't embarrass you in front of your boy at this holiest time of the year. I will sacrifice my pride, and let you have him for eight kurush." "Four." "How dare you suggest such a thing?" the shepherd wailed. "I spend my lonely life in the fields, day after miserable day, caring for flocks as did Ishak himself. Would you deprive me of my only means of livelihood? The Prophet's shame. Steal from me if you must, but allow me seven kurush so I might purchase a bowl with which to beg on the streets."

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"By the looks of your sheep and your belly you spend most of your `miserable day' sleeping in the shade of an olive tree," the harness maker said, chuckling. "But I feel particularly charitable today. Five." "Six, Effendi?" "Done," Grandfather said. He handed his grandson the rope which secured the lamb. Turhan puffed his chest out with pride as he led the tethered, bleating animal to the alley in front of their home. Grandmother, in her finest clothing, her face partly veiled, saw man and boy coming from several yards away. "Blent!" she called. "What a wonderful lamb you and Turhan have purchased! Come quickly! Everything's ready." She handed her husband a glass of ayran the wonderfully cooling drink of yogurt mixed with water and a kitchen knife. Several neighborhood children gathered round as Grandfather sharpened the knife which he'd used for this very purpose for twenty years. He knew it was kindest to the sacrificial animal if the blade were razor sharp. After he recited the appropriate prayer and thanked Allah for the privilege, Grandfather held up the creature's head. With one deft, clean motion, he drew the blade across the lamb's throat. A gush of blood spurted into the alley, joining a small rivulet formed by sacrifices farther up the way. The little animal collapsed, shuddering in its death throes. Grandfather proceeded to dress the newly

slaughtered lamb, pausing at intervals, to drink from a large glass of ayran. Turhan gazed admiringly at Grandfather. How he wanted to be like this wonderful, strong man! Turhan had never met his mother. He knew only vaguely of her existence. Blent's daughter Lle, uncontrollable from her youngest days, had flaunted her budding, sensual

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beauty to a troop of the sultan's soldiers passing through the village. One night, when her parents were asleep, she quietly left the house, met two girl friends, and stole away to the hills beyond the village. There, several men enjoyed her body. In time, she gave birth to a baby boy. Within days of the child's birth, Lle ran off to Diyarbakir, the provincial capital, leaving the boy to be raised by his grandparents. Blent, who'd fathered no sons, considered this a belated blessing and determined to raise the child, whom he named Turhan, as his own. From the first, a loving bond grew between Turhan and his grandfather. The man took the boy with him to the coffee house, where he would bounce the youngster on his knee and sing old Turkish folk songs to him for hours on end. Although Blent could neither read nor write, he impressed upon his grandson the need for education. "No matter whether you're a harness maker, shepherd, or provincial governor," Grandfather said, "knowledge is the key that unlocks the door to everything." By the time Turhan was nine, he'd learned simple readings from the Koran, and rudimentary knowledge of the Arabic letters used to write the Ottoman alphabet. The village tailor, who earned a few extra kurush each month as a teacher, knew no more than that, so Blent found an educated, eighteen-year-old Armenian boy and hired him to continue Turhan's lessons. Blent's coffee house cronies were unanimous in their protest. "How dare you hire a Christian to teach a Turkish lad?" "Next thing you know, he'll become a Jesus-person. Let the boy become a farmer or merchant. Teach him your trade, Blent." "My friends," the harness maker replied. "If the sultan's government can't provide education for its citizens, that's the state's problem. If they can't find someone to teach my

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boy, that's my problem. If the Armenian can teach Turhan to read and write, I trust enough in my grandson's character to believe he'll know right from wrong when it comes to other matters." Four hundred people lived in the village. There were no streets, only dirt paths set up in an irregular pattern radiating from the central square. The Turkish majority, two hundred fifty people, lived closest to the hub. Greek and Armenian minorities lived on the other side of a small, muddy stream, which usually dried up halfway through the hot, dry summers. Shadran Vartunian, Turhan's tutor, came from the village's poorest quarter. His home was no different from the hovels around it, a mud hut consisting of two rooms with a packed earth floor, which housed seven people. Shadran's father had worked for the nearby military garrison until, crippled with arthritis, he could no longer sew buttons on soldiers' tunics, nor shine officers' shoes each day. Shadran was a just under six feet in height, taller than most men in the village. His hair was the color of light sand. He had clear, wide-set blue eyes. The family had sacrificed what little they had to send Shadran to the Armenian high school, a three hours walk away in the next village. For years, Shadran rose before dawn six days a week to attend classes. He trudged home at night and arrived well after the sun had gone down. He worked at as many jobs as he could find pitching hay, cleaning streets, whatever would bring in a few kurush. When his family expressed dismay that their son would demean himself by teaching a loathsome Muslim, Shadran reminded them that Father had worked for the Turkish military. The family should take whatever he could earn, no

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matter where the money came from. Initially there was a natural wariness between Turhan and Shadran. Each had been warned that the other came from a filthy, backward race. The Ottomans in the kahve hane, the coffee house, told Turhan in no uncertain terms that he was to learn reading and writing from the Armenian, but otherwise avoid the older boy. Above all, he must not discuss anything of substance with the Christian, lest Turhan's mind be poisoned and he give away secrets he was never told what these `secrets' were to this infidel. Shadran's neighbors, in turn, pitied the handsome, young Armenian who was forced to be money-slave to the heathen Turks, barbarians who'd ridden into Armenia from the plains beyond the Indus River, and stolen the land of their forefathers. They told Shadran to avoid any but the most minimal contact with Turhan. Nevertheless, during the next two years, a bond grew between Turhan and Shadran. Although Turhan was much younger than Shadran, the boy was so bright and eager to please that Shadran soon accepted him as a younger brother. Turhan idolized his teacher. "Why do you work so hard, Shadran?" Turhan asked one day. "First, of course, to help my family. But I hope, with the help of Christ Jesus, to attend university one day." "What's `university?'" "A huge, wonderful school, in Constantinople your people call it Istanbul the Mderrise, where there are so many books you could never read them all in your lifetime. You study to be a doctor or lawyer, or anything you'd like to be. Sometimes, when you graduate, you become so famous you can go to a different country. Turhan, if I tell you a secret, will you promise to keep it to yourself?"

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"Word of honor," the smaller boy said, solemnly. "Anatolia is no place for an Armenian to live. Some day, I'm going to leave this village. When I do, I'll never return." Turhan's face fell. "Don't worry. By the time I leave, you'll be grown up. You, too, must see the world beyond. You're a Turk, so you'll be safe enough in the Ottoman Empire. Do you know where I really want to go?" "No" "America." He pronounced the word slowly, with reverence. There was a faraway look in his eye. "America," he said, more softly, as though the word itself was as sweet as lokum, the sticky Turkish candy. "Where's that?" "Far away. Over a body of water almost too huge to imagine. It takes months to get there. They say that anyone who works hard enough can become wealthy in America, that no one ever goes hungry there, and that a man can practice any religion he chooses."

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Early morning the day before Easter, a dozen mounted Turkish soldiers thundered through the streets of Diyarbakir, the provincial capital, slightly more than two days' travel from Turhan's village. The governor was in session with his privy council. A crowd had gathered outside his residence. The atmosphere was ominous. Two officers dismounted in front of government house. Behaving with the

arrogance their German military instructors in Istanbul had taught them would impress the peasants, they strode up to the front door. The provincial governor, flanked on either side by his councilors, acknowledged their smart salute with a curt nod. One of the officers handed him a document. The governor searched through his coat pockets, found his spectacles, put them on, and unfolded the paper. The two soldiers, their faces impassive, remained standing at attention. The administrator turned to his councilors, and then announced to the assembled crowd, "This message from the Minister of the Interior came over the telegraph less than an hour ago: `Esteemed Vali! His gracious and glorious majesty, Abdl Hamid the Resplendent, sends greetings. At this season, the scurrilous, cowardly Armenian community, which has scorned the Prophet's Word while enjoying the sultans' hospitality for a thousand years, is preparing for its annual Christian Easter Festival. Historically, this ungrateful and obstinate minority has used this so-called `religious' holiday as a time for insurrection and testing our national patience. This year is no exception.'" A man coughed. The councilors shuffled about, nervously. The governor continued. "`Only yesterday, Allah-the-Merciful be praised, we uncovered a major conspiracy

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of Armenian revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the duly constituted government.'" There was a loud sigh. The officers turned sharply and glared at the townspeople, looking for the source of the sound. Not finding it, they remained facing the populace in stony silence. The administrator read on. "`We believe it to be the Sultan's will, Allah grant him long life, that officials throughout the Empire take immediate, definitive action to preserve the sanctity and honor of the Turkish people. Let the word go out to every village, in every province. We will not tolerate such treason. We must teach these subject peoples a lesson they will not soon forget." # At the same time, in the provincial military fortress outside Turhan's village, the garrison commander, a burly colonel with olive-colored skin, finished reading the same telegram. "Allah!" he said, wearily, to himself. "Let them do their own dirty work! I will not send my troops!" A young officer rushed in, interrupting his reverie. "Colonel, Sir. They've found dog feces smeared on the mimber, the pulpit of the village mosque, just south of here." # Within minutes of the time the garrison commander received word of the desecration, a throng of furious men gathered noisily inside the mosque. An imam, the priest, walked among them with a water bucket and rags. He washed the dried animal droppings from the pulpit. Throughout the village, word spread quickly. The Turkish community seethed. What work there was in the village was ordinarily completed by mid-morning.

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Women spent the rest of the time before the noon meal haggling in the village's vegetable stalls for potatoes, cabbage, turnips, and greens, to throw into the ever-simmering iron kettle at home. On market days, they bargained for a bolt of cloth, sturdy needles, and thread. The women spent several afternoons each week with their friends, sewing shirts, shalvar, the baggy pantaloons worn by Ottoman women since time beyond knowledge, blouses, and scarves, while they awaited the clang of the brass bell over the bakery door and the fresh, sweet aroma which announced that the evening's bread was ready. There was no social interchange between sexes. Aside from dinner, which was served shortly after noon, men spent most of their day at the coffee house, the real center of their lives. Here they alleviated life's hardships and boredom. They played endless rounds of backgammon, shared news and gossip, told and listened to stories for the thousandth time, and enjoyed a glass of tea or a water pipe. Despite the apparent somnolence of the place, news was conveyed as quickly as though the sultan's telegram had been sent directly to the kahve hane. That afternoon, conversation was heated. "So once again God's Shadow on Earth gives us leave to slaughter more lambs," Blent said, disgusted. "This time Armenians. Tomorrow Greeks." "Caution, Blent," his friend Mahmud advised. "One can never tell when the sultan's spies are about." "Does it matter?" asked the harness maker, bitterly. "How long can we go on pretending to accept this senseless destruction? Abdl Hamid locks himself in the Yildiz Palace, granting Europeans everything they want. The daughter of the muhtar, the

community's headman, is raped in the village square in front of fifty witnesses. With the

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approval of Allah's earthly representative, the guilty Frenchman leaves town untouched, and the grateful French lend our Sultan a little more money. Helpless people suffer for our shame. Have you ever noticed that bloodletting is always encouraged around the time of a religious or national holiday?" All eyes in the coffee house were on him. He stopped, took a long sip of chay, the strong, smoky-flavored tea, then muttered, "Don't expect me to take part in it. I slaughter lambs as the Prophet commands, on Kurban Bayram. Another human being's blood will not be on my hands." Mahmud addressed his friend quietly. "Blent, even as you speak, our people notice things that disturb them. Your grandson's companion, Shadran, is nine years the boy's senior and a grown man. His father, the Armenian pig, is a known socialist revolutionary. Never mind he's an invalid. They're all alike. They smile at you and curse you behind your back." "All his life, I've taught the boy that human beings are created equal. I won't mock my word by showing him our prejudices." "Mind Blent, you make no friends in the Turkish community by condoning such a relationship. I'd watch my home were I you." "Is that a threat?" "No, but one day you may need a favor from our provincial governor or the garrison commandant. It never hurts to exercise discretion." "I'll remember that," Blent said sourly. "Do, my friend, for your own good." Their conversation was interrupted as a man burst through the door. "Come

quickly!" he shouted. "They're stacking firewood down at the Armenian church. Those damned Christians will finally learn their lesson tonight."

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The coffee house emptied. Mahmud turned to Blent. "Well?" he asked. "Are you coming?" "Certainly not," Blent replied. "I must see to the `safety of my own home.'" # Early that morning, Shadran and Turhan had departed the village and gone to the hills to quarry stones. Shadran, hoping to augment his family's meager income, had

borrowed mining tools, a tired old horse, and a creaky cart from his uncle. Each spring meant fresh construction. If parents had a new baby, they needed another room. If a wall had been flooded out during the winter, it needed shoring up. The agha, the district's richest man, invariably wanted fresh stones to line his garden. Now, happily exhausted, they finished loading stones into the wagon. "I don't know about you, Turhan, but I'm going to lie here and rest for an hour before we start back down toward the village," Shadran said. "I think I'll climb to the top of the ridge and survey my kingdom." "Go ahead, my young prince," Shadran said, executing a mock bow. "By your leave, I'll simply take a nap." When he got to the top of the stone ridge, a hundred feet higher than their rock quarry, Turhan looked over the countryside toward the village. This was surely the loveliest time of the year. In two months, the blasting summer sun would bake the ground to the hardness of stone. But for now, a gentle, cooling breeze tempered the suns heat, and there were small, puffy clouds here and there, contrasting with the deep blue of the sky. Although the crest of hill where Turhan stood was sere and rocky, a carpet of young, green grass, interwoven with gold and red flowers, covered the flanks of the foothills below. Sheep fed

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quietly and contentedly in these pastures, the silence interrupted only occasionally by the panicked bleating of a newly-born lamb which had momentarily become separated from its mother. A narrow ribbon of road cut across well-tended fields, green with early growth, toward the village, some three miles distant. There were no women working this late in the day. Their planting, hoeing and tending started before the sun came up each morning. They were invariably finished in time to allow them to prepare the mid-day meal for their men folk and children. The finest land in the area, sheltered from the afternoon sun by gentle slopes, was owned by the Agha, the squire of the area. The village's Ottoman inhabitants farmed the fertile flatland fields between the foothills and the village. Turhan could make out the two minarets and the church steeple, but the village's smaller buildings were blurred and indistinguishable. The Greeks and Armenians, he knew, had a much more difficult time raising crops, for to them was left the rocky, poorly watered soil on the other side of the village. Turhan turned his gaze in the opposite direction. The road coursed through barren wilderness and low, rocky hills until, just at the horizon line, he could barely make out patches of greenish-brown, the outlying fields of another village. When he returned to the quarry, Shadran had just finished harnessing the horse to the wagon. The ancient nag could not have carried the weight up an incline, but the road back to the village was downhill all the way. "Praise Allah!" Turhan said. Shadran crossed himself. They'd gotten halfway to the village when they saw a column of Turkish soldiers

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blocking the road. "Damn!" muttered Shadran. "The whole day's work for nothing. We'll probably lose the horse and wagon as well." The commanding officer raised his hand for them to stop. He inspected the aged horse, the decrepit wagon. Shadran, hunched his shoulders, bowed his head, and mumbled, "Rocks, Sir, nothing more." "Sivri!" the commander called. "See if we can use any of this junk for the fort." The sergeant glanced cursorily at the loaded wagon, then summoned several of his troops. "Major, Effendi," Turhan said, "Why do you want to harm a good man who's only trying to help supply our village?" The officer stepped forward, glaring. "Who might you be, little nit?" "Turhan, grandson of Blent the harness maker, Sir." "I see. Is the filthy Armenian your servant?" "No, Sir. He's my friend." "Your friend? Since when does a Turk cavort with inferior vermin?" "He's not inferior, Sir, he's just like you and me." Turhan's voice halted as the commander sharply cracked a short whip. Its tip grazed his mouth, stunning him. Turhan wiped the back of his hand across his lips. He looked down and saw blood. "Listen, insolent puppy. I don't need such garbage from you. Another word and your relatives will find your body in some ditch between here and your miserable village, understand?" The boy gazed at the officer in shocked silence. "I said `understand?'"

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"Y.. yes, sir," the boy stammered, blushing deeply. "Now, my young spokesman," the officer snarled, "if you have such great love for the Armenian, why are you so cruel to the old horse, which is at least his equal? Eh?" The boy remained mute. From the corner of his eye, he observed the troops. The soldiers varied in years from Shadran's age to a large, fat man who looked older than Grandfather. Their uniforms were dusty. Many had buttons missing. Although the

commander's boots were polished to a coal-black sheen, those of the soldiers looked as if they'd been buffed with rocks. Together, the forces seemed incredibly large, cruel and menacing. "Men," the Captain addressed his soldiers. "Are there any among you who think this poor beast does not deserve to be treated as well as the Armenian?" No one raised a hand. "Very well, then. See how the poor horse suffers under the cruel load she's made to bear for the profit of these vicious taskmasters. Can any of you think of a way to make her happier?" There was a chorus of sarcastic comments. "Tie the Christian to the yoke. Let the horse ride on the seat." "Tether them together. They deserve one another." "See if the Armenian stud can give the old girl some real pleasure," a particularly coarse, fat man remarked. "Enough!" barked the major. "The most humane way to ease the poor old mare is to unload the weight she carries." The men started tossing rocks out of the wagon, quickly, carelessly, breaking several

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as they did so, clearly enjoying their bully's game. "Shall we cut the horse loose and overturn the wagon, Sir?" one of the men shouted. "I don't see why n..." The officer froze in mid sentence as the garrison commander's adjutant rode up and saluted. "Major Ismet, Colonel's orders. All men report to the post immediately. They expect serious problems in the villages." "Is it that urgent we can't have a little innocent fun, Nader?" "Sorry, Ismet, those are my orders." After the soldiers departed, Turhan and Shadran looked sadly at the ruination of their day's work. Turhan started to pick up the stones that had not been pulverized. "Shadran," he said, "perhaps we should stay up in the hills tonight." "I can't," Shadran replied. "If the soldiers were called back to their station in such a hurry, it means trouble. My family will need all the help they can get. I must return home." The pitiful trio passed half a dozen small, sturdily-built farm houses before they came to northern outskirts of the village, an hour later. Just before the main bridge leading into the village, the dirt and small stones of the country road were covered over by a thin, uneven veneer of tar. Over the bridge, the village's main thoroughfare was cobblestoned. Dusty paths led from the street to villagers' homes. The Eski Camii, the larger of the two mosques in the village, was located on the main street, two hundred yards beyond the bridge, abutting Market Square. As the three weary travelers approached the plaza, an Armenian boy, Turhan's age, ran toward them. immediately!" "Shadran!" he shouted. "Father says you must go to the church

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"I must sell these stones first." "What do I tell him?" "Precisely that. Get back to the sanctuary! Hurry!" After Shadran had sold most of the load, a middle-aged man came up and whispered to Turhan, "Our house is on the outskirts. We could hide your friend until things cool down." "He'd never allow that," Turhan replied. "It's the same with all Greeks and Armenians. One day they'll be gone, him sooner than most. Probably won't survive 'til Easter." "Turhan," a shrill female voice called. "Your grandfather says you're to come home this instant." The boy looked at his friend. Shadran motioned him to go. "What will you do, Shadran?" "I'm going to the Lion's Throat." "What?" Turhan asked, amazed. He'd heard that despite the Muslim prohibition against drinking wine, the taverna just outside the village limits prospered from those who regularly bent the Prophet's injunctions. "Why there, of all places?" "To drink with those who'd cut off my balls." "For God's sake, why?" "Because it makes me happy to do so!"

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3 Turhan's grandfather rocked him gently as he would a small child. "But Shadran's no different from me, Baba. Why can't we all just live our own lives?" "The world isn't a fair place, boy. I can't answer why the Creator put Armenians and Greeks here, nor why Turks hate them so much. We live in a tortured land, in a troubled time. Each year, the motherland becomes smaller, food becomes more scarce." "Why don't they move away?" "To where? The Armenians haven't had their own land for nine hundred years. The Greeks belong here in Anatolia as much as we do. Where would they get the means to move? Parts of Greece are poorer than our own land. Christians lived here many centuries before the Prophet revealed Allah to our people. I'm told that many days to the west, they built places of worship in stone caves and decorated the caves with paintings. When they were hunted down by Arabs, they built cities underground." Despite his misery, Turhan was fascinated. He tried to picture the fantastic places Grandfather described. Then his mind returned to the present. "Baba, can't we do anything to make things better for them?" "Nothing. My friends are angry with me because I refuse to join the bloodletting. We must stay inside and wait it out. Now, it's time for you to go to sleep for the night." Turhan went to his room. An hour later, he stuffed pillows under the covers. If Grandfather looked in, he would think the boy was sleeping. He opened the window and quietly slipped out of the house, into the chill evening air.

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A standing village joke was that the only difference between the local garbage dump and the "Lion's Throat" was that the dump smelled better. The taverna's packed earth floor was filled with porters, drovers, criminals, servants, the lowest of the low. The place stank of stale raki, urine, harsh cigarettes, and sweat. More smoke than light emanated from the cheap oil pots at every table. A large, lumpy woman with frowzy moustache and fat, hairy legs, sat on a raised platform, surrounded by two guitarists, a drummer, and a half-drunk saz player. She bellowed songs of unrequited love in a shrill voice, louder and more irritating, than the four instrumentalists combined. No one danced on the small wooden floor in front of them. Turhan searched for his friend. He found the Armenian drinking alone at a table. Shadran looked derisively at the crowd, then spat on the dirt floor. "The cesspools of Anatolia have been emptied!" He laughed bitterly. The music ended. Turhan watched silently. Shadran stood up and walked toward the platform where the vocalist was seated. He tossed a few coins at the woman's feet. The musicians started to play again. He stepped onto the plank floor and began a sinuous, slow, dance, weaving, snapping his fingers in rhythm to the music. The Armenian lost himself in the spirit of his movements, clapping his hands for the band to play faster. Two men came up to the orchestra and spoke to the woman. The music stopped. All eyes in the place turned to Shadran. The woman looked down at the coins, then kicked them off the platform. There was a strained, tight moment of silence, followed by shouts in the distance. Shadran turned and addressed Turhan. "It's started."

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Ordinarily, the evening before Easter was a time of great rejoicing for the village's Armenian minority. Not tonight. The terrified Christians sought sanctuary in their church, guarded by their largest and strongest men. Inside the humble place of worship, women lit candles. The light from these tapers cast faint, eerie shadows across everything in the church. Mothers held their frightened children close to their breasts. Ascetic faces of saints and martyrs, painted hundreds of years before on dark icons that hung on every wall, looked silently down on the pathetic scene. The sour odor of nervous sweat and burning candle wax pervaded the stuffy, closed-in room. Prayers and shrill wails filled the air. Fifty feet from the church, Turhan watched anxiously, as Shadran walked calmly toward the chapel. The Armenian glanced back at the youth and smiled gently. "This is no place for you, Turhan. Things could get ugly." "I know," the boy replied. "But I must stay. You may need me." It did not occur to him to question how he could conceivably help his friend. All he cared about was that Shadran might be in trouble. A hundred Muslim Ottomans gathered outside the church. They shouted raucously as they stacked dried branches and twigs against the wooden walls. More Turks walked toward the building, their arms loaded with wood for the growing pile. Half a dozen disheveled soldiers, led by a huge, sloppy sergeant, helped stack the fuel. Turhan knew this cat-and-mouse game occurred periodically. It was a battle of

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nerves. Invariably, the government sent soldiers to insure that things never got totally out of hand. Suddenly, an elderly Turk shouted, "Death to the Christian pigs!" and threw a lighted torch on woodpile. The Ottoman soldiers looked expectantly at their commander. The fire smoldered. Smoke started to rise. The sergeant hesitated a moment, then said, "Shit, it's nothing but a wooden church. They can put up a new one when it's over." Torches arced toward the building. Turks threw more wood on the pyre. Flames licked at the wooden structure. There was a sharp, concussive crack as a dry log burst with a sound louder than rifle fire. Turhan coughed in hacking gulps, as he breathed in acrid smoke. He heard the shrill scream of women and children from inside the church as the Armenians realized the building was burning. One wall of the church had caught fire. Desperate Armenians inside started to batter windows with anything they could find. Turhan realized they were doing the worst thing possible. Smoke poured into the interior of the burning edifice. The Armenians's screams turned to choked gasps. The Muslims outside took up the chant, "Death to the pigs! Death to the pigs!" There was an abrupt shattering of glass. With an agonized scream, a small girl, her long black hair ablaze, leapt from the building. As she hit the open air, fire ignited her dress. Within moments, she was a writhing pillar of flame. Turhan stood transfixed, helplessly doing nothing, nauseated by the sweet smell of the child's searing flesh. Before Shadran reached the church, several Turks blocked the church's front door, barring the Armenians' exit. Flames ate away at two sides of the building. There was an explosion like a cannon shot. The roof caught fire. Bedlam erupted as the Armenians found they had no means of escape.

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"Turhan, the door!" Shadran shouted. Before anyone could stop him, Shadran smashed the commanding sergeant's nose with his closed fist, then drew a small knife from his belt and slashed the man's throat. An instant later, he grabbed the dead man's pistol and fired three shots into the nearest soldier. The front door of the church was momentarily left unguarded. Turhan rushed forward and yanked it open. Armenians, some covered with flaming cinders, burst out of the burning building. A dozen Turks covered Shadran like ants on a crumb of honeyed bread. Through smoke-glazed eyes, Turhan saw others butchering helpless Armenian men, women, and children, indiscriminately. Suddenly a group of the attackers turned on Turhan. "There's the turncoat who opened the door and let them escape! Let's teach the little bastard a lesson!" Turhan bolted, hysterical, and started to run, but he had waited too long. Within moments, his legs were knocked out from under him. Massive arms pinioned him and dragged him back toward the church. He flailed, bit skin wherever he could find it, scratched and gouged anything soft with his nails. A great open palm slapped him across the face, harder than he'd ever been hit in his life. He felt an incredible wave of pain. As he blinked through tears, Turhan saw that the church was now completely ablaze. The mob had strung up half a dozen Armenians, Shadran among them, to wooden posts they'd thrown up during the melee. His arms and legs bound, Turhan was thrown to the ground at Shadran's feet. A huge brute of a man crushed him under one heavy foot, as one would an insect. He looked down at Turhan with contempt. "Far be it from me to keep such good friends apart," he said, viciously. "Blood brothers are you?" Shadran glared at Turhan's gross, sweaty tormentor, raised his head, and spit in the man's face. The enraged Turk muttered, "All right, goat turd. If it's blood brothers you want

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to be, blood brothers you shall be. You filthy Jesus-lover, I'll make a Christian symbol of you!" He took a rusted, short-handled knife from its scabbard, and slashed it horizontally across Shadran's throat, severing the jugular. While the Armenian gurgled in his death throes, the Turkish soldier pulled the knife in a downward motion, from Shadran's forehead to his groin, slashing him open in the shape of a cross. "Don't kill the other one!" someone shouted. He's a Turk. We could get into trouble." "I won't. I'll let the governor deal with the little bastard." Turhan felt a gush of warm liquid and raised his eyes. Shadran's blood streamed onto his head and face. He gagged as Shadran's body, relieved of muscular control, voided its bowels. The smell of feces mingled with that of sour sweat, half-digested food and death. Shadran's intestines and organs, cut loose by the soldier's knife, dropped onto Turhan's head, and tumbled into the dust where he lay. Turhan screamed until he felt himself being kicked in the face. Then, mercifully, he fainted. # In the prison yard, twenty desperate, frightened Armenians sat on the ground amidst blood, vomit and excrement. Turhan sat among them, holding Shadran's peasant cap. A boot nudged him. "Up, little pigshit Armenian lover! They want you inside." Turhan was half-lifted, half-dragged to a side entrance of the governor's district office. The guard held a wooden club above his head, and muttered, "Not a word,

understand?"

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The boy nodded meekly. The guard shoved him into the building. Turhan found himself in a small holding cell. There was a narrow, screened opening, through which he could see the governor's office, a large, square room. Grandfather sat in a chair, opposite the administrator, looking submissive, shrunken. The governor, a rotund, greasy-looking man of sixty, sat at a massive, walnut desk. The two men spoke in hushed tones. A boy brought in limon cologne a small jar filled with water-diluted lemon juice. Each man sprinkled some on his hands, face and neck. The lemon water did not camouflage the stench of fear that permeated the place. "Once these unfortunate matters start, they must run their course," the governor began. "It's so regrettable the Christians had to start these troubles. With Allah's help, I fervently hope all men, even Armenians, may live in harmony one day." He sighed dramatically. "Wisely said, Excellency," Grandfather responded, fidgeting. The governor smiled gently. "Don't worry, my friend. They'll bring him shortly. A shame one of our honorable Turkish boys somehow got mixed in with the real criminals. Dreadful. Dreadful." "I'm so grateful to you, Excellency." "No problem at all, my friend. I like you, Blent, Effendi. Your fine, upstanding reputation has preceded you." Grandfather looked as if he did not for a moment believe this. If anything, the governor's spies, present everywhere, knew exactly where he stood on the issues. Nevertheless, he must endure the administrator's indignities. "In my insignificant village, we all know of Your Excellency's reputation for justice and mercy," he said humbly. "Indeed, I'm pleased to hear that. I make almost no money here. You realize that,

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Effendi. I am only here for the service I can render my subjects." At the mention of money, Grandfather reached into his pocket. "And we are all so very grateful, Your Excellency." "A man can only try his best," the governor continued silkily. "And I do help my people in any way I can, Blent, Effendi. Would you not agree?" Grandfather nodded. "You are a harness maker? I'm told your work is of the finest quality and that you've prospered in your village. They say there's a waiting line for your excellent craftsmanship." "With your help, and that of Allah, I survive, Your Honor." "That makes me happy, Blent, Effendi. Very happy indeed." There was a rustle at the cell door. Turhan felt the iron grip of the guard's hand on his upper arm. He was propelled into the governor's office. Grandfather's face turned ashen. The governor smiled benignly and extended his right hand. As if on cue,

Grandfather rose from the hard, straight-backed wooden chair in which he'd been sitting. His hand came out of his pocket. As he bent over to kiss the governor's hand, grandfather pressed several Ottoman bills into it. The two men resumed their seats. Turhan caught a glimpse of himself in a large mirror on the office wall. His eyes were black, swollen nearly shut. His hair was matted and greasy, pasted to his head. He was pale. His clothes were caked with an accumulation of dried black matter. He gathered from the wrinkled noses of both men, that his stench must be overpowering. "Now we must at all costs protect the young man," the governor said. "Of course, he cannot stay in the village. He would almost certainly be subjected to retribution at the hands of Greek or Armenian thugs. I think it best that he move to the city where he can be under

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my protection." Grandfather gasped at this unexpected turn of events. Turhan bit down hard on his lower lip. He said nothing. "Is there anyone with whom the lad could live?" the governor went on smoothly. "I believe his mother resides in our provincial capital, does she not?" His smile was

benevolent. Grandfather looked as though he'd swallowed a live snake. "Yes indeed," the governor continued. "I think it would be best for all concerned if he were safely away from the village for a while." "How long, Highness?" asked grandfather, his voice hoarse. "That will depend on how things go. Let's just say the boy's stay will be indefinite, but not necessarily permanent." He smiled at the two supplicants and clapped his hands. A servant entered with a tray of refreshments. At the governor's signal, he offered steaming glasses of tea to Blent and Turhan. The governor proposed a toast. Grandfather, who appeared humiliated, begged his leave. "My friend," beamed the administrator. "You wouldn't dream of offending your host, would you?" The harness maker, managing a forced smile, choked down the drink. Within a quarter hour, the two were dismissed. Turhan's body was a mass of pain and stiffness. Only now did he grasp the magnitude of what had happened. His closest friend had been slaughtered for no reason at all, except he was Armenian and had tried to defend his community. Grandfather had been forced to cower before a greasy, bald-headed little man who, with a few carelessly dropped words, had torn the family apart and condemned him to an unknown, but dreaded, fate.

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Grandfather had taught Turhan that Allah was good. If this were so, how could the all-knowing God allow such things to happen to him, to Grandfather, to Shadran? How

could Allah give power to such men as soldiers, prison guards, the governor? If there was an Allah, there must be justice. There must be a way for the weak, those whose faces were pushed in the dirt every day of their lives, those who had to grovel before those small, evil men in power, to balance the scales of justice. "I swear by Allah I wont forget this," Turhan said with grim determination. "Ill get even for this. I swear I will show that good men can win." Grandfather said nothing. His face was tight. Behind them, Turhan heard the governor welcome another supplicant, an elderly, frightened-looking Armenian. Turhan had seen the man sitting with his hat in his hands, a few moments before. "Ah, Pan Harabedian, my friend," they heard the governor say. "It is my pleasure to be of aid to all my subjects. Please, please come in. I am at your disposal. Of course I will try to be of any assistance I can."

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In Istanbul, many miles and a world away, His Imperial and August Majesty, Allah's Shadow on earth dwelt in the sumptuous Yildiz Palace, in the most magnificent city in the world. Abdl Hamid, the dour, reactionary old man, who'd sat on the tulip throne for thirtytwo years, scoffed at whispered suggestions that the Empire he ruled with an iron hand was crumbling. One need only look at a map of the Eastern Mediterranean an Ottoman lake to give the lie to the prattle spread by idiotic European doomsayers. True there'd been some losses in the past century. Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the northern Balkan peninsula and parts of Russia were no longer part of the Empire. And Allah-cursed Greece had declared its socalled "independence." But the entire Middle East, from Syria to the Persian Gulf and down into the Hijaz was still firmly in Ottoman hands. The African lands of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica still swore allegiance to the Empire. Life had been easier when Abdl Hamid had first ascended the tulip throne. Reformists had deposed Abdlaziz, the weakling whod ruled from 1861 until 1871. Then Murad, who'd replaced Abdlaziz had gone insane after only three months on the throne, and the reform-minded minister, Midhat Pasha, had paved the way for Abdl Hamid's elevation to Sultan. Midhat Pasha, that old fool, had believed that Abdl Hamid seriously intended to abide by the so-called "representative" parliament. Abdl Hamid had shown him a thing or two. Within a year of the Sultan's ascendancy, Midhat Pasha had been dismissed and

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murdered, the parliament disbanded. For the next quarter century there'd been no more foolish talk of "reform." Abdl Hamid had never cared much for Dolmabahche, that outrageously ugly monstrosity of a European "palace," built by Abdlmecid some fifty years before. The damned thing, which had replaced Topkapi as the Sultan's residence after four hundred years, was an overstuffed eyesore in the middle of European Istanbul. If only the money squandered on that ridiculous fiasco had been used to modernize the Ottoman military machine But it was too late to look back on what had been. Nowadays, Abdl Hamid didn't wander far from his own Yildiz Palace across the Bosphorous. Rather, he enjoyed the view of his capital from the windows of the jewel-like castle. The yalis sumptuous summer homes of the very rich lined the European and Asiatic shores of the strait which separated the Black Sea from the Sea of Marmara. Modern buildings climbed the hills of the capital, a sure sign of healthy progress. How dare anyone say that his was the capital of a decaying Islamic superpower? Several miles away from the Sultan's residence, across the Bosphorous and south of the Golden Horn, spread Turkish Istanbul, which some called "Queen City of the World" and more called "the Whore of the Ages." Just as the whole of Istanbul was a world away from Turhan's village, so was the old quarter of Stamboul, just over the Galata Bridge, a universe away from Pera and Galata, the city's European enclave. From the Yeni Mosque, which was not "new" at all, at the southern end of the bridge, Stamboul crawled gaudily up its seven hills, through streets and alleys congested with humanity day and night, to the ever more grandiloquent, ostentatious mosques at the top of each hill. Aya Sophia and Sultanahmet, which Europeans insisted on calling the "Blue"

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Mosque, Sleimaniye, the exquisite treasure built by Sinan, the greatest Ottoman architect of all time, and the Fatih, Beyazit and Selim mosques. Day and night there was the noise of the marketplace, the silence of the mosques, vast wealth and the desperate poverty of hopeless immigrants who'd come to the capital in search of fortune. A peddler hawking old shoes pushed a rheumy hand-cart along one of the narrow, filthy alleyways that crawled through the old quarter of the city. The muffled moans of a boy of eleven issued from a dilapidated shack fronting on the alley. The peddler had heard such sounds before, more times than he cared to remember. They didn't affect him. Coughing up phlegm, he spat a wad of it toward the nearest curb and moved his cart farther up the alley. Inside the shack, the boy, Abbas, tried to stifle the scream he felt would burst from him as he raised his arms to fend off the blows from his face. "I'll teach you to talk back, you little shit!" Ahmet snarled. "Is that how you speak to your father, huh, you little worm? Who do you think you are, one of those fancy Jews with a shop in the Grand Bazaar? An Armenian overlord? The Greek scum that lords it over me every day? Take that!" He kicked the boy viciously in the shins. As the youth fell and rolled into a fetal position, the man continued to kick him in the stomach, the legs, the ribs. Abbas felt a crack and a searing pain as one of his father's heavy boots caught him just below the chest. He could no longer hold back. He screamed out, his reserve broken. He gasped for air, unable to pull in enough to cry out again. "Allah damned Jews!" the man spat, turning away from his sobbing son. "They own everything. They run everything. I break my back hauling their loads halfway across the city and kiss their rear ends for what? The lousy kurush they give me for an hour's work?

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Not enough money to buy bread for my own children. I'm sick and tired of it! I'll be dead in a year and what'll they do then? I'll tell you what they'll do. They'll hire another hamal and work him 'til he dies as well." The man stopped his tirade long enough to guzzle a drink from a cheap bottle of raki. He belched loudly, and walked out of the room without a backward glance at his son, who lay there with two broken ribs, his eyes puffed shut, moaning incoherently. Soon enough, the man was snoring in a drunken stupor. It was like that almost every evening. Ahmet led a bitter life. A hamal a human beast of burden he occupied the lowest rung on Istanbul's social ladder. He was illiterate, a peasant who'd left his village many years before to make his fortune in the capital. Now he was thirty-five years old, but walked with the crabbed gait of a man twice that age, his back a permanent mass of arthritic pain. Still, he continued to haul more than a hundred pounds of anything he was hired to haul meat, furniture, fertilizer, it made no difference several miles at a time for barely enough to purchase bread for his family and raki for himself. Abbas was the youngest of three children. Hamra, his oldest brother, had taken their father's abuse until he'd reached fifteen and towered over Ahmet. One day, six months ago, Father had gone too far and started paddling the back of Hamra's knees with a stick. Hamra had grabbed the stick and cracked it over the old man's skull, stunning him. The other two children prayed silently that their brother had done him in, but, alas, the hamal's skull was so thick the wood shattered. Like an enraged bull, Ahmet charged his eldest son. Hamra managed to dodge his father easily. As the older man reached out and lost his balance, Hamra pushed him down and started kicking at the old man's thick neck. But Ahmet was as tough and leathery as an ox. He reached out, grabbed his son's

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ankle and pulled Hamra down. In the ensuing scuffle, Hamra lost three of his front teeth and his nose was broken before he'd managed to break away and run from the hovel. Abbas had not seen him since. After Hamra left, there was one less boy to share the vicious cruelties. Bakhar, twelve, had whispered to his brother a week ago that he wasn't going to take their father's "discipline" much longer. "Where would you go, Bakhar?" "Doesn't matter. Anything's better than this. Maybe a Jew in the Grand Bazaar would take me on as a worker." "Don't talk like that! It's thanks to the Jews we have this for a father." "You really believe that, Abbas? Don't make me vomit. That old bastard would blame Allah Himself for his troubles. He's just an old sot who's still got the strength to beat up on his children." "But he's still our father..." "Yours maybe. Not mine, Abbas. Come with me when I leave. We wouldn't starve, you know. We could go to the sultan's soup kitchens." "Bakhar! You can't mean that!" But Bakhar did mean it. Three days ago he'd gone and now Abbas was the only one left to endure his father's wrath. His mother, Basra, was little more than a silent hulk, who invariably covered her face with a heavy black shroud, even in the house. The quivering, useless cow had never so much as raised her voice on his behalf. He felt no love for the woman. All women were pretty much the same. Weak, ugly, and useless. But he was trapped. He didn't know where Bakhar had gone. He was too young to brave the world

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alone. He would simply have to endure as best he could. Abbas harbored great anger toward his father. But he believed in his heart that the old man was right. If it wasn't for the foreigners the Greeks, the Armenians, the Frenchmen, but most especially the Jews the family could have been wealthy. Then Father would have been happy. And there'd have been no more beatings.

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6 The governor soon forgot all about Turhan. During the week following Easter, he traveled to all parts of his province, for there had been many fires the night of the sultan's telegram. As he said, it was his desire to be of assistance to all his subjects. Shortly after he returned to Diyarbakir, the governor's wife was seen wearing an expensive Russian fur. The administrator did nothing to quell the ensuing gossip. At least now his wife would cease questioning him about his monthly trips to Mosul. Praise Allah she didn't know he'd purchased a similar sable for that delicious Syrian girl. Turhan was the only Ottoman and by far the youngest of the six in his village who'd been banished to the provincial capital. The sad party, chained together and guarded by three mounted soldiers, marched overland for two days, until they reached the outskirts of Diyarbakir. When the sun rose on the third day, Turhan saw the ancient black, basalt walls that surrounded the city. As soon as they'd arrived in the central plaza, he was unshackled, and found himself facing a tall, gaunt woman with stringy black hair, a dark growth of moustache on her upper lip, and a sallow complexion. "You must be Turhan," she said coldly. "I'm Lle, your mother. Follow me. Try not to make too much of a nuisance of yourself." Despite his fear, homesickness, and unease with this strange, garishly dressed woman, who reeked of foul odors like the goats outside Grandfather's home, Turhan was excited by the sights and smells, the noise and bustle of this ancient crossroads. Diyarbakirs center was a large, rectangular plaza. Stalls of all shapes and sizes filled its central market. Jewelers peddled their wares in one part of the marketplace, fishmongers in

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another, cloth merchants in a third. There were egg sellers and butcher stalls. Everywhere he looked, boys his own age ran through the market selling glasses of tea. A large, stone bakery stood near the plaza, steam rising from its roof. courthouse, and inns ringed the central square. Turhan's mother led him to a poor quarter, crowded with small, ugly mud-brick hovels. The alleyways were narrow. Turhan inhaled the pervasive odors of frying onions, tallow and urine. The dirt-and-cobblestoned streets were surprisingly free of dung. Most horses and mules had burlap or canvas bags fitted over their rear ends. "They save everything here," the woman remarked. "They sell the manure to farmers in surrounding villages." Lle's hut had but a single room. Where Grandfather's home had always been neat, swept free of dirt, her place was greasy and smelled rank. Toward the rear of the room was a stone sink that held four small plates and three chipped bowls caked with dried food. In another corner, a lumpy mattress with a grease-stained blanket thrown haphazardly on top sat against the wall. In answer to his querying gaze, Turhan's mother said, "Don't expect Topkapi Palace. The kurush don't come easily. You can sleep on the floor until you find some rags to lie on. His gracious worship, the governor, didn't give me much notice you were coming. No one sent me money to take care of you. There's soup in the pot." "Grandfather gave me some money," Turhan said. "You can have it if you want." The woman pocketed the coins without bothering to thank him. A grimy black kettle hung over the small fireplace. Turhan gagged as he stuck his finger into the tepid, slimy liquid and licked the sour, rancid-tasting stuff. "I never pretended to be the Sultan's chef," his mother said. Administrative offices, the

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Turhan said nothing. "Listen, boy," the woman said harshly. "You may as well know things happen around here that won't please you. I don't make much money cleaning other peoples' houses. Many nights I work right here." Turhan raised his eyes questioningly. "Whether you're here or not doesn't make any difference to my `friends.' Just keep quiet and stay out of the way." Soon enough, Turhan found out what his mother meant. From time to time, Lle told her son she was "entertaining company." Different nights, different men. Smelly, greasy, usually drunk on cheap raki. Often, he fell asleep to the sound of grunting, harsh breathing, and heavy coupling in the other corner of the room. Other nights, the sticky, sweet smell of hashish pervaded the room, and his mother's eyes glazed over. Those times, she would not respond sensibly to anything Turhan asked. Grandfather came to Diyarbakir three months after Turhan was banished from the village. Turhan met him at the city's edge. The boy was shocked to see how bad the old man looked. Grandfather's once bright eyes were dull, lifeless. He'd become cadaverously thin. "Grandfather ...?" "Don't say it, boy," the old man croaked, his voice hoarse. Turhan hugged his baba. Grandfather felt so shriveled, so frail. The boy couldn't stop the hot tears from flowing, and didn't try. "Can't I come back, baba? I'll promise the governor anything. I'll lick his boots if need be."

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The old man held his grandson at arm's length. Turhan could see the man's rheumy eyes flickering with a fire long banked. "Is that the lesson you've learned, boy? To be ground under the dust like a worm? To have a man spit in your face and pretend it's raining?" "But Baba ...?" "I know," the old man whispered. "I didn't set a very good example, did I? But I believed if I could keep you with me a few more hours, a few more days ... Now, those days are not many ..." "Baba, no!" Turhan said, a rising urgency in his voice. "I had to come, boy. Don't you understand? I had to see you one more time. I love you, boy." Turhan's tears flowed copiously now, and his body shook. "There, there," the old man said, rocking him as gently as he had on that terrible night a lifetime ago. They sat together, man and boy, on the outskirts of the city for little more than an hour. They said little. Grandfather continued to rock Turhan from time to time. Sometimes he sang the silly little folk songs he'd sung when Turhan was very young. His voice was scratchy, now, and he coughed a lot in between the lines. And at the end, Grandfather hugged the boy for what seemed far too short a time. Turhan, I will never forget the courage you showed that night. One day you will be a lion who will eat the likes of the governor." Shortly afterward, Grandfather took his leave. Turhan watched through his tears as the man walked back toward the village that had been their home. Once a giant among men, he was now a pathetic, stooped figure, who stopped every few moments as ragged coughing savaged his body.

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Within a year of Turhan's exile to Diyarbakir, Sultan Abdl Hamid, the Shadow of God on Earth, was unceremoniously deposed. The governor quickly departed the province of Mesopotamia amid reports that substantial sums were missing from the provincial treasury. For several weeks, Turhan waited for the call to return to the village, which never came. Five months after Turhan had last seen Grandfather, he learned that Baba had passed away. The doctor said it was cancer. Turhan knew better. It had been cancer of the soul. By the time Turhan heard of Grandfather's death, it was too late to attend the funeral. Turhans sorrow now turned to anger. Shadran and Grandfather both dead within the year. His own life turned upside down by the thoughtless wave of an official's hand. Even as he came to accept that this was the way of the world, he determined he would fight back.

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7 Turhan's fascination with Diyarbakir outlasted those first weeks. There were

hundreds of stone buildings. Wealthy merchants rode in fine carriages. There were wide streets. Caravans, headed in every direction, stopped briefly in the provincial capital. Men spent countless days in coffee houses, gossiping, playing backgammon. Kurds, their heavyflanked horses foaming, pounded over the city's streets, madly galloping to Allah-knewwhere. Turhan envied these untamed tribesmen who owed allegiance to no one, who roamed freely wherever they wanted, from Diyarbakir to the very gates of the far-off Persian capital. Soon, Turhan learned that men from the outlying areas rarely, if ever, moved up the rungs of city society. Most returned to their native villages within a few years, failures. The best they could truthfully say was that they'd lived in their small world's great city. Most lied about why they returned, masking the real reason so they could be heroes to their village cronies. They talked of marvelous carriage rides and shiny black horses, failing to add that only the wealthy rode thus, and that when they had ridden at all, it had been in community buckboards, smelling of horse urine and human sweat. The horses which pulled these wagons were ancient hacks, fed a combination of stale hay and sawdust which kept them barely alive. Sharp, narrow ribs poked through splotched, unkempt hides of these sway-backed, spavined beasts. Turhan had seen them drop in the streets. Their owners whipped them, even after they'd fallen. When the corpses did not stir after half-an-hour of such abuse, their bodies were dragged off to an unknown destination.

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Returning villagers told of magnificent lamb shish-kebab and shashlik, which they'd seen in the city's fabulous restaurants. They did not say that their meals had consisted of the same flat bread and goat cheese they'd cursed in Chermik, Antak, or any of the thousand villages spread throughout this part of Turkey. Life for Turhan was far worse in Diyarbakir than it had been in the village, but he couldn't afford to return home. His meals consisted of overcooked rice and decaying vegetables. Once in a great while, there was thin gruel, with slimy remains of gristly meat. Conversation between Turhan and his mother was non-existent. One evening, she said, "Listen, boy. You've been here nearly a year. I can't afford to feed, house, and clothe you any longer. It's time you earned your keep." "What do you mean?" "I work too hard by day, cleaning other peoples' fancy places. I can't steal enough to make it worth my while. Lately I've been too tired to carry on my night work. I could make a much better living for us by doing the other kind of work full time." Turhan felt ill. He was hardly an innocent, but hated still to hear his mother speak so directly of how she made their extra money. "I can't wander through the marketplace advertising my wares," she continued. "I need an agent. Instead of wasting your time in the marketplace every day, you could be finding work for me." "Sell my own mother? Have you no shame?" the boy shouted angrily. The woman slapped him hard across the face. "Don't you dare lecture me!" she screamed. "Where do you think I get the money to feed you? You have the run of this city, acting like a nobleman. Have you been to school for one day? Have you done anything,

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anything at all, to show your thanks? Don't tell me how to live! Men use my body, but at least they pay for it! You have the gall to eat my food, and sleep in my home for nothing. You've known since you got here exactly how I earn my living. If you don't want to help me, find another way to earn money or get out!" Turhan rose to his feet. He threw his soup bowl against the wall, shattering it. "You have no right to ask me to secure business for you," he said grimly. "You said nothing for a year. Now you suggest such an unnatural, ungodly thing? Allah's shame on you. You want to be rid of me? Now you are!" He calmly walked out of his mother's house, vowing never to return. Turhan soon found he wasn't the only refugee who slept in alleys and under the bridges of the Dijle the Tigris River which flowed just beyond the city walls. He hunted through garbage containers in back of food stalls. Occasionally, he begged scraps at the end of a market day. Others fought their poverty by petty thievery. Stealing was a way of life in Diyarbakir and early afternoon was the best time. After a heavy lunch of greasy fried foods, shopkeepers were ill-inclined to give chase for the couple of apples that disappeared from their stand. One afternoon, Turhan saw an opportunity he couldn't resist. There was commotion in the marketplace. A wooden cart laden with bolts of cloth collapsed. The man and woman who owned the wagon, fearing the loss of their merchandise, called out for help. A fat butcher nearby wiped his bloodied hands on a soiled apron and waddled over to help his fellow merchants. Turhan flashed past the butcher's stall, snatched a lamb loin as he ran, and reversed his direction. Within moments, he hid among a crowd of people watching a puppet show.

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Still breathless, he secreted the lamb under his loose-fitting clothing. Suddenly, he felt his arm frozen in an iron grip. "Are you certain you want to do that?" a deep, authoritative voice asked. Turhan looked around, terrified. He was staring into the hard face of a market policeman. "Perhaps you and I should walk back to where you were a few moments ago." The boy trembled as they approached the butcher's stall. Fear of an unknown fate mingled with shame at having betrayed grandfather's teachings, disgrace at having been brought to this low station. "Good afternoon, Jelal Bey," said the market officer. "You no doubt missed a slab of lamb from your stand when you returned from helping Abdullah and Gl?" "That's true, Sergeant Enver." "It was not a dog who seized the meat. Rather a different animal." He shoved the youth toward the butcher. "Do you want to press charges?" "Hmmm. What do you think, boy?" Turhan summoned his last shred of dignity and gazed, unblinking, at the fat man. "I believe you should, sir. I make no excuse for what I did. I was hungry. I stole the meat from you. I'm prepared to take the consequences." "Do you know what those consequences are?" "No, sir." "You're willing to accept them anyway?" "Yes, sir. My grandfather told me when you do something you know is not right, you must be ready to accept what punishment you deserve." The butcher looked surprised. This was not the usual response. "Perhaps, Officer, you might release him to my custody. I doubt if he'll run far, will you boy?"

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"No, sir." "Very well, then. Thank you for performing your job in a most exemplary manner." He handed the officer a large cut of the finest lamb. "Thank you, Jelal Effendi," the policeman replied, gratefully. He departed. "Who are you, little thief?" "I'm not a thief, sir," said Turhan. "You admit you stole?" "Yes, sir." "Why?" "I was banished from my village for helping save Armenians when Turkish soldiers burned down their church. The governor sent me here to live with my mother. I left her home because she and I had a disagreement. I can't remember when I last tasted meat, sir." "And you stooped to thievery to do it?" "What else could I do?" "You could have found a job selling tea, running errands." "Effendi, the city boys take every job there is. They protect their territory. If I tried to compete with them, I wouldn't survive 'til next sunrise." "What's your name, boy?" "Turhan, sir." "Turhan, it's now the late afternoon. Come with me for a short walk. I want to show you something."

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Jelal led the boy toward a narrow alley two blocks from the market square. Even before they reached the place, Turhan heard pathetic wails and was sickened by a terrible stench. As he entered the alley, he saw men and women in varying states of mutilation. The least injured held out a stump of what used to be a right hand and begged for food. A woman close by, wearing torn rags that barely covered the scabrous, pustulating sores all over her body, cackled meaningless words at a man with neither arms nor legs, who was propped up in a makeshift wagon. Turhan wanted to run. Jelal held him firmly in tow. "Beggar's Alley. Some were born that way. Most weren't. The ones with normal bodies but missing hands were convicted of stealing. In this part of the world, thieves have been treated the same since the days of the Prophet. The right hand is cut off at the wrist." Turhan knew the consequences of such an amputation and shuddered. In the village, men ate from a community pot. Always always a man dipped into the pot with his right hand, and only with his right hand. The left hand was used for wiping oneself after defecation. No man would dream of placing his left hand into food. To do so would sentence him to death by stoning. "A man without his right hand is automatically branded a thief," Jelal said, "not fit to eat with anyone of honor. He begs, he steals again, or he starves. If he's caught stealing a second time, he loses his other hand. I don't think I need to point out what happens after that." "Allah bless your footsteps, Effendi," the boy said. "How can I thank you for not condemning me to such a life? Please let me pay you back in any way I can." "Very well, boy. You start tomorrow. A week's labor will cure the insult and repay

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the bounty I gave the policeman. If you prove the fellow I think you are, we'll see about a regular job for you. You may be able to eat meat after all."

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8 For the first year that he worked for Jelal, Turhan lived with his employer. During that time, he learned that the butcher was far different from most merchants in the marketplace. For one thing, the man was scrupulously clean. No matter how soiled he appeared at the end of the day, he invariably came to work next morning in a freshly laundered shirt, and his apron was clean and white. He washed his hands, face and arms several times a day in the public fountain that ran outside the nearby mosque, and insisted that Turhan do the same. The youth found it easy to perform this injunction, for Grandfather had always insisted on cleanliness back in the village, and he'd found the filth in his mother's home an abomination. During the hottest time of day, between the time the sun was at its zenith and late afternoon, Jelal covered his meat with a cloth net so the flies would not get to it. Jelal was a widower, but he was far from a recluse. As Turhan soon learned, ladies of all stations sought Jelal out. His home was large, well-appointed and situated in one of the city's better quarters. "Just because one works in the marketplace doesn't mean one has to live like a poor man," Jelal told his young charge. "I've been more fortunate than most. For more than twenty years, I've made a good living as a butcher. If youre honest and give people good service and good quality, theyll find their way to your stall." Turhan's mother hadn't cared a fig whether the youth had been present when she brought home her male "friends." Jelal, although completely candid about his social

activities, was far more urbane and diplomatic. He made no attempt to hide the fact that occasionally he brought home a woman.

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Within a few weeks after Turhan moved in, Jelal noticed the youth's discomfort around his women friends. The butcher was not only wise in the ways of the world, but had the special gift of good timing. Since he'd raised two sons to manhood, he intuitively knew when a boy needed an adult male to guide his steps. One morning, Jelal suggested that he and Turhan take the day off and go for a walk outside the city. For the first hour, they walked briskly, speaking hardly a word to one another. The morning was frigid with the nip of oncoming winter. Turhan noticed, not for the first time, that his initial perception of Jelal as a fat man was not entirely accurate. Although Jelal was a trencherman of the first order, he worked as hard as he ate, and the impression of obesity was partly a result of the butcher's huge upper torso and barrel chest. Turhan felt short of breath as he hastened to keep up with the older man. Jelal kept up the pace until they'd breasted the crest of a hill, then bade Turhan halt. "Enough," he said. "You young people have all the energy in the world. A tired old man like me needs to rest every so often." He grinned at the surprised look on Turhan's face. "Did you think I didn't hear you huffing and puffing?" "It's not that, Jelal Effendi. I'm surprised you needed to stop at all. I was afraid you'd go on forever." "No one goes on forever, Turhan. Let's go sit a while and have some tea," he said, pointing to a rustic tea house some hundred yards beyond them. They'd been sitting for some time when Jelal said, "Remember back on the trail I said that no one goes on forever?" "Yes, sir." "No one and nothing."

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"What?" "No one and nothing go on forever." "What do you mean, Effendi?" "Anger, bitterness, hatred." "I don't understand." "When I first met you, you were frightened, but you had a fierce pride. How long had it been since you'd had a roof over your head?" Turhan blanched. He shuffled uncomfortably in his chair, but said nothing. "A day? Two? Three? A week?" Turhan mumbled something incomprehensible. "Do you think I don't know you lived in your mother Lle's house?" Turhan, feeling like a cornered animal, glanced left and right, looking for a means of escape. Finding none in the crowded tea house, he averted Jelal's gaze, stiffly staring down at the tulip-shaped glass half-filled with tea. "Turhan?" "She's not my mother," the boy mumbled at last. Jelal waited a long time before he spoke, knowing he must choose his words with care. "Perhaps, perhaps not. It's not important to me whether she is or not." "Then why did you bring it up?" Turhan refused to look in the man's eyes. "We're all born of someone. Do you know anything about why your mother is the way she is?" "I said she's not my mother."

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"Very well. Do you know why Lle does the things she does?" This time it was Turhan's turn to sit in silence. Jelal continued. "Turhan, what did you know of your mother before you came to Diyarbakir?" "Nothing. She was a bad woman. She hurt my baba and grandma very much." "I see." "And that she never once, in all the time I was alive, ever came to the village to see me." The youth's voice was shaky, but he was starting to talk. Good, thought the older man. Inshallah, there will start to be cracks in the stone wall. Turhan continued. "I suppose you know how she treated me when I got here. She was as happy to see me as if I'd been a dead animal." "Mmmmm," the butcher said. "What do you mean, `mmmmm'?" "How old are you, Turhan?" "Thirteen. Almost. Why?" "Have you ever made a mistake in your life? A serious mistake? Done anything you were sorry for?" The boy thought back guiltily. It had been less than two months. "What does that have to do with my ... my mother?" "Turhan, think for a moment. Where would you have been had I turned you over to the authorities? Don't forget, you'd already been exiled from your village for one act against the government." "But I was right!" Turhan raised his voice to a near-shout. "I tried to save my

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friend!" "Right or wrong has nothing to do with it. Morality has nothing to do with it. You defied authority. Once. Do you think that would not have come up had you been tried? Guilty of a violent crime and thievery? Just where do you think you'd be today?" "So you'd throw that up into my face?" Turhan said, angrily. "And I trusted you..." "Not so fast, my young friend. No one's talking about turning you in." Now would be a time for utmost sensitivity, the butcher thought. He'd be treading on delicate territory. "Turhan," Jelal said. "It is the province of young people to make mistakes. Have you ever ... felt ... sensed a sort of funny feeling in the lower part of your body?" "What are you talking about now?" The boy had abandoned the honorific

"effendim" in the deepening well of this talk. "I can't understand what you're trying to say." "Let me be blunt, then, my young friend. When you see a lovely young girl walking through the marketplace, do you ever think about her at night? And when you do, do you find yourself getting hard?" From Turhan's sharp intake of breath, Jelal knew he'd struck home. He continued, more gently. "Turhan, there's no shame in feeling as you do. Believe an old man when I tell you it's as natural as getting up in the morning and needing to urinate. Without such a feeling, life wouldn't go on." In a direct, but tactful way, Jelal the butcher introduced Turhan to the wonder of life, the way in which one generation gave birth to another. During their talk, they stood up, left the tea house, and continued their walk through the countryside, down to the banks of the Tigris which, at that time of the year, was a sluggish, muddy stream. "What does that have to do with my mother?" Turhan asked at one point.

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"Your mother is no different than any other woman, no different than you or I," Jelal answered. "The `needs' I told you about start at just about your age. Maybe a little older. Do you know how old your mother was when you were born?" "No." "I'd wager she was quite young. Remember I told you earlier that it's the province of the young to make mistakes?" "You mean I was a mistake?" The boy's eyes bulged. "Maybe not a mistake," the older man said, his face crinkling into a smile. "Let's just say an accident." He noticed the boy glance at the ground shamefacedly. "Hey, boy," he said, punching the youth companionably on the shoulder. "You're not in bad company. Half the world is here because of such an `accident.' That's surely no reason for your shame. But maybe it's cause for other peoples' shame." "What do you mean, Effendi?" "Society's shame?" "You're talking in riddles again." "Turhan, let's say your mother got those feelings I told you about. Let's say she gave in to those feelings. And let's just say that because of what she did, she had an `accident.' She lived in a village where any kind of activity like that before marriage meant she'd be banned from the village. No second chance. Not even a first chance. "When the time comes, she has a baby. Now, she can take the baby with her as she leaves her village with her shame. When I tell you a woman alone with a small child has no chance absolutely none to survive in our society, you may well believe it. "So she has a decision. If she leaves the baby with someone she knows will raise it

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with love, she knows she is giving that child an opportunity she could never give it. And she knows she can never come back. Never. Do you understand what I say, boy?" Turhan's eyes remained glued to the ground. He felt a choking sensation in his throat as the magnitude of his mother's sacrifice began to dawn on him. "And so, at the ripe age of sixteen, not much older than you, this girl-woman, little more than a child herself, had to make a decision that would dictate the rest of her life." "But grandfather ..." "Grandfather, what, boy? Your grandfather was a good man, and I won't dishonor the memory of the dead, but did he ever once make any more effort to come to her, to help his own daughter in her shame than your mother did to you?" "I don't want to hear this." "I'm sorry you don't want to hear it, Turhan. But you must. Call it a lesson in man's inhumanity to man if you want. But, as we Turks say, don't say how many gray hairs a man has in his beard until you, yourself, sit in the barber's chair." It was twilight when they returned to Diyarbakir. Perhaps Turhan detested his mother as much as ever. but there was the slightest crack in the stern, unforgiving hatred he bore her. # "What do you feel about women, Turhan?" "Huh?" The youth glanced up sharply from his evening meal. It had been a month since their first serious talk. "I said, `What do you feel about women?'" "Effendi?"

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"You seem nervous as a jittery cat every time I ahem bring a lady home for the evening." "Well, uh, ummmm, that is ..." "Turhan, you can't have forgotten our talk about ... `feelings.'" There has never been an easy way for the older generation to indoctrinate the younger into the mysteries of sexual discovery. The talk between Turhan and Jelal that night was no exception. The wordly-wise butcher did the best he could to explain to the pubescent Turhan that desire did not stop when babies came, and that despite what he may have seen in his mother's hovel, a relationship between man and woman need not be limited to drunken grunting and ugly coupling. In fact, it could be a most pleasurable way of sharing

everything from companionable friendship to deepest love. "My wife and I were married more than twenty years when she died. We have two strong, wonderful sons to show for it. Throughout our lives together we bickered and talked and worked together. But we made a rule and stuck by it. We never ended the night angry at one another, and we invariably found a time and a place, even when the boys were growing up to ...." Jelal's talks with Turhan were by no means limited to the sexual aspects of the boy's education. There were many evenings when Jelal read to himself. When the butcher learned Turhan could read, he found great delight, not only in loaning the youth books, but in discussing them as well. "There's no reason why one need be a boor simply because he works in the marketplace." It was because of Jelal that Turhan first started a journal.

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Turhan had been reading a tattered copy of a travel book and mentioned to Jelal how he'd like some day to see the world. He told Jelal about his talks with Shadran and of the magic cities of old that his grandfather had described. "What a shame we Ottomans must read translations of the works of others to get a feel for what the rest of the world is like," Jelal said. "What do you mean, effendi?" "For the most part, travel books are nothing more than someone going to a foreign land and writing down his recollections." "So?" "Turhan, how many people in your village could read and write?" The boy thought for a few moments. He remembered that Grandfather had had to find an Armenian tutor. Had that small act, in its own way, led to Shadran's death? To Turhan's exile? "Very few." "Very few or almost none?" Turhan hesitated. Then, quietly, he said, "Almost none, Sire." "You're proving my point, boy. Very few people in Diyarbakir in fact very few people in Anatolia can read as well as you. And as for letters ...?" "I know, effendi." Turhan brightened. "I've seen the lines in front of the scribes' stands every day. They seem even busier than you." "Indeed. And what do they do all day? They write flowing, overdone love poetry, or ridiculous, overstated requests for our governor's assistance. They write the same words over and over until they can do it in their sleep. Each precious young girl thinks the poetry

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was written for her ears alone. And the scribes make a veritable fortune." "So you'd have me be a scribe, Effendi?" "No, but you could do worse than learn how to write." "I do know how, effendi. Shadran taught me." "And when was the last time you put quill to paper?" "Long ago. Too long, I'm afraid." "I'll tell you what, Turhan. When is your birthday?" "February, Sire." "Alas, we've missed it by half a month. Ah, well, perhaps a belated gift ..." Next evening, when Turhan returned home, he found a quill pen, an ink bottle, and a pad of fine vellum paper waiting for him in his room. And the day after that, he started writing his journal. Each night, before he fell into exhausted sleep, Turhan would write a few lines about his experiences that day. By month's end, he'd filled the first book. # Turhan had saved enough money to rent a clean, bare room near the marketplace by the end of the year. Despite Jelal's protestations that the youth was no trouble at all, Turhan felt he was occupying too much of the older man's time, and that he was interfering with the butcher's social life. He continued to eat dinner twice a week with Jelal, and found that he was no longer uncomfortable when the man brought home a female companion. In fact, he noticed that quite often Jelal would invite him to dinner on evenings when a particular woman joined them. Turhan was not surprised when, several month's later, Jelal proudly announced that he'd squired enough women about since his wife's death, and that he'd be

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remarrying shortly. Turhan continued to write each night. More and more, though, he found himself possessed by those `feelings' that Jelal had mentioned. # Time flew by, and before he knew it, Turhan had been working for Jelal for two years. Since Jelal was known for his cleanliness and the high quality of his meat, he catered to a much higher grade of clientele than most other butchers in the marketplace. Occasionally, he asked Turhan to deliver orders to the homes of Diyarbakir's wealthier residents, making sure that the boy washed himself thoroughly and changed into a fresh apron before he made such rounds. One afternoon Jelal sent Turhan to deliver a small package of lamb cutlets to a home on Barbaros Caddesi. Turhan was surprised when the mistress of the house, Gnl, invited him to come inside. The interior of the two-story stone building was sumptuous, crowded with chairs, divans, pillows, carpets and burnished wood tables. Mirrors and paintings hung on the walls. Gnl prepared tea and beckoned him sit on a nearby sofa. She told him that her husband, a wealthy merchant many years her senior, had gone to Syria on a gold trading mission, and that her children were spending the month with relatives at the seashore in Antalya. She'd let the servants have the week off since it was summer. Gnl revealed she was twenty-nine years old, bored, and had asked him in because she felt like talking with another human being. Turhan told her of his early life in the village. He repeated his grandfather's early admonition about the value of learning, and became passionate when he spoke of his friend's

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murder, his own exile, and the lives of the downtrodden. "Your home is very beautiful, Madame," he said, "but what I envy most is all the books in this room. They offer so much. Some day, I will leave this city and see the world. Perhaps even a great lady such as you will hear about me." Gnl looked directly at Turhan. He was nearly fifteen now, slender, athletic in build, quite handsome. She raised her skirt, ever so slightly. He stopped talking and stared at her slender legs, which she crossed and uncrossed every few moments. Although not particularly beautiful, Gnl, a product of Eurasian-Middle Eastern bloodlines, was a sensual woman. Her hair was jet black, of medium length. Her slightly thickening waistline gave promise that within a few years she would spread and become matronly. For now, she was voluptuous. The house, so cool when he first arrived, seemed uncomfortably warm. He spoke faster and louder to cover his discomfort. He asked Gnl for another cup of tea. Her hands trembled as she lifted the teapot to refill his cup. He reached out to steady the pot. Their fingers touched. Both felt the shock at the same instant and quickly withdrew their hands. As if guided by unseen wires, Gnl rose from the couch opposite the boy. She sat next to him and moved closer. He was dizzied by the fragrance of her light perfume. Very gently, Gnl pulled him to her and pressed her lips to his. Her tongue darted in and out of his mouth, creating a thrilling sensation as she kissed him hungrily. She arched and strained against him, her breath coming in short gasps. Turhan's hands reached into her bodice. "Wait," she whispered. "Have you ever been with a woman?" He felt himself blush. "I thought not," she said, smiling. "You must follow my instruction until I can't speak any longer. Then do what your body tells you."

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She led the youth into her bedroom. Moments later they resumed kissing and caressing in the comfort of a huge, soft bed. Gnl, now driven by passion and urgent need, removed her clothes, revealing a milky white, wonderfully rounded, soft body. Her large breasts were firm and high, flushed pink, their nipples rigid to his touch. She ground her body against his, tugging at his shirt and pants. Turhan rapidly shed his garments. He looked down, embarrassed. "Don't worry, my little lion. That's exactly the way it's supposed to be." With a delighted gasp, she reached down. Turhan was stunned by the intense sensation her warm fingers brought. She took Turhan's hand in hers, and pulled it gently down to the delicate black hairs that formed a delta patch over her womanhood. His fingers soon discovered soft, slick moistness. She arched her back and moaned involuntarily. A sudden gush of wetness engulfed his fingers. Turhan closed his eyes and felt the woman slide down his body. She grasped his organ in her hand and encircled it with her mouth, pressing her tongue in and out, emitting low animal moans as she did so. Just when he felt he would explode, she squeezed him tightly, bringing him up short. "Slowly, my lion," she gasped, hardly able to control her own squirming. "We must make this last. It's your first time. I want you to remember me for the rest of your life." She teased the youth, stopping him time and again just before climax, until neither could wait any longer. He rolled on top of her and entered her tight, slippery cavity. Her body bucked. She shrieked in ecstasy as she climaxed with deep spasms. Seconds later, Turhan bellowed like a bull, his own explosion ripping through him like fire.

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Exhausted, they lay still for several minutes. Then, Turhan felt himself hardening again. Gnl's eyes widened with lustful delight as she looked at him. It had been a long time since she'd experienced such satisfaction. She smiled wantonly, pulled his mouth to her breasts, and reached down again. # Turhan spent that night and many afternoons thereafter with Gnl. During the next several months, whenever her husband was gone on his frequent journeys and her children were away at school, they continued their joyous adventures. Soon, their friendly intimacy allowed for delightful pillow talk after they'd made love. "Gnl Hanim, I have to find a way to leave this city. I've been writing more than ever. Unless I see more of the world, I'll become old and stale in Diyarbakir, and my dreams will die." "I hope when you write, you don't mention me by name. How would it appear if someone discovered such a book?" "I would never reveal such things, my lady. What we've done is burned in my mind, but your identity remains your own." "I hope your memories of me are burned in other places as well."

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9 "We must get you out of Diyarbakir immediately." "What do you mean?" "My husband, Erturul, suspects I'm unfaithful. He's sixty years old. His pride's at stake, even though he's not interested in me sexually. That means only one thing if I'm discovered. And if he finds out it's you ... Erturul is a wealthy man, well connected. It would not be your hands he'd be interested in cutting off." Turhan shuddered. "What should I do, Hanim?" "Caravans pass through Diyarbakir at least once a week. I've met several caravan masters over the years. One of the best will be stopping in Diyarbakir within the month. Perhaps you could travel with him." "What would I do for merchandise?" "Erturul keeps our storehouses filled with wares. He trusts me to keep the books. It's commonly accepted that twenty percent of any shipment vanishes between consignment and delivery. We'll prepare a camel-load of things to sell. Erturul showers me with gold and jewels. He'd never notice if one or two baubles or trinkets disappeared. You'll send me half what you receive from selling the goods." Within a week, Gnl had put aside one thousand kurush a veritable fortune worth of textiles, gold and jewelry. She warned Turhan that the visible goods he carried must appear modest. Any ostentation in one so young would arouse suspicion. He must seem to be dealing in common commodities, second rate bolts of cloth, worth perhaps two hundred kurush. He must hide the really valuable things on his person.

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Gnl asked her cousin to intervene on behalf of her young lover so that Turhan might join a caravan headed north to the Black Sea coast. In those days, such arrangements were made through an intermediary. Not only were direct negotiations considered crude and barbarous, but Gnl could not risk anything that might hint she was somehow involved. Thus it was that one afternoon a week later, Gnl's cousin entered a certain coffee house prepared to meet a swarthy, fat little man with pencil-thin moustache and a wen on his nose, who'd been told to expect him. The caravan agent was already there when Gnl's cousin arrived. He immediately recognized the tall, middle-aged man with brown eyes, black eyebrows that arched upward, and thick, greying moustache. Over the next three hours, the two men bargained hard, but in the end each knew exactly what amount would change hands to insure that Turhan would sign on with Ibrahim, one of the most respected caravan masters plying the region between Syria and the Black Sea and the maximum commission each of them could secure for his efforts. # Ibrahim's caravan arrived at the end of August. The caravan master sent word he would meet Turhan during next afternoon's rest period, immediately after prayers. Shortly before noon the next day, Turhan, dressed in his neatest clothes, walked across town to the caravanserai on city's outer perimeters. He'd often viewed the hostel from afar. The closer he came, the less impressive it seemed, a hollow, square structure, two stories high. The top floor contained sparsely furnished rooms. The ground level housed animal stalls. The building surrounded a courtyard. Animals and men drank from a common pool in the center of the closed-in space. The place smelled of animal droppings, fodder and old sweat. Its leaky walls were thick with centuries-worth of clay and mud caulking.

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The hosteller told Turhan that Ibrahim was in his summer tent, a kilometer distant. The youth thanked him and headed toward the three gray-white tents the innkeeper had pointed out. Although tufts of grass and even a few scruffy trees grew in some parts of the city, the land here was parched, nothing but stony sand. Turhan stopped at the largest of the tents. A deep voice boomed from inside, "Is this Turhan who goes about outside my tent?" "Yes, sir," he replied. "Would Turhan approach Ibrahim to speak?" The voice was warm and held a glint of humor. "If Ibrahim Bey Effendi wishes and if it be Allah's will," Turhan uttered with exaggerated politeness. "Ibrahim does so wish. And Allah will have to be ruled by that wish for the moment." Turhan heard hearty laughter. "Come inside, young man." Turhan parted the curtained entry and hesitantly stepped into a large, light, airy space. A very tall, middle-aged man, whose dress was quite ordinary, greeted him. No flowing robes out of Arabian Nights tales. Solid blacks and grays accentuated the master's strong, weathered features. His great, fierce moustaches were caked with dust, flecked with gray. His brown eyes twinkled. "You need not be frightened, Turhan. I am a man, no more, no less. Let's speak with one another and decide whether we shall be friends and move on together, or whether Allah wills otherwise." He clapped his hands. A servant brought two glasses of hot tea. "Now, boy, why do you wish to leave your beautiful city of Diyarbakir?" It was hard not to catch the cynical tone. "It's not my city, and I no longer find it beautiful, Sire. Some years ago, I was

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banished from my village by the provincial governor for trying to save my friend's life when villagers burned the Armenian church to the ground." "You knew the Armenians were enemies of the Ottomans?" "I knew they were human beings, sir. Shadran, who taught me reading and writing, was my closest friend." "Do you still read?" "Whenever and whatever I can, Effendi." "Oh? You read things other than the Koran?" The man's eyebrows lifted. "One finds edicts in the Koran. But the world is larger than the Prophet foresaw." "And you write?" "Every day, Sir. That's how I remember what's important in my life. Effendi, how many men are there in the caravan?" "It varies. As few as fifteen. As many as fifty. Women and children as well. You'll learn more about our group as you travel with us." "Effendi," the boy said, barely concealing his excitement. "Does that mean...?" "It does, Turhan. You're welcome to join us and share the perils and rewards of the road. My caravan leaves at dawn, day after tomorrow. Our trip north will be rapid. We must be over the passes and on the coast before the winter winds make travel impossible. Your sponsor has paid for one camel load. You will work hard and see many things. You'll find the journey well worth your efforts." "Salaam aleikum, Sire, and many thanks." "Aleikum salaam." When he heard those simple words, Turhan knew his fate was sealed. He would be departing from his old life forever.

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But first, he would make a final visit to Jelal, who has been so instrumental in starting him on the road from the gutter to a future of such great promise. And, of course, his second visit would be to Gnl. Who knew when he would next enjoy the type of entertainment she provided?

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10 Noise. Motion. The clang of copper against brass as pots were packed. The dust raised by hooves and feet. The swirl of loose fitting red, ochre, black and white clothing. The sun had barely risen in the east. The still air heralded another torturously hot day. Brown hills to the north gave scant promise of pastureland. Ibrahim had told them the caravan would arrive at fertile valleys in the west by nightfall. He rode his white Arabian stallion through the camp, urging everyone to hurry so they could be on their way. An old woman wearing loose traveling clothes, her white hair tied in a single long braid bobbed at the back of her neck, shrilly shouted back at him to mind his own business. "Old woman, if your hands moved as fast as your tongue, you'd be worth ten men and ten camels to me!" the leader said. "And you, young upstart," the old crone, whose name was Alkimi, cackled, "bring me your men and your camels. I'll chew them up and spit them out, and you besides!" Her weathered, brown face was both kindly and mischievous. Alkimi had traveled with caravans for more years than anyone cared to count. Cook, seamstress, physician, diviner of fortunes, she was as valuable to the caravan as Ibrahim. None dared dominate her. She was universally feared, universally adored. When Ibrahim's mother had died, shortly after his birth, Alkimi had raised him. She'd been the one Ibrahim approached with every problem, knowing she'd speak her mind candidly and keep confidences. Her advice was invariably sound, unerringly accurate. They shared a bond of love, welded by years together, roads more distant, less traveled.

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"Tamam, enough of you, old raisin." He laughed and moved smoothly off. In another part of the camp, Turhan watched as shepherds rounded up the fat-tailed sheep, which carried most of their body fat in their huge tails. "They're funny looking, but wait 'til you taste their meat." Turhan turned and found himself facing a slender young man, a head shorter than himself, with brown eyes, a hawk like nose, and light brown skin. "Are you speaking to me, Effendi?" "I'm hardly an effendi," the other laughed easily. "I doubt I'm much older than you. You must be Turhan. I'm Zeki." He reached out his hand. "It'll be nice having someone my own age on this trip." "You've been on many trips?" "I have. I can't even remember my parents. Ibrahim told me they died when I was three. I've been traveling with the caravan ever since. Fifteen years." "Sounds exciting, always new places, new people." "Not always." "Where does the caravan go after it reaches Sinop?" "We spend most of the winter moving east along the Black Sea coast. We sell most of our goods in Sinop, since it's cut off from the rest of Turkey during winter. Prices will be at their highest. Many leave the caravan there." "How do our suppliers get their money?" he asked, thinking of his promise to send Gnl half his profits. "The caravan leader is honor-bound to give the merchants and suppliers money entrusted to him for their benefit. Ibrahim makes a complete round trip of this circuit every

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year, from Mosul province in the south, to the Black Sea coast, and back. He passes through Diyarbakir twice a year. The merchants know honest caravan masters from scoundrels. If a caravan leader cheats a merchant, he's out of business. More likely, he suffers the usual fate of a thief." Their conversation was interrupted as Ibrahim rode by and shouted, "All right, boys, time to move out!" The group expected to cover seven miles the first day, spending the night within a few miles of Turhan's native village. The youth felt momentarily homesick at the thought of passing near the place that held so many memories. By mid-afternoon Turhan, who'd been charged with a small flock, had run twice the seven miles covered by the group, trying to keep his sheep tightly together to impress Ibrahim. The result was not successful. Each of the stubborn beasts chose to go its own way, stopping for a patch of thistle, taking off at a gallop for an imagined shrub, or simply wandering off. After hours of useless running, Turhan watched Zeki, who seemed content to let his sheep drift all over the fields, straggle back, dart forward, zip out on a tangent. When Turhan asked about this, Zeki replied, "They never stray beyond a certain point. I've yet to lose one. The older sheep follow the caravan. The lambs stay near their mamas for food and warmth." During the afternoon, the young men continued their conversation. "Caravans often provide inland cities and towns with their only goods from outside," Zeki said. "The routes have been established for hundreds of years. At the southern end, we purchase dates, figs, Persian carpets, jewels and spices. There's always some small war or skirmish going on near the border, so caravans use safe cities this side of the Turkish frontier as storehouses for

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their operations. "On the way north, we take on Turks and buy pistachio nuts and wheat. Southbound, leaders seek out Arab companions and purchase tea, tobacco, rice and ... other things. Smuggling's a way of life. All caravan masters do it to some degree." Turhan paled. Zeki continued, matter-of-factly, "You might as well know it now. Ibrahim's a wonderful leader, but he's no less human than anyone else. The aghas and the governors take their cut of everything. If you get into trouble, you simply put enough money into the right hands and the trouble disappears. If you bring a lawsuit to one of our oh-so-honest judges for a decision, you pray your opponent didn't pay more baksheesh than you." "But smuggling's against the law." "How else do you expect the little man to gain anything in this system? The powerful have their ways. We have ours." Turhan was silent for several moments. Years ago a gang of soldiers, acting under color of law, had abused and killed his closest friend. A petty official had destroyed his life, humiliated his grandfather, taken what little that poor man had, and ultimately robbed him of his life. All perfectly legal. Turhan had vowed to fight back. How much fighting had he done in the years since? What had he accomplished? How wrong was it to fight a system so rotten on the inside by any means at your disposal? "What kind of goods?" Turhan asked when he was sure they had distanced themselves from the group. "Gold. Arms. Occasionally opium or hashish." "And Ibrahim allows that?"

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"Don't look so shocked, Turhan. Ibrahim's a man, not a god. Sometimes he doesn't have much choice. There are those who exercise considerably more power than Ibrahim." The youths walked awhile in silence. "Don't get me wrong, Turhan," Zeki said. "Ibrahim's very special. He's the most respected and learned trader of all. He travels north to the Black Sea and arrives there in winter, when most caravans are in the milder southern areas. He sells his goods at a premium in whatever coastal city he chooses. Once there, he buys things that are very dear in the hot, dry areas of Turkey and Syria. At Sinop, he packs in dried, smoked mullet and tunny fish. When he unloads this shipment in Diyarbakir, buyers soak the fish in water overnight. Next morning it tastes like it came from the sea the day before. "Farther east, we buy the finest tobacco and tea. In spring, when the weather's best, Ibrahim starts south. He usually arrives in Mosul by the beginning of the summer, when no one wants to be in that harsh desert. He's often told me the secret of his success is to be in places where he can buy and sell at a time when few other traders are around. In that way, he consistently commands the best price." The sun set. Village lights flickered in the distance. A dull, lifeless town. A place to be from. Yet in the gathering twilight, there was something that called Turhan home. Night was upon the land. Turhan heard the muezzin's wail, summoning the faithful to prayer. The caller's cry could be heard clearly as it sinuously wound its way over hills, into the valleys. Turhan felt a chill. There was something lonely, awesome, and beautiful about the centuries-old call wafting over the desert from a high minaret. The desert sky was filled with stars, more and

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brighter points of light than he ever remembered seeing before. He heard soft echoes in the distance. He felt very close to Allah and to his departed grandfather. The travelers pitched camp a few miles beyond the village. Men had gathered wood during the day. They used it and dried sheep dung, to start a small fire. The women prepared ich pilav, rice mixed with currants, lamb livers, pine nuts, chopped onions, and spices. A wonderful aroma filled the air and Turhan saw that a whole roast lamb was turning on a spit. Drippings of lamb fat sizzled as they dropped onto the fire. Soon the carcass browned. Turhan's stomach groaned with hunger. Courtesy made him stay back and watch how the others ate their dinner. Ibrahim went to the roasting meat, sliced off a small chunk near the loin, and tasted it. Satisfied, he sliced a generous portion and presented it to Alkimi with a flourish. Then he signaled the rest to begin the feast. Each man cut a large chunk of meat. Zeki was just ahead of Turhan. The newcomer watched carefully. Turhan's face fell when Zeki carefully took a very small portion from the rib. Turhan dutifully cut a similar portion. He noticed that even some women had taken larger cuts. "So now we have not one but two little birds in our caravan, eh?" Ibrahim, juices clinging to the sides of his moustaches, grinned broadly and winked at Turhan. "You were wise to watch the others, let them go first, then take according to their portion. However, you erred grievously when you chose to take the same portion as our camp sparrow. If you don't do better than that, you'll starve or collapse." "But ..." stammered Turhan, "I ... that is ... I'm not really that hungry, and ..." "Nonsense. You think I don't know everything that goes on in this camp? I saw you running after sheep all day. Now, young fellow, eat like a man!" With that, Ibrahim sliced a

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large piece from the haunch and tossed it to Turhan. With a hearty guffaw, he left for another area of the cantonment. Turhan greedily bit into the lamb. He could not remember ever tasting anything so delicious. The freshly roasted meat was chewy, salty-sweet. The very thin layer of crunchy burnt fat was the most delectable of all. This ich pilav tasted wilder, dryer than he'd been used to in the city. Soon his stomach was full. After dinner, men broke out coffee, tea, and raki, the fiery, anise-flavored Turkish liquor. Someone produced a saz a Turkish mandolin. The night was filled with the sound of old Anatolian folk songs. Firelight created dancing shadows, ghostlike figures of light on dark. Turhan lay near the warm, smoky fire. The slightest sliver of a crescent moon hung suspended in the clear, black sky. It was not long before exhaustion caught up with him, and he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. # The next morning was warm, clear, stark white. Turhan felt stiff and sore all over. He groaned as he looked at his feet. Blisters lined the soles. Alkimi approached so silently Turhan didn't know she was near him until she warned him, in a gruff, but kind voice, that he must not run about herding sheep this day, but should simply travel as slowly and steadily as he could. She looked at his feet, grunted, dipped into a large pouch and extracted a handful of foul-smelling, brown unguent, which she kneaded into his heels, the arch of his feet, and downward toward the toes. The medicine burned for an instant, then felt very cool. He smiled thankfully at the old woman. "Sulfur, zinc, camel urine, other things," she mumbled. The soreness seemed to be going away. "You're not healed yet, little traveler. Your feet will feel all right for now. In a

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few hours, they won't feel so good. We'll stop and do this again." "How long will we have to do this, Alkimi hanim?" he asked. "Two or three days at the most. Your bare feet will toughen on the desert sand and rocks. That's the least of your worries. How are your shoulders? Your back? Sore?" "Very stiff." The woman produced a large vial containing a gold-colored liquid of pungent but much different scent. "Menthol, camphor, leaves and herbs," she said. "You'll stink enough by midday that no one else will want to be near you, but you won't be so sore." Alkimi administered ointments at least twice more during the day. Ibrahim seemed especially solicitous. At one point, he offered to let Turhan sit astride his own steed. Turhan declined politely. By day's end, his feet felt somewhat better. The evening meal consisted of gvetch, a lamb stew with peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and rice. After the meal, Ibrahim invited Turhan to his tent. "Do you feel better this evening?" Ibrahim asked. "Yes, thank you, Effendi." "Do you wonder why I called you to my tent?" "I haven't had much time to think about it, Sire." "I want to find out more about you, what's happened in your life to make you what you are." Ibrahim poured two glasses of tea and handed one to Turhan. "Do you want to talk for a little while, Son?" Turhan felt a warm kinship with this tall, kindly man. But the thought of what Zeki had told him yesterday stuck like a bone in his throat. "Ibrahim effendi, may I be honest?"

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"I'd prefer that, Turhan." "Very well, Sire. When you and I first spoke, you talked of adventures of the road, and I thought, `How I wish I were like this man.' But yesterday, sire, Zeki and I spoke of ... certain other things ...." The older man waited quietly for Turhan to go on, sensing his acute discomfort. Ibrahim displayed neither anger nor impatience, only resignation. "You mean the goods we pretend we don't have, Turhan?" "Yes, Effendi. "Turhan, every man starts his life believing he's on the side of good. When you're young, it's easy to know exactly what's right and what's wrong. But as you grow older, the borders of good and evil start to blur. That may be hard for you to comprehend. I only ask that you think back to what I say when you're twenty or thirty years older. When I was young, I was no different from you. I saw a political system rotten with corruption, and believed I was Allah's chosen, the hero who would single-handedly bring justice to Turkey and the world. I didn't. "The real world is a place where you do what you must to survive as best you can. You learn to pass messages, deliver certain goods, and not ask questions. Otherwise you wake to find your camels poisoned, your merchandise destroyed. "Then you start to ask different questions, the kind it never occurred to you to ask when you were young. Such as, who really gets hurt? A man so poor he could otherwise hardly feed himself sells a small amount of opium. From the money he makes on that single sale he cares for his wife and six children for a month. The man who buys it is ridden with cancer, or he's so old and feeble he longs for death to end his misery. For a few hours he

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smokes the opium pipe and, like magic, his pain is gone and he's a young man again, dreaming the dreams of his youth. Do you understand what I'm saying, boy?" "That what our eyes show us is wrong is not. That if enough people tell you black is white you start to believe it." "No, Turhan. On the contrary, you come to understand right and wrong more deeply. You understand your own shortcomings the better. Then, one day you realize your `some days' are past." "Must it always be that way, effendi?" "That's the most difficult question, my son. We must all grow older. Perhaps it will be granted to you to realize the dreams of youth. Only time will answer that. Now that you know I'm not a god, that I'm simply a man, perhaps we can talk as friends." Something about Ibrahim's tone of voice, the clear, kind look in his eye, affected Turhan more deeply than he'd ever felt at any time since he'd spoken with Jelal. As the evening wore on, Ibrahim listened quietly as Turhan spilled out his heart. Turhan's story stopped short of the adventure he'd had with Gnl and of the hidden treasure on his person. On these matters, Turhan knew enough to keep his own counsel. As Turhan spoke, the caravan master's eyes misted with the thought of what might have been, had his own child lived. "Have you ever heard of the university, Effendi?" Turhan asked. Shadran once mentioned it to me." "I have, Turhan. There are many universities throughout the world. I, myself, attended the one at Alexandretta." The boys eyes widened. "Shadran told me such a place has more books than one "My friend

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could read in a whole lifetime." "That's true, but if a man limits his learning to what he finds in those books, he becomes as stiff and brittle as the paper on which the words are printed. Real education begins when you use the entire world as your school. When you talk with people in different parts of the world you start to learn about the important things. Books and newspapers give you the insights to use that knowledge." "News-papers, Effendi?" "In many places men publish journals of events such as you keep, Turhan. These are not personal diaries. They speak of important events throughout the land and even beyond. They help men learn things that will affect them in their daily lives." "I'd like to see a news-paper one day," the boy said, fascinated. "In Kayseri, they publish one every day. I'll make it a point to buy one for you." "Effendi, my grandfather once told me there was a place in Anatolia where people built an entire city under the ground. Have you heard of it? "I have. There are many such wonders in our motherland, not all of them

underground. Perhaps we may take a few extra days to see some of them." Turhan's eyes widened. In his lifetime, he'd seen little more than a dusty village and a shabby city. Alkimi finally interrupted them, coughing and growling outside the tent, "The young fool listens to the older fool. You may learn the wisdom of the world, but you'll both be worthless tomorrow. It's time to stop now." "Away, old gossip," snapped Ibrahim. "Where is it ordained that man's talk should be annoyed by the angry buzzing of worthless insects?"

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"You two will be together many days. You can talk. You can learn. The smaller one still has sore feet and a sore body. He needs medicine and sleep. An old woman like me needs rest, too." "Will you never stop torturing me?" Ibrahim asked in mock exasperation. "May I say one thing to the boy in private?" "There's nothing you can't say without me here. It will be said much quicker if I stay." The woman stubbornly stood her ground. "Very well," Ibrahim sighed. "Turhan, earlier tonight you asked if things must always be as they are. Your answer lies within you. I can only give advice which, like much I've said this evening, might be considered the ramblings of a tired old man. The merchant learns only about his world. The shepherd scarcely ever inquires of the universe beyond his sheep. In their limited worlds they become expert. There will always be men who know how to do things. But those who count in life are the ones who know why. Don't accept something for what it seems to be, but learn what it means in the larger circle of things. Most men are content to trust to Allah or the government. When they do that, they abandon responsibility for their own lives. "When you were in your village, horrible things happened to you, things over which had no control. Too often, a man's destiny is governed by the whims of others. The vast majority of mankind is pushed about by the few. "If you refuse to accept what seems to wrong to you, if you dare challenge an injustice, you will suffer defeat, humiliation, even death. difference. Do you understand?" Turhan nodded. But your life will make a

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Ibrahim smiled warmly at the young man. "The old woman is right. It's off to sleep with you." After the boy left, Alkimi and Ibrahim remained, speaking quietly with one another. "When I first saw him this morning, he reminded me very much of what you were like at that age," Alkimi said. "You were taller and skinnier, but he's as eager as you were to absorb the whole world. Allah, where did the years go? Did you tell him about ...?" "The drugs, the weapons?" "No, my friend. The other?" "How could I?" Bitterness and pain mingled in his look. "I told him you wake to find your camels poisoned." How could he have told a lad so full of righteous fire that the strongest man can be broken? Or that what others might call "wrong" repaid, in part, a debt much stronger than principles. Willow. Even now the memory was too painful to bear. "I couldn't tell him," he said softly to the old woman. "My child might have been very much like this one. He would have been about the same age." "There was nothing any of us could do." She looked down at the ground, her voice strained. The caravan master turned away momentarily, and blew his nose. "I walk with her every day of my life. Even now, each time I pass those graves near that village..." He coughed. "Why do you feel such closeness for him?" Alkimi asked. "Why not Zeki, or others

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who've traveled with us over the years?" "Who knows, my friend? Perhaps because my son would have been the same age. Or perhaps I see the proud, stubborn morality I had at his age. A reflection I would have wanted in my own child." "That may be, Ibrahim," she replied. "But if you truly feel that way, you must tell him what happened. And that knowledge may help him become a man."

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11 ISTANBUL Abbas could never quite recall when Kerem came into his fathers life. Soon afterwards, the beatings stopped. Ahmet seemed to have enough money for raki and food plenty of it. Abbas had neither seen nor heard from his older brothers since they'd left. He often wished they'd been here to witness the remarkable transformation in their father. At first, Kerem came to the house about twice a week. He was a small man, with an abnormally large, hooked nose, a thin moustache, and a pot belly. The routine was

invariably the same. Kerem greeted Ahmet respectfully and the two men departed almost immediately. Ahmet was gone an hour, no more, no less. When he returned, he carried a bottle of the finest raki and two loaves of fresh bread. Father's mood was always better after he'd been with Kerem. For that, Abbas was eternally grateful. One morning, six months after he'd come into their lives, Kerem came to the house earlier than usual. Ahmet was about to leave for work he carried much lighter loads lately and Abbas had an hour before he had to be at school. "Salaam aleikum, gentlemen," Kerem greeted them courteously. Abbas was mildly surprised. Kerem's dealings had always been with his father, and the youth was flattered at being addressed as an adult. "Kerem Effendi," the older man nodded. "Ahmet, you and I have spoken of many things. I've never had a chance to speak with your son, who's fourteen, almost a man." The boy blushed with pleasure. "Do you suppose our state institution of learning might spare the lad for a day? I'd like to learn more

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about him and perhaps educate him in our view of the world as well." Abbas' father seemed pleased. Despite the cessation of physical abuse, the two still had difficulty offering more than perfunctory greetings to one another. "I see no reason why not. What say you, boy?" "As you wish, Father." Abbas could barely conceal his excitement. A full day away from the drudgery of classroom work. He'd far surpassed his schoolmates. The teacher had little initiative, certainly not enough to suggest that Abbas, one of thirty-five ragamuffins from the poorest part of Istanbul, do more advanced work. After all, what good would reading do a hamal? "So be it." Kerem clapped his hands. "Come, Abbas. Let's have a real breakfast at Kapali Charshi the Covered Bazaar." Abbas could not remember a better day in his life. The older man listened patiently as he poured out his story. Kerem seemed to value what Abbas said, nodding at appropriate moments, clucking his tongue sympathetically at others. "I never realized things had been so hard for you at home," he said at one point. "You've shown remarkable courage in the face of adversity." He put his arm around the boy's shoulder and squeezed affectionately. Abbas was struck by a sudden, warm feeling. It was the first physical contact, other than the beatings and holding his little brother at night, that Abbas had ever experienced. It felt good. Validation at last that he, Abbas, was worth something. After they'd traversed Kapali Charshi Kerem seemed impressed that his young charge recalled the location and owner's name of at least a quarter of the shops in the Grand Bazaar they crossed the floating Galata Bridge into Pera, the European part of the city.

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This was a world apart from the rabbit warrens of Abbas' quarter. "Your father's an angry man, Abbas. You understand that?" "Yes, Sire." "No need to be so formal. If we're to be friends, you may call me Kerem when we're alone, of course." "Thank you, S , Kerem Effendi." "Do you know why he's so bitter?" "I believe so. He blames the foreigners." "Indeed." They walked in comfortable silence for a while. "What do you feel about the `foreign elements?'" "I've never given it much thought. Probably the same. After all, this is the Ottoman empire." "Is it the Ottoman empire, boy?" the man asked seriously. They'd entered a decidedly better part of town. They passed a series of elegant stone-and-brick houses. "That one's owned by Georgiopoulos, a Greek shipping magnate. The one next to it by Latakian, one of the sleaziest drug dealers in the Empire." As the homes became more and more palatial, Kerem continued to name each householder. "LaFontaine, Frenchman. He and Latakian work together. They ship opium to Marseilles. HaLevy. Lends money to most of the Turkish banks. Foreclosed on two of them this year alone. Baruch, ten rug shops in the Bazaar. He's priced his merchandise so low five Ottoman merchants went out of business in the last six months. Brotzky. Smuggles people out and arms in to Russia." The list went on. Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans. Not one Ottoman name in the neighborhood.

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"What does this all have to do with me?" "Abbas, one of the reasons we've lost control of our own destiny is that we've given it away to others. Our poor are so busy fighting among themselves for a single kurush that they let a hundred go to the foreigner who charges a little less. We cheat ourselves by drinking raki until we're drunk and falling into blissful opium dreams, not realizing that someone is making money a lot of money from our misery. Sometimes it's the Jews and Armenians. But the drug lords among our own kind, men like the Agha Nikrat, are worse, for they prey on their Muslim brethren. Somehow we must reclaim our souls if we are to salvage our own destiny." The boy nodded. Kerem expressed his feelings in a far more meaningful, eloquent way than his father did, and he was obviously very wise. It was early afternoon when they crossed back to Stamboul. "Are you hungry, Abbas?" "Starved, Si , Kerem," the boy grinned. "But the time's passed so fast I'd hardly noticed." They stopped at a nearby lokanta where the youth filled himself on dolma and dner kebab, thin roasted lamb slices, cut from a vertical spit. The best meal Abbas could remember. Afterward, Kerem invited the youth to his home. The older man apparently lived alone. His house overlooked the Bosphorous and was comfortable rather than flamboyant. "You must be tired from all that walking. Why not lie down for a while? I'll massage your sore muscles." The boy did not argue. Kerem was expert in his ministrations. The boy relaxed,

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absorbing the pleasure of Kerem's touch. "Does that feel better, Abbas?" "Wonderful, sire." "Do you like me, Abbas?" "I praise Allah every night for your coming into our lives." "Will you trust me if I tell you I'm about to do something which will make you feel very good?" "Mmmm-hmmm." The youth started to doze off. He felt himself being rolled over on his back. Suddenly, Kerem's hands started massaging a different place on his body. Abbas felt himself hardening, but lay there and said nothing. It did feel better than anything. When it was done, Kerem said, "Now you must do the same for me." # During the next year Abbas and Kerem shared their secret liaisons once a week. Kerem showed his young charge affection the boy had never received from his parents. They talked about a variety of things. It was tacitly agreed that they never discussed what Kerem did or the relationship between him and Abbas' father. By the time Abbas was fifteen, he was a strapping, muscular youth. Kerem secured him a job on the docks, helping unload shipments from around the world. Often, Kerem pointed out that the Greeks controlled all the shipping while the Turks did the menial, lowpaying labor. Abbas soon found that by gambling with Turkish stevedores, beasts of burden with brains to match, he could easily best them at tavla the backgammon game they played

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during their brief lunch break, and he usually increased his pay by nearly a quarter. After work, they drank away life's burdens at the Altin Boga, the Golden Bull raki bar. Most decent men wouldn't think of going to such a place, much preferring their coffee houses. But these men were not so `civilized.' Their conversations were invariably the same. The Ottoman Empire was crumbling. It was the damned Greeks and Jews fault. They kept getting richer while the Muslims were worse off than ever. The men easily accepted "clever Abbas," as they called him, into their circle. He gave eloquent voice to their feelings and urged them to be proud of their heritage. While work was hard and wages low, at least they engaged in honest labor and did not earn their living from the sweat of other men like the Greeks did. One evening, shortly after work, Kerem approached him just as he was leaving work. "Abbas," he said, "your father's dead. He was stabbed in the marketplace." Abbas considered the words in silence for a few moments. He and Ahmet had never quite made their peace. Rather, it had been an uneasy, wordless truce. After he had Kerem had cemented their relationship, Abbas' presence in the house had been minimal. He could not say he'd miss the old man. It was almost a relief to have him out of the way. But there were Mother and the girls to consider. As if reading his thoughts, Kerem continued. "I've spoken with your mother. She's decided to go back to her village. She never liked Istanbul, and she's got family there." "Does she expect me to go with her?" "No." "Where would I live?" "Why not move in with me?"

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"Do you mean that, Kerem?" He brightened. "I don't know why you shouldn't." "Who stabbed him?" he asked. "Probably an anti-government subversive gang in the Bazaar." "Why?" "Abbas, perhaps it's time I told you some things about our operation your father's and mine that you might not know." The two walked away from the port, and Abbas found himself in a newer part of town. "You've no doubt noticed that since your father and I became friends things changed for you." "Of course." "My sources provided Ahmet with his extra income." Abbas said nothing, but kept walking. "He was a patriot in his own way, your father. He believed in Turkey for the Ottomans. Remember when you and I discussed that we must take back out land from the outsiders?" "Yes, Effendi." "Whatever you might think of your father, he believed in that goal and worked for it." The youth remained silent. "We can't afford to buy back with money what foreign elements have stolen from us. The only thing on our side is the law." "What do you mean?" Kerem reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small leather case. He opened it and displayed a card and badge. "Abbas, I've never told you this before. I'm an officer in the Internal Security Police. Our job is to protect the Ottoman government. You'd be surprised how many threats there are. A Jew who drives his Turkish neighbor out of

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business causes dissatisfaction which unfortunately erupts as anger at the Ottoman government. If the Jew is accused of a crime against state security, he may voluntarily choose to pay a substantial fine. If he doesn't, he risks conviction and confiscation of his business. Word soon gets out in the community. The Turkish businessman who has suffered so dreadfully feels vindicated, and the government secures additional revenue to carry on its good works. Eventually the property stolen from us is returned to its rightful owner through our government, of course." "What does all this have to do with my father, or with me?" "Our government is responsible for the well-being of all its subjects. Unfortunately, our budget does not allow for a sufficient number of investigators. There is a special allowance for unofficial agents." "You mean informers?" "Now I understand why they call you `clever Abbas.'" "You want me to take my father's place?" "With your father gone, we need an immediate replacement." "You'd expect me to spy on my neighbors? Report them to you? Is that what my father did?" Abbas felt for the first time that his friend was betraying him. "We'd like you to assist us in making sure there's full compliance with the law. We don't consider that spying. When we're dealing with criminals, we must use effective means. Naturally, we don't feel you should have to work for nothing. Besides, I have other, better plans for you." "Such as?" "You're fifteen. In three years you'd be old enough to enter the Police Academy.

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You're certainly bright enough. With my strong recommendation and a proven record of honorable service to your country, getting you in would be easy. You'd never have to dirty your hands with manual labor again. And think of the power you'd eventually have." Abbas was anything but stupid. It took him no time to read between the lines of what his mentor was saying. "But I've been away from the bazaar for over a year. It would look strange if I suddenly showed up back there." "You don't have to. Crime is everywhere. The docks as well as the marketplace. Sometimes things are not as they seem. Greek shippers are very clever when they transport drugs or arms. It's often impossible to know where they hide the bulk of their contraband. Of course, if a dock worker leaves a small amount of such things in a place where they could be easily found..." "You mean plant illegal goods ...?" "We don't speak in such terms. Criminal elements are very much aware of our vigilance. They do everything possible to foil us. It's only fair that the Ottoman Empire recover the smallest portion of what outsiders steal from us. Our ends are worthy, nothing less than preservation of the Empire. The means justify those ends." Abbas considered what Kerem had said for a long time. Without his being aware of it, they'd traveled in a circle and returned to the area of the docks. The sun was setting behind Abbas' back, blocking him from the view of the Greek shipper and his manager who were speaking in jocular tones, unaware of their proximity. "You're sure you were able to buy off the foreman? There'll be no trouble from the dock workers."

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"It was easy, Mister Parios. They're nothing but stupid, greedy Muslims. A little extra money in the foreman's pocket, a few bottles of raki. No difficulty at all. Dumb buggers they are. A wonder they were able to put together an empire at all." "Christ be praised they need us to keep the machinery of commerce oiled, eh Vasilios?" The two men laughed and headed down the quay to the harbormaster's office. Abbas glared after them. "You're right, Kerem effendi. It's time we purified our land and took control of our own destiny.

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12

By the time the caravan reached the Euphrates River, five days west of Diyarbakir, Turhan no longer required Alkimi's ointments. Although it was not so oppressively hot, the land remained hard, barren, uninhabited except for a few small villages that dotted the horizon. Turhan thrived on the combination of hearty food, hard physical work and sufficient sleep. Ten days out of Diyarbakir, the harsh desert grudgingly gave way to the foothills of the Taurus Mountains. Turhan marveled at his first sight of pine trees, green even in the dusty, late summer days. To Ibrahim, who was used to the mountains of Turkey, the Taurus woods were sparse, scraggly. It was hard to believe that three thousand years earlier, the entire land had been virgin forest, separating Europe from the fertile crescent. Goats and sheep had nibbled the forests to the ground. Then their small, sharp hooves dug up the seeds of any vegetation that tried vainly to take hold. Shortly before noon, Ibrahim rode up to Turhan, leading a saddled mule and two fully-laden camels. "Turhan," he said, "I'm not going to pretend you're ignorant about certain things we carry." He pointed to a series of hills to the right of the caravan. "Ride with me along that trail. I believe it's time I told you the full story of why." Although Turhan had never ridden a camel before, his confidence in the caravan master dispelled his fears. They left the rest of the group and rode up a narrow trail into the hills.

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Turhan was the first to speak. "Effendi, you said you wanted to talk to me?" "Yes, I do. The other evening, we spoke of drugs and weapons. Sometimes it's not easy to tell what is right or wrong, good or bad. Things happen in life that you can never foresee." Turhan noticed the man seemed to be lost in thought. They rode side by side in silence for a time. "I am going to tell you a long story, Turhan. I ask that you listen and not judge until you've heard it all." The boy nodded. "Once upon a time our folk tales often start that way, and I see no reason not to, in a small village in Mosul province, there was a girl named Willow ...." # Her father was a small merchant who, to augment his meager income, sometimes dealt in opium and hashish. It was an accepted way of life. You paid twice to stay in business in that province: the requisite baksheesh to the authorities, and favors for the Agha Khorusun, who was the real power in the province. Ibrahim had traveled through the village many times over the years. He watched the child Willow emerge from pig-tailed urchin, to coltish adolescent, and finally to young womanhood. At sixteen, she was the loveliest girl in the village. To Ibrahim, she was the most breathtakingly beautiful girl in the world. She had brown eyes. Her hair was dark as night and fell to her waist. By then Ibrahim realized he'd fallen hopelessly in love with her, and he knew Willow shared that love. When he was absent from Mosul province for several months at a time, his heart ached, such was his longing. This had never happened to him before. He

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was strong, virile and led a life of excitement. Since he'd left university five years before, he'd never wanted for female companionship. Ibrahim had done business with Willow's father for some years and the older man had become his friend. Occasionally, the merchant asked Ibrahim to carry small shipments of drugs to and from Anatolia. The caravan master saw no harm in this. He was not unaware that smuggling was done all over that part of the world. If Ibrahim didn't help the man, someone else would. And besides, there was Willow. The risks were small, the potential rewards great. Soon Ibrahim found his eyes weren't the only ones that feasted on the young woman. Mosul's provincial police chief wanted her for himself. He was a large, ugly man, fortyfive, with a pockmarked face, who sweated profusely and hardly ever bathed. But he was a force to be reckoned with and feared. When the police chief became aware of how Willow and Ibrahim felt toward one another, he threatened her father. "Gothai, effendi, as you know, I am aware of your dealings, not that they're better or worse than anyone else's. But certain things disturb me greatly. Your daughter disports herself in public, freely and immorally, with that camel driver Ibrahim." "Ah, Police Chief Effendi, nowadays one cannot control women as we could in the past." "A father must always exercise authority over his child, Merchant. If he cannot, he must make haste to marry her off to a man capable of doing so." "Would this were so. But she's sixteen and very headstrong." He shrugged his shoulders helplessly.

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"That may very well be, Effendi. I cannot waste time on argument. Gothai, for some years you have assisted me in helping the people of this province." The merchant was surprised and alarmed by the chief's lack of manners. One simply did not mention baksheesh. "I think, Merchant," he continued, "that the successful continuation of your business may no longer depend on monetary assistance." "What do you mean, Chief?" "I will have the girl Willow to wife thirty days hence." The father paled. He neither liked nor trusted the police chief, but he had lived in his village all his life. To move away and start over again was unthinkable. The police chief exercised the power of life and death. All it would take would be an arrest. "Well?" "You shall have my answer in three days, Your Honor." "I expect it is because you must talk with the girl, convince her what a fine match she's made." "I must talk ..." "Very well, then. Three days. Salaam aleikum." That night, Willow's father and Ibrahim talked for a long time. At the end of the evening, when Willow was asleep, Ibrahim formally asked him for her hand in marriage. "Ah, Ibrahim, I could wish for no greater joy than to welcome you to my home as son-in-law. But what can we do?" "The Agha Khorusun?" "Yes, that is a possibility." The merchant smiled for the first time in several hours. "That is most definitely a possibility."

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There was only one man in the province more powerful than the police chief. The Agha Khorusun. If Ibrahim was to have Willow and his prospective father-in-law was to survive, the only way to handle this would be by seeking an audience with the Agha. The Agha understood their problem perfectly, and said he'd personally deal with the police chief. A day later, he not only insisted they marry in his home, but further assured the delighted men that the chief of police himself would be in attendance and would propose a toast to the bride and groom. The day Ibrahim married Willow was glorious. Even the police chief mouthed words honoring the happy occasion. Only Ibrahim saw the hateful glare in the other man's eyes. He knew he'd have to guard his flank thereafter. The next year was the happiest of his life. Willow traveled with him. She was an eager, exciting lover, a wonder to be with on the trail. Each day Ibrahim discovered something more remarkable about his woman. It was not long before she announced she was carrying his child. His happiness knew no bounds. But Ibrahim heard disquieting things from his father-in-law. Every caravan master who dealt with Gothai found his finest camels poisoned. Gothai's warehouse was

ransacked. Bolts of his finest cloth were torn, grains were laced with rat droppings or worse. Bags full of opium and hashish, not all of them his, were slashed open, their contents scattered about the storage facility. One morning, the man discovered a severed pig's head on his front doorstep, its blood slathered over the entry to his home. Ibrahim hurried south to help his father-in-law. There was no question the man had to get out of Mosul province, regardless of the difficulty. But now was not the time to travel. Willow was due to give birth within the month. Travel would be dangerous for her.

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Two evenings after they had returned, Willow was missing from her father's home. Had her time come early? Then Ibrahim heard a keening wail coming from a shallow wadi at the far end of the village. It was Alkimi. When he approached Alkimi's tent, the horror in the woman's eyes answered the question Ibrahim was afraid to ask. Alkimi tried to stop the caravan master from going to the wadi. "Not yet, Ibrahim effendi. I beg you not yet. Let the women deal with this first." But Ibrahim shoved her roughly out of the way and ran to the wadi. For the rest of his days, he'd wish he'd not done so. Willow's face was beautiful and at peace. From the neck up it appeared she was sleeping. But her body had been slit from breast to belly by a clean knife-line. The unborn child, a baby boy, lay dead in the dust. A kilogram of opium lay in the cavity which had housed the fetus the night before. Alkimi stood by Ibrahim as he vomited. For days he neither ate nor slept. All he wanted was death. He was soul-dead, without the capacity for anger or revenge. Several days later, Alkimi came to him with broth and hot tea. One day he came awake. "Why?" was all he could ask. "There is no why. There is only `who.'" Ibrahim looked at her, stunned. She continued, "The women say it was the police chief." When he heard those words, Ibrahim was consumed with one thought: to destroy the unmentionable beast who'd murdered his wife and son. As days went by, he found that impossible. The police chief had redoubled his guard. He was surrounded by officers everywhere he went. There was only one answer. Ibrahim went to the Agha Khorusun. He humbled

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himself and cried in the great man's presence. The Agha was very understanding. He had five sons and three daughters. Unlike most men in the Middle East, his daughters brought him as much joy as his sons, and he loved them equally. Ibrahim knew how the Agha had come to power. It didn't matter. He was the only man strong enough to deal with this terrible travesty of justice. The Agha listened and tears came to his eyes. Finally, he said, in a very soft voice, "Ibrahim, on my father's grave I swear you shall have your revenge." Three days later, a stranger came to Ibrahim's tent and directed the grieving man to a small hovel on the outskirts of a remote village, just beyond the northern boundaries of the province. When Ibrahim reached the place, he heard a soft moaning. The messenger said, "Go and finish the work." Not even Ibrahim's great anger and rage prepared him for what he saw, and he gagged. What remained of the police chief hung from a large meat hook. He was still alive. Barely. # "I hesitate to go into detail even now," Ibrahim said. "He had no power to implore me with the bloody stumps of arms he had left. His one eye fixed me with a stare that begged me to kill him. He couldn't speak. His tongue had been cut out. Nor could he hear. There were other things . Perhaps it was an undeserved kindness that I plunged my dagger into his heart right then. But I couldn't allow even so loathsome a creature to suffer any longer. "After that, the Agha requested, from time to time, I take certain of his friends on my journeys north. Invariably they brought several camels, all loaded down with carefully packed goods. I knew better than to ask what they transported. The Agha never demanded.

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It was simply understood that if he requested anything anything at all I would obey his will. He is a good man. Some debts can never be fully repaid." Turhan said nothing. The tears running down his cheeks told Ibrahim he understood everything. And that Ibrahim had done right to tell him. Shortly afterward, they came to a shallow depression between the hills, where they found a small wooden shed. At Ibrahim's direction, they tied the camels to a post in front of the building. Ibrahim pushed the door of the lean-to open and emerged with a large paper envelope. He opened the packet and counted out five thousand kurush. Turhan gasped,

amazed. Ibrahim handed Turhan six hundred kurush. "Even the Agha never demanded we work for free." After they left the shed, the trail continued climbing. Shortly, they came to a plateau a thousand feet above the surrounding countryside. The broad, flat basin stretched to the far horizon. The air was so clear that Turhan could see the purple outlines of hills in the distance. Except for the caravan, a group of slow-moving ants, the land was empty. The silence was awesome. They were about to head down the trail to meet the caravan when Turhan heard the sound of running water. A few feet off the trail, there was a narrow defile with several shrub like trees. "Come," Ibrahim said. They entered the gorge where a small cascade of water descended a nearby cliff into a sparkling pool. The men disrobed and dove into the cold, fresh water. Like children, they splashed and dunked one another as each tacitly acknowledged that the time of deep understanding had come and it was now time for the mood to lighten. #

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Three days later, they entered Malatya. Zeki and Turhan wandered about the wealthy, modern city, which boasted wide boulevards and elegant houses set amidst gardens and orchards. There were no old buildings, no ruins. The caravanserai where they stayed was far different from the one in Diyarbakir. Stables were clean. Pallets for travelers did not stink of sweat and urine. That night, Ibrahim invited local merchants to a feast. The women made stuffed, pickled dolma, and gvetch. The men roasted two whole lambs. For dessert, there was baklava, a manylayered pastry interlaced with chopped pistachio nuts, and tel kadayif, shredded wheat covered with honeyed syrup. After the women retired, the men talked of events beyond Malatya. Ibrahim listened with growing impatience for half an hour, then drew Turhan away from the group. "I don't have the patience to suffer these ostriches who bury their heads in the sand and deny that changes are coming." "But Ibrahim Effendi," said Turhan, "I see no signs of unrest in Malatya. No troops. Shops are full. Everyone goes about life as they did in Diyarbakir." "Appearances often fool a fool, Turhan. Many of these fat nobles and the sycophant merchants who prosper from them, believe that regardless of what happens in the west, things in this part of the empire will go on as they have in the past. Such pretense is idiotic. Did you notice how clean and modern this city appeared?" "There was hardly an old building or a ruin anywhere." "Yet a town has existed on this site for four thousand years. This place has had almost as many rulers as people. Hittites, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Christian Crusaders, they've all been here. The Ottomans who came west from the Central Asian steppes with

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Timur-leng have been here less than five hundred years. Now it seems our days of glory are coming to an end. In the past few years alone, we've lost the Balkans, Greece and our last African lands. The Ottoman Empire shrinks every month. Once the jackals smell the blood of a decaying nation, they feast." "What do you think will happen, Effendi?" "Who knows? To stay alert to change is to stay alive. "But enough of such talk. If we live the years of the future before they arrive, we can't enjoy the days immediately ahead. I've arranged something very special for the next four days. You and Zeki will need your rest and your strength. It's time for me to ask our guests to depart. Off to bed with you."

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13 Dawn. A slight breeze rustled the dying fire in the caravanserai's courtyard. Turhan felt himself gently shaken awake. He stirred through half-sleep. "Come," Ibrahim

whispered. "Zeki's got the horses ready. We'll stop for breakfast an hour after sunrise. Wear your warmest clothing." Turhan dressed and followed Ibrahim to the stables. Zeki was holding Ibrahim's white Arabian, Lightning, and two other horses, a grey gelding and a chestnut mare, which were saddled and ready. "Yours is the smaller one, Yildiz, named after the star on her forehead. She's gentle, but she'll have no trouble keeping up with us," Zeki said, handing Turhan the reins of the compactly built chestnut. Ibrahim approached with a pack mule. "We'll be gone four days. If we're not back by sunup the fifth day, the caravan will start northwest toward Kayseri. We'll catch up to them enroute." "Where are we going, Ibrahim Effendi?" Turhan asked. "A mountain two days' journey from here, Nemrut Dag." "Four days' time to see a mountain?" Zeki asked. "There are several mountains on the way to the Black Sea, Ibrahim Effendi. Why stop at this one?" "I'll let Nemrut Dag speak for itself," replied Ibrahim. "We must get moving before sunlight." Although it was only Turhan's second time on horseback, he got used to the horses easy lope within the hour. Later that morning, their mounts grazed in an abundant

pastureland, while Ibrahim, Zeki and Turhan ate ekmek, the broad grained Turkish peasant

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bread, olives, feta cheese and rose petal jam, which Ibrahim had packed the previous night, and drank strong black tea which he'd brought in a burlap-wrapped container. After breakfast, they remounted and continued their steady pace through the hills and valleys. As they climbed into the highlands, travel became slower. By noon, hot and tired, they arrived at a flat, grassy knoll near a mountain spring, where they stopped for lunch. Afterward, Turhan slept for two hours. When he awoke, he was not at all certain this adventure was as wonderful as Ibrahim had promised. His backside was painful with saddle sores. All you can do is keep riding., Ibrahim said. Tomorrow, it'll be better." By sundown, they came to a sheltered area halfway to their destination. The travelers pitched their tents and gathered enough wood for a fire. After a simple meal and tea, sleep came easily that night. Another day of traveling and Turhan was not quite so sore. Ibrahim led them to a protected, flattened shelf of land, two thousand feet above the valley floor. The well-hidden aerie jutted out from the peaks behind. Its leading edge dropped off a sheer cliff face. The two sides were hemmed in by higher mountains. The explorers entered from a narrow, ascending trail, with dry brush all about. The shelf, invisible from the valley floor, commanded a broad sweep of land far below. Turhan picked out the dim lights of a village and, farther away, the more substantial lights of a small town. Shortly before sunset, the travelers tethered their animals in a flattened area several yards down the path and lit a campfire. After surrounding the fire with stones, to reflect and hold the heat all night, the three of them bedded down early. Shortly after midnight, Ibrahim woke to a rustling below their campsite. He edged his way along the rock face leading from their small fire to the trail. He was so quiet that

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not even the crickets stopped their busy chirping. When got to the trailhead, he heard the animals nervously shuffling about. After searching in vain for the cause of their agitation, he retraced his steps back up the trail. When he reached the entry to the mesa, his attention was caught by the reflection of moonlight off a piece of metal. His eyes widened. Four men were edging their way across the mesa from a cave he had not hitherto noticed. Twenty feet separated the men from the two sleeping youths. Suddenly, one of the men reached out and grabbed the sleeping Turhan from behind. A second man seized Zeki and stuffed a gag in his mouth. Ibrahim heard the loud whisper of the man who was holding Turhan. "One sound, my young friend, and you are dead. Do you understand?" The boy nodded. Within moments, the two boys were trussed and gagged. "I could have sworn there were three of them," one of the men muttered. "There were," one of his companions replied. "Where's the third one?" "I've no idea. These are just two boys." "The other was an older man. He could be close by. Bashak, check the trailhead. Make sure no one's there." Ibrahim hid in a narrow crevice, off the trail. His dark clothing blended into the rocks, making him invisible in the shadows. The robber reached the trail and looked about. He called out softly, "Nothing here. The horses are down below. Should I check there?" "No, stay where you are and guard the trail. We'll go over to the cave for a couple of hours, then one of us will take your place. No sense searching at night. Those two won't go anywhere. We'll search for their friend later. Besides, we can always use fresh horses and

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theirs looked fit." The sentinel sat down to crack and eat some nuts. Forty minutes later, he stood and walked over to the trailhead. All was still. He turned to make sure the two boys were still bound. That was all the time Ibrahim needed. He emerged from the shadows holding a rock slightly larger than his hand, which he used with speed and precision. The man collapsed with a soft exhalation. Ibrahim crept forward until he reached the boys. He motioned them to remain silent, then released them. Turhan and Zeki were dazed, but not injured. Ibrahim took the rope and gag that had been used to bind Zeki and bound the unconscious sentinel. They quickly gathered their gear and noiselessly moved down the trail. Turhan started to whisper something, but Ibrahim's raised hand stopped him before any words came out. Once they'd descended to the valley floor, he asked, "Ibrahim, who ...?" "Bandits. This area's full of them. It's in the center of a triangle formed by three important trading cities, Diyarbakir to the east, Malatya to the north, and Urfa to the south. Under normal circumstances, it's at least a week's hard journey between those cities, with hardly a small village in between. There are no protected land routes, very few policemen or soldiers, and limitless mountains to hide in. It's a perfect place for such men to ply their trade." "What if they follow us?" Zeki asked, not a little nervous. "That's hardly likely," Ibrahim replied. "Even though they outnumbered us, they weren't in any hurry to attack while we were awake. Jackals!" He spat derisively to the side of the trail.

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"Cowards always hunt in packs and strike the weaklings. I'm sure they've had more than their fill of us. Besides, there'll undoubtedly be travelers coming down the main road today with much more to steal than we've got." He pulled out his pocket watch and nodded. "Two hours past midnight. Good. We'll be able to start the final ascent before daybreak." By this time, the youths had recovered from their shock and were eager to get started. A gibbous moon suffused the area with bright, silvery light. Turhan felt he could reach out and touch the mountains. The land rose steadily. The small party cast infinitesimal shadows against the vast landscape. After some time, Ibrahim reined in his horse and directed the others to stop. "From here, it's on foot all the way. We'll turn the animals out to pasture." "How far is it from here, Effendi?" asked Zeki. "An hour at most, but it's a steep climb." They reached a large, flat mesa just as the sun was coming over the crest of the mountain, three hundred feet above them. Turhan was stunned. If he lived a hundred years and ultimately went blind in his old age, he'd never forget the sight. Nemrut Dag was the highest peak in the region. The panorama in all directions was astounding, but this paled when Turhan confronted what he saw on the flattened escarpment. A long, broad mound was flanked by twin terraces, the closest of which faced into the rising Sun. The embankment was lined with massive statues, several times the height of a man. The tallest, a young woman thirty-five feet high, was the only one with a head on its body. On the ground immediately beneath the colossal structures, were four huge male heads. Off to one side was an eagle and a lion. Each head was taller than Turhan. In the early morning light, the stone heads glowed reddish pink. As the sun rose

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higher, they turned yellow, then blazing white. The statues were not carved from single stones, but were constructed of several large blocks of alternating black and white marble. Ibrahim approached Turhan quietly. "Beyond words?" "Would Allah sanction the creation of such powerful images, Effendi?" "Probably not," Ibrahim said. "But this is not the work of Allah. It is the eternity of Turkey. I brought you here to show you that Anatolia is more than poor villages and drab cities. For you to grasp the magnificence of our motherland, you must know what came before us. "Man has always believed in a superior power. What you see was not created by any god, but by a man who believed he was more than mortal. Two thousand years ago, this place was part of Commagene, a very small kingdom surrounded by the Parthian and Roman empires. Its ruler, Antiochus, claimed he could trace his royal line back a thousand years. He signed treaties with his neighbors, so he didn't have to worry about war. This land was very fertile then. The king grew fat and rich. "Antiochus's explanation for everything going so well was that he was a god. Since gods deserved proper monuments, he ordered the construction of Nemrut Dag. An army of slaves dragged blocks of cut stone from thousands of feet below to this summit. No one knows how they placed one atop the other." "But, Ibrahim Effendi," interrupted Turhan, "if mankind worshipped these stones from that day forward, wouldn't they have made certain the heads were kept on the bodies?" "That's one of history's ironic jokes. Work started fifty years before the prophet Jesus was born. It took twenty years to erect the monument. Shortly after he completed these structures, Antiochus forgot how the world really works. The `great god' insulted

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Rome, and soon he was replaced by a more complacent puppet. Antiochus's golden empire lasted barely twenty-five years. "These magnificent statues sat forgotten until they were accidentally discovered by a German civil engineer, thirty-five years ago. The next year, a young German archeologist, Otto Puchstein, came to investigate. I've met Otto a few times during my travels. He's still busy uncovering ruins in Anatolia. He must be sixty by now." "How old were you when you first saw Nemrut Dag, Effendi?" "About your age." "Who are these stone people, sir?" "Antiochus's favorite Greek gods. The lady who managed to keep her head is Tyche, the goddess of fortune. On this side you can see Heracles, Apollo, and Zeus, King of the Gods. The fellow without the beard is Antiochus himself. The eagle and the lion symbolized strength." The tall man lost himself in thought for a moment, then murmured quietly, "Our motherland. What a tortured history it's had. How many civilizations it has nursed. Ripped by earthquakes, plundered by conqueror after conqueror, tramped underfoot to brown nothingness. It's been shorn of its bounty, but never its dignity. Inshallah, may it be better for you." Their reverie was shattered as shots rang out. "Get down!" Ibrahim shouted. The three of them instantly dropped behind the terrace. "You may as well pray to Allah, for all the good it will do you," a voice snarled from above.

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Turhan looked up. A hundred feet above him, in a rock crevice, he saw the man who'd tied him up the night before. His three accomplices surrounded the scraggly-bearded, unkempt assailant. Ibrahim whispered to Turhan and Zeki, "We've got to keep him talking. It's our only chance." He called out to the spokesman. "How did you catch up with us so fast?" "Where else would three well-heeled travelers with fine horses be headed in these parts, my friend?" The brigand cut loose with a string of caustic invectives. Ibrahim quietly told the boys, "We've got only one rifle. I'll try to draw his fire. See if you can make it to that ledge. It will give you some protection." He gestured to a large rock about twenty feet away, which was covered by an overhang. "If you knew where we were going," Ibrahim called back, "why didn't you just cut us off before we got here?" "No sense making ourselves obvious. You're our guests in this territory. We thought we'd ride ahead and welcome you." "Very gracious of you," Ibrahim replied, trying to gain time, so he could concoct a plan. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught the slightest movement as the boys ran for cover. A storm of gunfire erupted. Two bullets hit Zeki, almost simultaneously. The boy spun and his body seemed to leap in mid-air before he collapsed in a heap. Turhan kept running until he was under the ledge. Ibrahim saw the boy's dazed expression. The outlaws blasted away at Turhan's cover. The youth looked as if he would run out from under cover in sheer panic unless Ibrahim took immediate action. He unleashed his own barrage of rifle fire. One attacker fell into the scree at the base of the slope. A second followed. Ibrahim

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scurried toward that part of the mountain farthest away from Turhan's rock fortress. "All right, hero!" Ibrahim yelled out. "You've murdered a young boy. See if the two of you can take on a man!" He deliberately aimed for a small pile of rocks above the gunmen and pulled the trigger. He noted with grim satisfaction that a small cascade of rocks starting to fall from that precipice. But now his rifle was empty. He wouldn't have time to reload before the two survivors located him. The rivulet of rocks became a torrent. Suddenly there was a great rumbling, as if unseen forces were beating a huge drum in the bowels of the earth. The roar grew in magnitude. It was louder than any thunderstorm Turhan had ever heard. The ground started wobbling, rolling and shaking under him. Turhan could not keep his balance and fell. Above the commotion, he heard Ibrahim shout, "Avalanche! Get under the ledge!" and the agonized screams of their two assailants on the higher ground as they were buried alive by a hundred boulders. Rocks continued rumbling down the mountain, burying Zeki's remains. As quickly as it had started, the noise stopped. There was an eerie silence. The sun, shining through dust, had turned blood red. Turhan, heard nothing. No moans. No shouts. No life. "Zeki!" He cried his friend's name over and over. The rocks remained silent. The dust started to settle. The place where Zeki had fallen moments before was still, as though the stones that buried him had occupied this space for hundreds of years. Ibrahim ran quickly to the boy. "Zeki," the lad mumbled in a daze, his face streaked with muddy tears.

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"Let us pray for Zeki's soul, Turhan. When death arrives, we cannot bar the door," Ibrahim said gently. As the next hours passed, the two friends, bound in the immutability of death, talked about Zeki. Man and boy slowly descended from the mountain where horses, food and warmth awaited. Exhausted, Turhan collapsed in deep sleep as the moon rose once again. Ibrahim had difficulty resting that night. Although he'd had little to eat that day, he felt a stab of indigestion early in the evening. Later there was a strange tightness in his chest. He dismissed it as a reaction to the day's terrible events.

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14 The caravan was about to depart northwest toward Kayseri, when Ibrahim rode up to Turhan and asked, "Could you come to the back of the caravanserai for a moment?" Turhan followed dutifully. The small chestnut mare, Yildiz, was tethered to a post. "She's yours, boy. She can't bring Zeki back, but she'll make the trip far more pleasant than walking. Ride alongside me for the rest of the journey. I need someone to listen to an old man tell his stories." Kayseri was one-hundred-fifty miles distant. Four days after they left Malatya, the Taurus mountains gave way to a treeless steppe. Each night, the caravan stopped in a different forgettable, shapeless, and boring small town. "Why do we stop at these places, Ibrahim Effendi?" Turhan asked. "There must be several routes that go through larger cities and towns." "That's so, Turhan. However, when you're the only source of goods coming through, you not only realize higher prices, but you're always appreciated." At each stop along the way, their arrival was heralded as a major event. The muhtar, the headman, inevitably ordered a feast. Villagers found bed space for their guests, and placed comfortable matting on the floor. There was always talk, for the caravan brought news from the outside world, a letter or message from a loved one in a distant place, a source of fresh life. The villagers wanted to hear gossip, not the political messages spread by the government in far off Istanbul. Often people asked Turhan whether he knew so-and-so's relative in this village or that. Was he going to Kanesh? Would he mind carrying a letter to this woman's cousin or

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that man's great uncle? Turhan learned how lonely and tedious life on the steppe could be, and how great were distances that separated those who left their loved ones when they departed their native communities. On the first day of autumn, Turhan called out to Ibrahim and pointed south in amazement. Rising in the far distance was the highest, most perfect mountain the boy had ever seen. "Mount Argaeus," Ibrahim said. "As we get closer, you'll see snow at the top. It's there year 'round. Legend says if you climb to the summit, you can see from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. At one time, it was a volcano. It's been quiet for as long as anyone can remember." The mountain dominated the horizon as they approached their destination. They reached Kayseri late that afternoon. Turhan immediately felt the bustle and drive of this large plains city, a caravan crossroads since ancient times. "We do a great deal of trading here," Ibrahim said. "We'll find some of the finest Anatolian carpets at the lowest prices in Turkey. There are several excellent goldsmiths in the city. We'll purchase jewelry we can sell at profit in the north." In a quieter voice, he said, "It's also the closest we come to Afyon, the town that gave its name to opium. The Agha Khorusun has many friends in this city." Turhan was hot, dusty, and tired from so many days of travel. He was in no mood to do business today. The older man saw this and smiled knowingly. "However," Ibrahim continued, "this afternoon I've got something in store for you that will get you ready for the days ahead. As soon as we've put down at the caravanserai, join me." "Would you mind if I didn't? I'm tired. I feel sticky and greasy. I just want to

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collapse and go to sleep." "Yes, I would mind," the man answered with a gleam in his eye. "You will come with me this afternoon and you may consider that a command." "Very well, Sire," the boy sighed. Within the hour, Ibrahim and Turhan departed the Vizier Caravanserai and walked southeast along Talat Road. Everywhere Turhan looked, there was a bustle and hum to the city. The wheels of commerce spun noisily. Less than fifty yards beyond their hostel, they felt the tug of insistent hands. "Carpets, messieurs, the finest Bnyan designs. Herekes, meine herren, from the Sultan's own looms." Ibrahim clucked his tongue at the two middleaged hawkers and raised his eyebrows, the Turkish symbol for "Begone!" It was hard to see the buildings, for merchants had set up booths on both sides of the street, barely leaving room for carriages to pass. There was a riot of colorful clothing, reds, yellows, greens and blues, suspended from makeshift lines strung along the tops of the booths, which contrasted with the somber grays, browns and blacks of shawls and shalvar worn by women and young girls, who resembled nothing so much as plain, round little hens, pecking about a yard filled with a cornucopia of needs and luxuries. Most of them had money sufficient only for a bolt of the coarsest cloth, or for the lowest price fruits and vegetables. "Mosque mice," Ibrahim remarked, good naturedly. "The real trade in this city is left to the travelers." A mile down Talat road, the stalls thinned out. Turhan saw sturdy two and threestory stone buildings, mostly brown and dun, but occasionally bright, garish blue, red, or brown-yellow. Some were residences, but most of the buildings had signs suspended from

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metal bracings attached to their second stories, Dish tabibi, dentist, avukat, lawyer, noter, notary public, and the like. Just beyond the citadel, the road turned right. A few yards farther along, Turhan saw a massive, faded brick building with a huge, silver-colored dome. Ibrahim said, "Here we are. When you see what's in store, you'll quickly wipe that sullen look off your face." They entered the Hand Hamam, Kayseri's largest Turkish bath. Many years ago, Grandfather had taken Turhan to the hamam in the village, a small, wooden shed with cracking beams and a sour smell. This place was much different. As he entered, the stolid brick on the outside gave way to cheerful blue tiles. There was a fountain in the entry hall, which continually sprayed water into a round, tile-covered fish pond. Fat, orange carp swam lazily about, oblivious to men who lounged about the pond, nursing a glass of tea or, perhaps, stronger stuff. Turhan had learned early that in the land of Sunni Muslims, the Prophet's injunction against wine was taken literally. Had Mohammed wished to enjoin the use of raki, the anise-flavored lion's milk of Turkey, he would have done so. He hadn't, and that was the Ottomans' blessing. During the next hour, Turhan and Ibrahim moved from washroom to a series of ever hotter steam rooms. Turhan experienced his first Turkish massage. The kneading, thumping, pummeling, and rubbing caused every one of his muscles to slacken. He was so relaxed that by the time the masseur was finished, he could hardly move. But there was more pleasure to come. After theyd returned to the washroom, they entered a large heated pool, where they paddled about with nothing more to do than luxuriate. Half an hour later, they entered a small room, where more attendants poured buckets of warm water over them, then rubbed and scraped Ibrahims and Turhans bodies with a

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coarse sponge, flaking off the puter layers of skin. When the attendants were done, they doused Turhan and Ibrahim with more hot water, then soaped their bodies with a horsehair brush, working it up to a rich lather before pouring buckets over cooler water over the two travelers. "Tamam. Finished," the chief attendant said handing Turhan a thick white robe, a Turkish towel, in which to wrap himself. When Turhan returned to his cubicle, two hours after he had entered the hamam, he found his clothes washed, dried, and softened. As he alighted from the dressing room, he found Ibrahim waiting at a nearby table with two small cups of steaming Turkish coffee. That night, Turhan slept refreshed and at peace. The next day, while Ibrahim tended to business, Turhan spent the day wandering around the city, deeply feeling the loss of Zeki. That evening Ibrahim noticed that Turhan was restless at supper. After the meal, he handed the youth what looked like a large, unbound book printed on both sides of thin paper. The masthead at the top read "Gnlk Gazete." "Daily News, Effendi?" "I told you when we got to Kayseri, I'd find you a newspaper. There's still plenty of light to read by." "Thank you, Ibrahim Bey." There was not much excitement in the boy's tone. "Not a good day?" "I'd rather not talk about it." "Very well. Many times I've found that when I read about the problems other folks have, mine don't seem so large." Turhan went to his room. Within a few minutes, he became so engrossed in the

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newspaper he almost forgot Zekis death. He read that in faraway places whose names were totally unfamiliar to him, men were discussing something called "the dismemberment of the Ottoman empire." He linked the words to what Ibrahim had told him in Malatya about troubles ahead for the Turkish people. The newspaper was written in Arabic script. Here and there throughout the paper were advertisements printed in a different kind of lettering. Long after he would normally have gone to sleep, he read the newspaper a second time. What an incredible, wonderful device. Turhan thought back to the dreadful injustices he'd seen and his desire to avenge Shadran's and Grandfather's deaths. He recalled Ibrahim's words about questioning what seemed wrong to him, challenging others to think. A newspaper did this every day. Here was a way he could tell the truth to the world. Within the pages of the newspaper, he could fight injustice, give a voice to people who had no voices of their own. Could this be a way of accomplishing things he had thought impossible? Things he knew were more important than anything else? Next morning, Turhan sought out Ibrahim, even before breakfast. "Effendi, thank you for the newspaper last night. With Zekis death on my mind, I was not properly appreciative. I apologize." "Think nothing of it. Everyone has moods. Like storm clouds, they pass, like seasons they change." "Effendi, remember when you told me about speaking against injustice to the world?" "Yes." "After I read Gnlk Gazete, I thought, `This may be a way for me to speak to the

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world.'" "Indeed." The caravan master suppressed a smile. "It's not a job for everyone. A writer's work in such a journal should be like a clear mirror. It's not always flattering. The journalist makes many enemies." "But at least the world might listen." "Turhan," the man said, laughing. "I very much doubt if Gnlk Gazete speaks to the world. However, you're right, that paper does speak to Kayseri." "Meanwhile, my young friend, you've been little more than a porter and a shepherd until now. It's time you learned the art of trade. "

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After a delicious breakfast, Ibrahim took Turhan to the center of the bazaar. Ibrahim was as shrewd a bargainer as any merchant there. "Real gold does not have a brassy color, and it's soft," he said, at one jeweler's stall. At another, he remarked, "Pearls are

extraordinarily rare in these parts. Although this ring is beautifully set and looks rich and exceptional, the pearl's counterfeit. Rub your teeth over it." The boy did, and noticed its creamy smoothness. He commented on it to Ibrahim. "Very observant, Turhan. A real pearl will feel gritty to the teeth, like hard-packed sand. Smoothness fools the unwary." Somewhat further along the alley, Turhan watched a pair of merchants vigorously exchanging hand signals with one another. "A means of trade as old as mankind," Ibrahim remarked. "By their dress, the shopkeeper is a Jew. When the Hebrews were thrown out of Spain four hundred years ago, Sultan Mehmet invited them to come to Turkey with the comment, `They say the King of Spain is wise. If he threw out the Jews, he must be a fool.' Spain's loss has been the Ottoman empire's gain. For centuries, Jews have fueled Turkey's commerce. The other fellow's Persian. Neither understands the other's language, but hand signals have worked for as long as the market has been in business." "Ibrahim Effendi, I'd like to purchase some rings to trade in the north." "Very well. A few words of advice before you go off on your own. Don't buy the first thing you see. Don't buy from the first merchant, even if he has exactly what you want. Appear disinterested. Leave, return a few times. Never betray your eagerness. Merchants know in a moment if you're anxious to purchase. Let them treat you to chay. Tea lubricates the wheels of business in the bedestan. If I'm not within the distance where you can see me,

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don't go into any shop. You're young, alone and easy prey." For the first hour, Turhan obeyed Ibrahim's admonition to the letter. He bought nothing, but went from stall to stall, examining merchandise. He drank numerous glasses of tea and voided his bladder behind the stalls several times that morning. Just before mid-day, Turhan noticed that many places were closing their doors. He remembered a shop in the next block that had looked particularly attractive. As Turhan approached, he saw it had remained open. He looked around for Ibrahim. The caravan master was nowhere to be found. "Oh, well," Turhan thought. "No doubt Ibrahim meant I should remain where we could see each other during the busiest part of the day. Surely there's no harm in going into an open shop when there are so few people on the street." Turhan entered the shop. The man behind the counter was different from the one he'd seen there in the morning, but he was an engaging chap. Within minutes, Turhan was actively bargaining. After thirstily downing a glass of tea which the clerk provided, talk became serious. "Donal Effendi, the rings you've shown me are of minimal quality. What would you take for these five?" "A brilliant choice for so young a trader. You've no doubt had training and are most discerning. These rings are genuine gold, twenty-four carat. You can tell by the markings on the side. Two have clusters of pearls, sapphires, and topaz. Run your teeth over the pearls if you doubt my word. The others have single stones. You deprive me of my five choicest pieces, but it is my honor to serve you. Even if I lose money, I gain a friend who'll no doubt trade with me for many years. I want to help you get started, young man, so I'll part with these for half their true value, two hundred fifty kurush."

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"Effendi, I said I might consider five rings as a group, to relieve you of your burden. I saw rings like this for fifteen kurush apiece a block away." "Hssein's stall, no doubt. He'll ply you with ten carat gold plate. His stones are manufactured in Russia. He'll only cheat you. Pay him the fifteen if you want. On the other hand, should you wish to pay two hundred twenty kurush for the lot, I might be persuaded to forego any profit I'd make." "Chohk pahala, too expensive, the youth said, rising to leave. He replaced the tea on a table, surprised that he felt dizzy. "Wait, Effendi. How much do you wish to spend?" "Perhaps one hundred kurush for them all." "Ah, I see I'm dealing with a true professional. Is something wrong, Sir? Your face seems a bit pale." "No, I'm all right." "Why not lie down in the back of my shop for a while? Perhaps it's the heat of the day?" "No, I'm fine," Turhan remarked, not feeling well at all. Should he call for Ibrahim? No, it would pass in a moment. "I think a breath of fresh air would help." "Nonsense. Have some more chay." "If I may, thank you." Turhan sat down heavily. The tea tasted very sweet. He heard Donal's voice through a fog. "Come, boy, let me escort you to the back. Lie here for a few moments 'til you feel better." Turhan's legs felt like blocks of wood. He felt himself guided into an area in the

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back where he lay down on a pile of carpets and pillows. "Perhaps I'll relax for just a little while." Within moments he was in a deep sleep. # "Wake up! Wake up, I say! What are you doing in the back of my stall? Answer now or I'll call the market police!" "Hnnnh?" "Awake this instant! Allah's shame upon you, a young boy, a drunkard in the middle of the day! Up and out right now! What's this? You've two of my finest rings in your pocket! A thief to boot! Allah! Police! Police!" The man ran to the front of his stall. "There's a thief and a drunkard in my shop! Help! Help!" The market was instantly abuzz. One market policeman and two city constables entered the shop. Bozkurt the jeweler was livid. Ibrahim, who'd heard the commotion, immediately went to Bozkurt's stall. By the time he got there, the police had grabbed the drowsy Turhan and were pummeling him with their clubs. The boy seemed oblivious to what was going on. The moment Ibrahim saw them he shouted, "Stop! For Allah's sake, stop! He's neither a drunkard nor a thief. Hes my young companion, Turhan. Stop it this instant!" They froze and stared at Ibrahim. This caravan master was well known in Kayseri. "But Ibrahim Effendi," Bozkurt replied. "I caught the boy suchustu yakalanmak, red handed, with the rings on his person." "Was he trying to run from your store?" "Of course not, he was too drunk to do so." "Bozkurt, the boy was in my charge the entire morning. I swear he had nothing but tea."

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"See for yourself, Effendi, the boy is clearly intoxicated." "Donal Bey, no more than one hundred twenty-five kurush," Turhan mumbled incoherently. "What?" one of the policemen said, startled. "Did you say `Donal Bey?'" Turhan did not respond. The policemen said, "Did any of you hear what the boy said? Did he mention the name Donal?" "I think I heard him say that, officer," Ibrahim replied. "Why? Does that name have any significance?" "It may," the other said. "Allow me to smell the boy's breath." He did so, then said, "The youngster's not drunk, but drugged." The officer looked about the stall and found two half-empty glasses of tea on a tray. Nothing significant. A sign of business throughout the marketplace. Still, it wouldn't hurt to inspect. He sniffed both glasses, then spilled a small amount from one of them onto his fingers. "Drugged all right. Hashish. The boy must have ingested a lot of it. The sugar in the drink undoubtedly covered the taste. Get him some strong mint tea and let him sit for a couple of hours. Perhaps then he'll be able to help us." # "The last thing I remember, he quoted me two-hundred-twenty kurush for the five rings." "Was he here when you first passed the shop?" "No, officer. The other man, the one who shouted at me, was here the first time." "I remember the boy," Bozkurt said. "He kept wandering from stall to stall. I didn't pay attention to him. He seemed too young to take seriously as a customer. Just looking."

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"When I came back, a man who introduced himself as Donal was standing behind the counter," Turhan continued. "He told me he owned the shop and he'd just sent his assistant you, sir on an errand." "I had an early lunch engagement," the merchant said to the police officer. "I trusted my fellow jewelers to keep their eyes on my stall, as I do on theirs from time to time." "What did this Donal look like?" the constable asked. "Slightly taller than me, swarthy, dark moustache." "Wonderful," said Ibrahim. "That describes three quarters of the men in the bazaar." "Not necessarily," the officer said. "Were there any unusual marks on his face?" "He had a scar over his left eye." "I think so." "Bohk!" the officer said, involuntarily using the word for dung. "It's him all right." "Who?" Ibrahim asked. "A known thief. He strikes regularly every two or three months. We haven't been able to catch him so far. He invariably seeks out shops with small, very expensive goods, goldsmiths, jewelers, dealers in Hereke carpets. He tells the merchant he's a trader from out of town. He's very generous and insists upon buying tea instead of accepting it from the merchant. He offers a price somewhat higher than the going rate, then excuses himself for a few moments, leaving a small deposit with the seller. The shopkeeper is found some hours later in back of his stall, drugged, with his most valuable merchandise gone." "I didn't notice anything missing except the two items that I found on the boy." "You probably came back early and frightened him off. When he heard the commotion, he must have ran out the back of your shop."

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"Allah be praised, there's no harm done," Bozkurt said. "I apologize, boy. I'd offer you some chay, but you've undoubtedly had enough. By the way, were you interested in purchasing those rings?" "I was, Effendi." "And you offered?" "Twenty kurush apiece, sir." "A little low, but we can bargain." "I was offering a hundred kurush to buy five pieces, and I was prepared to go to a hundred fifty if they were of good quality." Turhan walked over to the nearby jewelry case. "I was interested in these other three as well." "The five rings together would be one hundred sixty kurush, my best price. You're aware these are fourteen karat gold?" "Fourteen?" Turhan asked. "Donal said twenty-four." "Turhan," Ibrahim said. Twenty-four karat is the purest gold, but it's much too soft to make a ring that will stand up under constant wear. Most rings in this bazaar are ten, fourteen, occasionally eighteen karat, certainly no more." Then Ibrahim became the

seasoned trader. "Bozkurt, these five rings are worth a hundred twenty-five at best." "Ibrahim, you know these are my finest. A hundred fifty?" "Thirty." "Done." Turhan reached into his tunic to withdraw his money purse. He paled. "It's gone! My money is gone! Two hundred kurush! Allah, Allah!"

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The boy looked as though he would weep. Ibrahim saw the shock and said, gently, "According to the accounting your agent gave me back in Diyarbakir, you have five lira five hundred kurush left. Did you want to spend it on these rings?" "I don't feel much like buying right now," Turhan said miserably, "I promised I'd send half to my partner." "A partner? You never said you had a partner." "Perhaps not really a partner. The person who supplied me with goods to sell." "Oh, Ertugrul," Ibrahim said, brightening. "That old man has been around long enough to know these things happen. It's a grave misfortune for you, Turhan. I'm sure they won't catch the thief before we leave Kayseri. Be glad it was your purse, not your head."

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Two days later, Ibrahim awakened Turhan earlier than usual. "For the next days, you and I leave the trading to others. There's a special place, not too far from here I'd like you to see. The Valley of Greme. It's different from any place else on earth. If you didn't see it, you'd always be sorry." Turhan was wary. "The last time you said that about a place ...." "Allah controls what happens, not you or I, boy," the older man said sharply. "If you'd rather not see it, that's your loss." "No, Effendi, I want to go with you." So it was that two hours later Ibrahim and Turhan rode west over the old RomanByzantine road toward Greme. Although there were no trees to shade them, a slight breeze off the foothills to the south made travel pleasant. When the sun reached its zenith, they stopped for lunch on a rise by the side of the road. Three superb peaks rose from the steppe, Argaeus, nearly thirteen thousand feet high, and the two Hasandags, twelve and ten thousand feet. Even in early autumn they were snow capped. West of rgp, Turhan noticed hundreds of small blisters in the earth on either side of their trail. "Small volcanoes, extinct geysers," Ibrahim remarked. "How far are we going, Ibrahim Bey?" "Once we're over the next rise, we'll be there." As they crested the rock highland, Turhan gasped. Thousands of years before, the three giant volcanoes spewed rocky eruptions into valleys of soft tufa stone. Over the

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millennia, the Kizilirmak River, the hot sun, floods, rain, the winds of the Asian steppes, and the hand of God sawed away at the lava, creating a bizarre landscape. As far as Turhan could see there were fairy chimneys, slender rock cones, many with mushroom shaped stones covering the top. Some of these structures climbed the sides of their neighbors. Others were separated by as much as a thousand feet. Some rose higher than the tallest buildings Turhan had ever seen. Others were only a hundred-fifty feet in height. "These stones were so soft even the earliest men could bore into them with the most primitive tools," Ibrahim said. "People dug out houses of every kind. Each tower was large enough to house several people. Early Christians carved more than three thousand churches in this valley. Their frescoes look as fresh now as when they were created. Let's ride down into the valley and get a closer view." They chose one of the cones at random. Inside, they climbed a circular staircase neatly carved in the rock. At each landing, spacious rooms led off a small central hall. Windows cut through the rock flooded the rooms with light. As he looked out from one of them, Turhan realized they were fifty feet above ground. There was not so much as the twitter of a bird. The entire valley was silent. "Well?" Ibrahim asked. "It's everything I was told. More." As they rode through the valley, they were surrounded by high tufa cliffs. They were the only souls in the vast expanse. The few trees in the area had shed their leaves. It was a place of ghosts. "Ah, here's the cave I was looking for," Ibrahim said. They entered a teardrop-shaped opening, twice Turhan's height. Immediately inside the cave, the youth saw several large stones, placed where they could be moved to make the

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entrance look like a shallow, dead end. Twenty paces beyond the entryway, a path turned right and descended into a large hall, from which a half-dozen passageways branched out. "Choose any one you wish," said the caravan leader. "But make sure you have some way to find your way back." "What do you mean?" Turhan asked. "This is one of the underground cities your grandfather told you about. It has nine different levels. A few miles from here, there's one that goes down fifteen stories and has air shafts coming up four hundred feet to the outside. Each city is connected to others by an underground tunnel. When marauders came through the Greme Valley in ancient times, scouts alerted the inhabitants, who immediately fled to these caves. It's cool in here. They stored food and water easily. When they needed to cook, they burned fires. To a stranger who'd heard of volcanoes and seen geysers in this land, smoke rising from shafts hundreds of feet from any visible cliff or cave would simply appear to be another of nature's mysteries." "How large were the cities?" "The largest was a mile wide and nearly two long." "Where are all the people today?" "Gone. No one knows where. Why don't you go down a couple of stories? I brought some rope and two candles with me. I'll stay here and hold one end. Don't go too far." The boy disappeared down one of the passages, the candle casting a faint glow along the walls. Several minutes later he shouted, "Ibrahim! Come quick! See what I've found!" The caravan master anchored the thick cord to a solid stanchion and descended toward the

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voice. As Turhan beckoned, Ibrahim followed him through a small hole, which led to a large cavern. There was more than enough room for them both to stand to full height. At the far end of the hall, a pathway led still deeper into the cave. When they reached the end of the room, the path led to a huge grotto, penetrated from above by a natural shaft of light. Spiky, stone formations hung from the ceiling. Similar shapes rose from the floor. Beyond the damp grotto, they reached a small, dry room about the size of a large tent. Turhan glanced up. His eyes went wide in wonder. Brilliant frescoes in a shades of red, gold, silver, bronze, yellow, green, and blue covered the walls and ceiling. There were vivid depictions of men on horseback, men in white robes bearing gold crosses, and demure, gray-garbed women. "As miraculous as Nemrut Dag?" Ibrahim asked. "Oh, yes. Was this the work of man?" "It was the work of men who believed in a God and wanted to share that belief with others. They had to hide to do it. Early Christians were no more popular with Rome's rulers than Greeks and Armenians are in Anatolia today. When they were persecuted, Christians hid in these caves. They created places of worship and painted symbols of their beliefs everywhere in these valleys." Suddenly, Ibrahim clutched at his chest. "Is something wrong, Sire?" "I don't know. I felt a tightness. Perhaps if I rest for a moment." The man slithered down into a sitting position. "Is it very warm in here, Turhan?" "No, Effendi. Perhaps we should go back now," he said, worried by Ibrahim's inexplicable condition.

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"I'd like to rest for a little while." The man was pale and perspiring. "Maybe we should get to the cooler part. Can you lift me, boy?" Turhan did as he was asked. They left the dry chapel. It was cooler when they entered the grotto and Ibrahim seemed better. The ledge gleamed with moisture. They'd gone several yards when suddenly Ibrahim lost his balance. Instinctively he reached out and grabbed a rock at the side of the path, then he clutched at his chest again and fell to his knees. Turhan reached for his friend, but it was too late. The older man slipped onto a secondary ledge below the pathway. Beyond him, the floor dropped fifty feet to the base of the cavern. Stiletto-sharp formations jutted upwards, crowding each other. A fall would be fatal. Ibrahim dripped with sweat, despite the coolness of the cave. His face was bone white. Turhan stood transfixed. Eventually, Ibrahim's breathing evened out. He tried to grasp the ledge from which he'd slipped, but failed. Turhan could not reach far enough to pull the man up. There was a large, bleeding gash in Ibrahim's left leg. "Turhan, listen to me," Ibrahim said in a calming tone. "I don't know what's happened to me, but I feel dizzy. Get the rope from Lightning's saddle pack. Go as quickly as you can, but be careful. We can't risk you falling, too." When he returned, Turhan was alarmed at Ibrahim's worsening pallor. "It's all right, boy," Ibrahim said, breathing laboriously. "It comes and goes. Now is not the time to lose your courage. Find the most solid rock outcropping you can." Turhan found a thick rock ledge at the height of his waist, where dripping water had bored a large hole over the years. He described it to Ibrahim. "Good," the older man said. "Tie one end of the rope, as securely as you can,

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through that hole." The boy did. "Now, throw the other end down to me." Slowly, inch by inch, Ibrahim and Turhan worked to pull the caravan master up the rope. Turhan looked back at the ledge. The hole was becoming larger as the pressure of his friend's weight sawed the rope through the soft stone. With a last pull, the caravan master made it to the ledge and held on. Turhan followed the rope to its anchor. A little more strain and it would have cut through the soft rock, sending both of them to their deaths. The two cautiously made their way back to the entrance. Once outside, Ibrahim saw that his leg wound was superficial. He bathed it and doused his face in a nearby spring. His color returned. His breathing became regular. After they bedded down outside the cave that night, Turhan fell asleep immediately. Ibrahim stayed up much later. He was worried about what had happened inside the cave. If he didn't feel better, he'd see a doctor when they returned to Kayseri. This was the second time in the last few weeks he'd had chest pains. Probably nothing serious. Better not alarm the boy. # The next day, Turhan learned that the "Valley of Greme" was really several valleys, each distinct from the others. "Why doesn't the world know of this place?" he asked. "The same reason lots of things are ignored in Turkey. Anatolia is vast. Those few wealthy Europeans who travel aren't interested in anything east of Istanbul. Perhaps that's just as well. Those who've come to Anatolia have done so, for the most part, to plunder our antiquities. " "What about our own people?"

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"How many do you think travel for pleasure? But for an accident of fate, you'd have remained where you were born, ignorant of the world around you." The following morning, Ibrahim suggested they return to Kayseri along the south fork of the Kizilirmak River. Time passed quickly when the older man spoke of ancient days in Asia Minor. "Twenty five hundred years ago, the Lydians lived in a city called Sardis, a few hundred miles to the west. The city was capital of a wealthy empire. Cereal grains, grapes, currants, olives, and figs supported a rich life. Cattle and sheep provided meat, wool, and leather to feed and clothe everyone. The Lydians took fortunes in gold from the nearby Paktolos River, using nothing more than sheepskins as their filters. "They built travelers' inns and invented dice games, using marked, box-shaped sheep and cattle bones, to entertain visitors. The Lydian king was so wealthy that even today people speak of someone who is `as rich as Croesus.' Yet all that wealth didn't save his kingdom. "Cyrus the Great, Shah of Persia, dreamt of an Empire that stretched from India to the Aegean Sea. Lydia was the only major kingdom that stood in his way. The Persians were in no hurry to conquer the kingdom. They knew if they outran their supply lines without pacifying the local populace, they'd be cut off from home without much chance of returning alive. "Their approach worked very well. Most of the time, they simply surrounded a town or an area, moved an armed force in and set up a satrap, a provincial governor. Soon, Croesus realized he was losing much territory and a lot of tax revenue as a result of the Persian campaign. He became concerned." Ibrahim and Turhan came to a small, sluggish river, slightly wider than a stream.

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They turned right and proceeded east toward Kayseri. "The Lydians called this river the Halys. Croesus went to Delphi to consult the Oracle, who advised him, `If you cross the Halys, you will destroy a great empire.' Croesus relied on this advice, massed a huge army, outfitted it with the best equipment money could buy, and sent the forces east. The Lydian soldiers managed to cross the Halys barely before they were destroyed. They were no match for Persian cavalry, which cut the charioteers off from one another and proceeded to slice the Lydian army to shreds. The oracle at Delphi had been correct. Croesus had destroyed a great empire. Unfortunately his own." Ibrahim and Turhan rode wordlessly for awhile. "After they'd captured the capital, the Persians completed the royal road from Susa to Sardis. They built over a hundred post stops along the way, where soldiers could get a fresh horse or stay overnight in cleaner places than we've stayed on our own journey. Soldiers traveled from the Aegean to the Persian Gulf in a week a quarter of the time it takes to make the same trip today." "What happened after that?" Turhan asked. "The Persians and the Greeks mauled one another for the next few hundred years, using Anatolia as a battleground. Eventually a Macedonian boy, barely five years older than you, blazed a trail of glory and destruction that led from Greece to India. Thirteen years after he'd started, Alexander the Great had conquered the widest-ranging empire the world had ever known. The Persians couldn't stop him. Fever did. He was thirty-three when he died." # The caravan remained in Kayseri an additional day. The physician Ibrahim hoped to

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see had taken a brief holiday and was not expected back for a week. Ibrahim decided an examination could wait until Sinop. He'd had no recurrences of pain. # From Kayseri north, the steppe turned progressively browner and colder. One town resembled every other on the route: a mosque, a bedestan, a few nondescript ruins. Ibrahim seemed to know the history of every place they stopped. This plain old wall was the remnant of a citadel that had staved off Ottoman invaders. That chipped, raised area of old stones had once echoed with the tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles. Cold, barren fields stretched to the farthest horizon, where once great cities of antiquity had stood. On the ninth day out of Kayseri, they reached Yozgat. Ibrahim told Turhan, "This is a huge country. Youll see more and more each day as we get closer to the Black Sea. # The sun, which had blasted them like a furnace in the south, disappeared, replaced by a cold, northeasterly wind. The day dawned drab, gray. Ibrahim and Turhan wore many layers of clothing and blanketed the horses for the trip. It seemed an ordinary day, like most of the others. Late that evening, Alkimi approached Turhan. "I must speak with you privately, boy." "What is it, Alkimi Hanim?" he asked, surprised at the urgency of her tone. "Ibrahim cares about you like you were his own son. You know that." He nodded. "The man looks vigorous and strong, but for the past few nights, I've had strange, distressing dreams. Everything is not right with Ibrahim. He does not say anything, but I think he suspects it. Stay close by him. Make sure he's safe." Turhan shuddered and thought back to Greme. As if divining his thoughts, she

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said, "I know all about what happened in the cave. He was fortunate you were there to help him. He may need you again, sooner than you think." Her words were ominous. Ibrahim had told him this woman was rarely, if ever, wrong. She saw the look on his face and softened. "Turhan," she said, "will you listen as a silly old woman, schooled only by life, prattles on for awhile? Of course, Hanim. Very will then. You may choose to ignore or forget what I say, but since Ibrahim loves you like a son, I want to say it. Every young man dreams of the great things he will do. Some hold on to their dreams, waiting for the right time and place to make them come true. A precious few hold on to their dreams for as long as they live. The vast majority of men put their dreams away for another lifetime. Days pass into weeks, weeks into years. Then comes a wife and, Inshallah, children. The dream shrinks and fades. Most men die and ten years after their deaths, hardly anyone remembers them at all. "Some people live beyond their death. They observe the world and write about it or paint it. They are remembered. Turhan, don't let your dream be buried. It is only if you dare the absurd that you may accomplish the impossible. This is a strange time. Things are not right with Turkey and things are not right with the world." "Alkimi Hanim, what can I do?" "Be ready. The torch is being passed to you." "Allah, allah," he murmured. "Yes, little one," she said gently. "You must go with God."

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17 Next morning, the telegraph wires crackled. Within hours, word spread through Yozgat like wildfire. War! Montenegro, Greece, and Bulgaria had declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Veiled women scurried silently through the streets, laying in stocks of every available comestible. Ibrahim quickly grasped the significance of what had happened, and bought everything he could. "This afternoon, prices will be double. Tomorrow they'll double again. It's urgent we make it to the coast by December first. We'll buy more at Sungurlu and Chankiri. Prices won't rise as fast in Anatolia as in Thrace. By the time we get to Sinop, there'll be severe shortages in the capital. Every available ship will be running supplies to Istanbul. There are fortunes to be made." "What should we buy, Effendi?" asked Turhan. "Gold, diamonds?" "Food and clothing. You can't eat diamonds. Jewels won't keep out the winter wind." Ibrahim handed Turhan a sack containing a great deal of money. "Here is all your accumulated money. I've given you some of mine as well. You shouldn't miss this opportunity simply because you lack funds. Pay me back when you dispose of your goods at Sinop. With luck, you'll sell enough to pay for your entire education." During the next four days, Ibrahim worked eighteen hours a day. He seemed more tired than usual, but Turhan attributed this to excitement and the long hours the caravan master spent scouring the countryside for all kinds of goods, and for beasts of burden to carry them. By the time they left Yozgat, the caravan had swelled to three times what it had been a few days before.

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"Turhan," he said, "with our caravan increased so greatly, travel will be difficult, but we must cover twice our normal distance each day until we reach the coast. We can't afford to miss this opportunity. Lately, I've been more tired than usual. Ride by my side, be my eyes, ears, and voice if necessary." "Effendi, I'm sorry I've been the cause of your discomfort." "Nothing of the kind, boy. I wouldn't have missed these side trips for anything. Neither of us could foresee this war." Turhan felt a sharp sense of foreboding as he recalled Alkimi's words. The bloated caravan moved north. Ibrahim continued to buy goods of every kind, and animals to haul them. Each place they stopped, news from the front was more appalling. Greek forces annexed the island of Crete, then smashed their way up the Greek peninsula and captured Salonika. The Turkish star and crescent was trampled underfoot. The blue and white Greek flag flew from the windows of the city. At Sungurlu, the news was worse. The Serbs had demolished the Turkish army at Kumanovo and Monastir, taking ten thousand prisoners. By the time the caravan reached Chankiri, Bulgarian troops were less than twenty-five miles from the Turkish capital. Except Istanbul, Edirne, Ishkodra, and Ioanina, all of which were under siege, the Ottoman Empire had lost its remaining territories in Europe. Ibrahim expanded the caravan to five times its normal size. "Regardless how large the caravan is, we must increase our speed to the coast," he said. "They say that in Istanbul the defeats and food shortages have led to violent demonstrations. Thousands of refugees are streaming into the capital from the north. They'll need everything they can get. Price is no object."

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Just before they departed Chankiri, Ibrahim told Turhan, "The war is lost. Within two months, the siege will be lifted and goods will flow into the capital from everywhere, driving prices down. Unless we make Sinop by December first, we'll lose not only a good share of the profits to be made, but many of our animals as well." After the caravan put down each night, Ibrahim ranged the countryside looking for food and supplies. The caravan was now a moving force of thirty men, one-hundred-fifty draft animals, and two hundred sheep. Most women and children had left the caravan at their various destinations. At Tashkpr, they picked up the last of their supplies before heading into the mountains. # The interminable steppe finally gave way to foothills. It did not seem as cold as before. As the caravan climbed higher, the land turned from sere gray-brown to forest green. There were vigorous stands of pine and fir, more and larger trees than Turhan had ever seen. When Turhan remarked about this, Ibrahim smiled. "Looks like we'll make Sinop by tonight, Inshallah. We'll arrive at port in time to sell our goods at peak price. Turhan you've truly been my lucky charm on this journey." The caravan master looked exhausted. "Tell me about Sinop, Effendi," Turhan asked, to keep the mood light. "According to legend, the city was founded by a race of huge, warlike women, Amazons. Sinop was well-known in ancient Greece. A philosopher named Diogenes was born there. He is said to have gone around Athens with a lamp, searching for the face of an honest man. Sixty years ago, a Russian squadron destroyed the Ottoman fleet off the coast, setting the stage for the Crimean War.

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"Tonight we'll spend the night with one of my closest friends, Professor Isaac ben David, a Jew." Ibrahim brightened noticeably. "He and I go back a long time. He was a professor of history in Istanbul, one of the most brilliant in the Empire. Fifteen years ago, he ran into political problems with the sultan's education minister and left the capital to teach in the small local college. That's when I first met him. It was one of those happy coincidences where you find a kindred spirit in the most unlikely place. Whenever I'm on the northern coast, I spend as much time as possible with him." They climbed higher. Snow covered the ground in deep, soft patches, totally unlike the thin, sleety ice Turhan had seen in the bitter winters of eastern Turkey. "Come, Turhan," Ibrahim said. "I'll show you something much different from ruins and old tales." They dismounted and walked to a wide, bare, hilly area, covered top to bottom with snow. There was a small shed at the top of the rise. "Several years ago, I found a most important provision in that shack." They approached the place together. The door was unlocked. Ibrahim entered alone, then emerged with two long wooden sleds with iron runners, old, but sturdy and serviceable. "Turhan, today you're going to fly." "Fly, Ibrahim Bey?" "It will only seem that way. Grab one of these and follow me." They carried their sleds to the top of the hill. "Lie flat on your stomach. Steer by using the handles in front. No matter how dangerous you think it is, stay with the sled. Remember how I told you not to fear the horse." "Yes, sir." Turhan lay obediently on the sled. Ibrahim positioned him. "Hold on tight!" He gently shoved the board forward. Slowly, then with gathering speed, the sled took off down the hill. Faster, faster! Not even the horse had gone so

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swiftly. It was exhilarating, breathtaking. Turhan heard the smooth whoosh of crunching snow under the runners. Moments later, the sled slowed and came to a halt where the hill flattened out. "Look out!" Turhan heard a shout behind him. Ibrahim whizzed by to his left, steering his own sled carefully to avoid the young man. The caravan master laughed, an excited, elated sound, the sound of a young boy. "Again!" Ibrahim shouted, as he ground to a stop a hundred feet ahead of Turhan. For the next two hours, time lost meaning. Teacher and student played together. Ibrahim hauled Turhan about like a horse pulling a cart. They cavorted in the powdery snow until the older man was puffing heavily for breath. Too soon they realized they must return to the caravan. "Turhan," Ibrahim smiled. "This has been one of the finest times I can remember. Not since Willow...." The man was shaking. Intuitively, Turhan went over to him, put his arms around him, held him. Ibrahim stood still for a few moments, then took a handkerchief from his coat and blew his nose. The moment passed in silence. Suddenly, he clutched his chest. "Willow!" he gasped, and fell onto the snow. "Ibrahim!" "My heart," the older man rasped, his breath coming in shallow gulps. "Ibrahim, you'll be all right! Allah, will protect you!" Turhan said, desperate to comfort his companion, but overwhelmed by the certainty that the caravan master would not be all right. Ibrahim shook his head slowly and smiled very gently, with infinite sadness. "What a shame. What a terrible shame I won't live to share more of your life. In the past three

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months, you've become a son to me. Perhaps it was our shared need, or the loneliness we could never talk about with anyone else." He was gasping harder now. Turhan felt the bitter tears start to come. He couldn't stop them, didn't want to. "I know, Ibrahim. I never had a father. I wanted one so badly. I wanted him to be you. I need you, Ibrahim. Please, please be all right." "Too late." The man's breathing took on a rattling quality. "I love you, boy. Carry on for me. Make my spirit as proud as if you were the son of my loins. For you are the son of my heart. Don't be afraid to show emotion. Cry out against injustice. Fight for what you believe is right. Most of all, don't be afraid to love. This is my testament to you. Be strong, my son." Ibrahim ceased breathing and lay still. A look of peace settled on his face. Turhan sobbed uncontrollably. He gently closed the dead man's eyes. "I love you, Ibrahim. I love you, father of my heart. You've handed me the torch. I promise I won't let it go out." # Three men returned with Turhan to where their leader lay dead in the snow. They carried Ibrahim's body back to the caravan and lifted it onto his white horse. Turhan mounted Yildiz and held Lightning's rein as well. The caravan started down the trail to Sinop. The mountains gave way to grassy knolls. The green took on a lighter hue. The wind was gentle and warm, despite the fact it was December. Turhan saw a bright shaft of sunlight reflected in the distance. As he looked toward the source of the light, he gasped. From one side of the horizon to the other, he saw water. Ibrahim had told him that

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somewhere across the vast body of water lay Russia, and to the West this sea ran into another and then another, connecting Turkey to the world. He looked at Alkimi, who nodded. "We will bury Ibrahim here," Turhan said quietly. And so it was that, obedient to Ottoman custom, Turhan buried the father of his heart in a grave overlooking the Black Sea. Ibrahim's remains would guard Turkey's northern border, just as Willow's stood sentry over its southern frontier. Afterward, Turhan stood silently, his head bowed, for a long time. "It's time, Effendi," Alkimi said, addressing him in the honorific reserved for a man. "Yes, it is," he replied. "Allaha ismarladik, Baba. Go with God, my father."

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18 "Will you be leaving the caravan here?" Alkimi asked. "Yes. Ibrahim wanted me to go to school. Before I do, I'll help sell our goods. What will happen now?" "The caravan will carry on as it did before there was Ibrahim. Tashkin has been with us for many years. He'll assume command. He's a good man. He's not Ibrahim, but he's honest and diligent, and," she said, with the slightest trace of a smile, "I can train him. Where will you go from here?" "Istanbul. I'd like to go to school there. Will you be all right, Alkimi?" "Of course. The caravan's heart must continue to beat, even though half of it is gone," she said gruffly. "Alkimi," he blushed. "I've a favor to ask." "Will I take the lady her money? Of course. By the way, Ibrahim said that if anything happened to him, I was to give this to you." She reached into her many layers of clothing and drew out a goatskin bag, which she handed him. Turhan opened the purse. His eyes widened. It was more money than he'd ever seen in his life. "Ibrahim wanted you to go to Istanbul and complete your education. He thought this would help. When you're in Istanbul, you must present yourself immediately to the Agha Nikrat, the Agha Khorusun's brother. He controls the trafficking of illegal goods there, just as Khorusun does in Mosul province. Ibrahim wrote Nikrat about you. The man promised he'd protect you and see you through your schooling. Now, enough. Go to the university and find his friend, Professor ben David. It's time you told him what has happened."

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Turhan walked toward the college. He was impressed by the dramatic layout of the city. To his right, was a protected bay with waters so quiet that small children waded in them. Beyond and to his left, where the land hooked around, the sea was so violent that no one dared venture near. Straight ahead, a huge, high promontory jutted out to land's end. Shortly, he arrived at the school, only to learn that Professor ben David had gone home for the evening. The young man who greeted him said he'd guide Turhan to the professor's house. Turhan had expected ben David to be frail and elderly. The picture could not have been less accurate. Isaac ben David was a hearty, solidly built fellow, fifty years old, with thick black hair, a full beard, only starting to go iron gray, and warm, green eyes. "Professor ben David?" "That's me," the man responded. "My name is Turhan. I am a friend of Ibrahim ...." "Indeed, come in, come in!" the professor said expansively, holding the door wide open. "Where is that rascal?" "Im sorry. He died this morning, Sir." "No," the man said, shocked. Then, seeing the look on Turhan's face, he said, "You loved him very much?" "As a father." "Where is he?" "We buried him on the heights overlooking the city." "Have you erected the stones?" "No, Professor."

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"We'll do that together in the next days. With the headstone facing toward Mecca as the Prophet decreed." "Will there be a turban?" Turhan asked. In the Ottoman empire, a turban at the top of the gravestone signified rank. "Yes," the professor replied. "If I had my way, it would be that of a sultan. How are you feeling?" "Shaky, Sir." "And Alkimi?" "She is stronger than I." "Stay with us a while. Ibrahim would have wanted that." The professor was delightful, courtly, charming and hospitable. At dinner, he reminisced about the times he'd shared with Ibrahim. It had been several hours since Turhan had eaten and he partook ravenously of the huge dinner. There was lamb, beef, fish, fresh garden vegetables and new potatoes, mint tea, pastries and sweet Russian liqueur. Professor ben David's wife, Leah, was a dark, attractive woman of thirty-five. Their son, Avi, was a strapping youth, who gave promise of his father's brawn. Most of all, Turhan was struck by the professor's thirteen-year-old daughter, a girl who barely came up to his chin, who had long-flowing, dark hair and sparkling brown eyes. She had a light complexion and the softest looking skin he'd ever seen. Beneath her modest dress, he made out the faint outlines of a beautifully curved young figure. During the dinner, Zahavah Rebecca ben David Zari favored Turhan with well-timed smiles and nods. Turhan found it hard to speak. That night, he slept at the ben Davids' home. When he awoke the following

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morning, Professor ben David said, "We have one more task. How far is it to Ibrahim's grave?" "An hour's ride, Professor." "We must bury him properly, Turhan. And it is time." "Yes, it is," Turhan responded quietly. So they rode into the hills and piled stones on Ibrahim's grave, and afterward Professor ben David handed Turhan a turban to place at the head of the stone. And thus Turhan truly and finally buried the father of his heart. When they returned home, the professor took Turhan to his study. "Now we have made our peace with the departed. Many years ago, when I first met Ibrahim, he showed me words he'd composed after his first journey in Turkey with his father. I'm certain he'd have wanted you to have it." The professor moved a heavy chair and peeled back a luxuriant carpet, exposing a small safe in the floor. He opened it, reached in, and extracted a piece of paper, yellowed with age, which he handed to the youth. Turhan read the words which Ibrahim had written in a strong, clear hand: "Since the dawn of mankind, our land has been a bridge. East and West meet within its frontiers. Warrior and vanquished have spilled, shared, merged blood. The footsteps of forever have crossed our motherland. They have never diminished our spirit, but have added to it. Come, visitor. You are but the latest. Enter, and look into the mirror of man's soul."

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Professor ben David squeezed Turhan's hand. "He is one with the past. You are his future. Tomorrow we will start to carry Ibrahim's soul forward into the ages." Two days later, Turhan received the first letter ever addressed to him. He opened it eagerly. The note, in beautifully written Arabic script, said simply, "Dear Turhan: My brother and I regret as deeply as you the passing of Ibrahim. He was a great man and a good one, who knew injustice must be fought, whatever the cost. It will be my honor to carry out his wishes that you finish your education in Istanbul. My home will be yours as long as you desire. I am enclosing a small amount to help you come swiftly to me. Yours most sincerely, Nikrat, Agha of Istanbul-Sultanahmet." Turhan's eyes widened when he saw the Agha had sent three hundred lira. What kind of land was this where bad was good, and authorities so corrupt? Perhaps the Agha Nikrat would finish the answers Ibrahim had started. # ISTANBUL "Three hundred lira, Abbas," Kerem said, counting the money out. "That's your part of the bounty. Who'd have dreamed a young lad could have gotten inside the place and secreted so much? The month you spent as his servant was certainly well worth it. When the police invaded the house, they found drugs every place you told them. You should be proud. You helped bring about the downfall of the mighty Agha Nikrat himself! Soon everything will be gone. His home, the fleet of boats he used for his smuggling operations, the accounts he had in Turkey, all confiscated by the state. Best of all, after his conviction that criminal will languish in prison for the next fifteen years. You were brilliant, boy!

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You'll make a superb law enforcement officer, a protector of the public good. Bravo to you!" He hugged the young man warmly. Abbas relished his success in bringing down the Arab, an enemy of the Ottoman Empire, more than he appreciated the money. He smiled broadly at Kerem. "Let's go to a nearby raki bar and drink to our success, Kerem Effendi. This time, I'll pay for it."

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PART TWO

HALIDE
1897 - 1917

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1 Halide came bouncing into the room wearing a particularly lovely dress. She looked at her reflection in papa's bedroom mirror. Yujel Orhan had never hidden mirrors from the child. After preening a while, she looked at her father and said, "Papa, I'd be much prettier if I didn't have this big thing on my back." Halide, youre a lovely child. His daughter was nearly five years old. Because of Yujels patient teaching, she could already read as well as many children twice her age. "But I don't look like other children. They think I'm funny. They think my big hump is ugly." The professor cleared his throat. "Halide, I think you and I need to have a long, serious talk." "All right, Papa." She sat on the bed, hands folded. "Darling, this is very hard for me to say. Do you know what the word `brave' means?" "Yes, Papa. It means you don't run away, even if you're scared." "Good, Halide. Some people have a very easy life. Others have to be much braver all their lives, because of things they can't help. You were born with the hump on your back. There's nothing anyone can do about it. Not doctors. Not even me. I wish more than anything I had the hump instead of you. Because of it, you will have to be very, very brave." "Why, Papa?" "You'll be starting school in a few weeks. Grownups hide what they feel when they see something they think is ugly. Children are more honest and more cruel. They'll tease

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you. Or they'll make up what, to them, seem clever or funny remarks about you. They may think if they come near you they'll catch the hump on your back. Some children won't want to play with you at all." The girl turned pale. Yujel felt a tightening in his stomach. "Even grownups will be cruel, my darling. Some of them will try to touch your back, because some very stupid people think it is a sign of good luck. Others will be overly sweet to you because they don't know what to say. People will say and do awful things that will make you very sad. I want so badly to be there with you, to protect you from harm, my sweet baby child. But I can't always be there. If I throw a protective cloak around you, there will still be holes in it. You must be very brave." Halide listened thoughtfully. At the end, she said, "Maybe there will be some people who'll see that I'm pretty inside. Besides, Papa, youll always love me." # Yujels mind flashed back to those vivid scenes that had taken place some years before memories that would always be with him. His mind reeled back to the morning hed sat nervously in the waiting room, pretending to read Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, which he'd brought with him to the hospital. On the table by his side lay yesterday's Le Monde. Its headline blared news of the Dreyfus trial. Mathieu Dreyfus claimed the document that convicted his brother Alfred was actually written by Major Esterhazy. Yujel had risen as the obstetrician approached him. The doctor had been very pale. "Professor," he said quietly, "might I see you in my office a few moments?" "Is the baby...?" "May I be brutally frank, M'sieu?"

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"I would prefer you to be, Docteur." "It is a very rare, pronounced form of congenital kyphosis, an unnatural reverse curve to the upper back and spine. She will appear quite deformed. Her back will have a hump. Depending on the degree of curvature, it may be greater or lesser, but it will be noticeable. The problem is inoperable." "Will she be able to walk?" "Yes. Her appearance will not affect her body's ability to function, nor will it cause her physical discomfort." "Praise Allah!" Yujel sighed. "At least she won't be in pain." "Not physically," the obstetrician remarked sadly. "Does her mother know yet?" "I'm not sure. They were getting ready to take the child in." A horrified scream answered their question. # Yujel had to retain a full time nursemaid. His wife, Colette, refused to acknowledge the child's existence, let alone nurse her. Colette soon disappeared from their lives. Yujel Orhan had lived in Paris for fifteen years before, at age fifty, hed finally been promoted to full professor, ten years behind his colleagues. They never said it was because he was Turkish, or because he did not attend chapel each week. The excuses had always been sincere, delivered in a most sympathetic manner. When Yujel reminded them that teachers ten years younger than he, carrying half his class load in English Literature and drama were regularly made full professors, his superiors simply changed the subject. Ultimately, in 1897, the university ran out of excuses. Yujel's learned treatise, The Role of

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the Ottoman Empire as a Twentieth Century Pivot, created a stir at Oxford and Heidelberg, and enjoyed modest popular appeal. His dream of a full professorship was finally realized. His domestic life, however, was anything but triumphant. Four years before, when he was a vigorous, virile forty-six, he'd met Colette. Since his first wife's untimely death from cancer a decade before, he'd enjoyed the companionship of one or two women, but there'd been no serious attachments. Colette, twenty years his junior, thought it quite daring to take a course in Ottoman history. She told her friends she'd always been fascinated by the sinister, mildly frightening Muslim world. Besides, the tall, urbane, mustachioed professor with graying temples and strange accent was "exotic," his reserve a challenge to her womanhood. Ultimately, he had proposed to Colette and theyd married in a civil ceremony. From there, things had gone from bad to worse. Yujel tried to appease and satisfy his young wife in every way. Nothing worked. Colette found him dull, drab, old. She had nothing in common with his stuffy friends. And, of course, he was beneath her station. She went dancing with her old girlfriends. Soon, she found that rumors about Impressionist painters looking for slender, small-breasted models were true. She sat for them, first modestly clothed, later deshabille. Within a year, when she was not spending her nights elsewhere, Madame Orhan and her husband slept in separate bedrooms. The more wretchedly she treated him, the more inflamed with desire he became for her. On the rare occasions they slept together, she treated him with such undisguised contempt, he damned himself afterward for his weakness. # "What do you mean you're pregnant?"

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"You heard me, you stupid bastard. You've knocked me up." "Me?" he shouted. "What about your numerous `friends?' Half of Paris, for all I know." "Very funny," she sneered. "You kept me such a prisoner during the winter holidays I had no opportunity to be with anyone else. I'd certainly much rather have been, old man. Besides, I am lawfully married to you. You are conclusively presumed the father of the child I am carrying. Of course, I could be persuaded to abort the child." "What are you inferring?" "Perhaps if I were settled in a small villa, south of Paris...." "How can you, a Catholic, speak of such an idea?" "Oh, so now it's `You're a Catholic' is it? Listen, don't forget I turned my back on Mother Church when I entered into an `unholy' union with you. I'm almost thirty years old. If I can't get a good settlement now, when am I ever going to find it? Besides, you're a full professor. You can afford it." "I won't hear of it. We'll simply try to adjust to one another as best we can." "You believe that?" she screamed. "Listen, you miserable excuse for a man. I will wait until this child is born. Then I will find the most bloodthirsty shark in the Paris legal system and tell him exactly how a dirty old man, a Turk to boot, seduced an innocent, young French girl, forced her to marry him and submit to his filthy, unnatural demands. I will crucify you in court! See how that word offends your Muslim sensitivities!" She laughed bitterly at her pun. "And I will never allow you to see my child! Never, never, never!" She slammed the door of her bedroom. He heard the lock click into place.

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The other children taunted Halide mercilessly. They told her she was a monster. They jeered that no mother came to pick her up because no one wanted to claim her. Then some children started a rumor that she was neither French nor Christian, and that she worshiped the devil. The child could not comprehend such cruelty. "Papa, why do they hate me so much?" she asked, tearfully. "Darling, it is horrible and it makes no sense, but often children blame their own failures on others. It's easier for them to pick on someone who looks different or doesn't have a mother or who may have a different belief than it is for them to look inside themselves for any faults." "All I want is to be left alone. Is that asking too much?" "Oh, my baby girl," he said, holding her and rocking her small, trembling body. "It's not too much. It should never be too much to ask. I want to tell you a story that may not seem like it will help, but please think about it, all right?" "Yes, Papa." Yujel told his daughter the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the ugly duckling, a cygnet who looked so much different from other baby ducks that he was an outcast. Even the mother duck shunned him. He finally learned he was a swan, far more beautiful than any duck, and found peace within himself. When Yujel completed the story, he played her the recording of Saint-Saens' "Le Cygne," which had become her favorite melody. She fell asleep in his arms, her tear-stained face at peace. As time passed, Halide tried to escape her unhappiness. The usual distractions of childhood did not tempt her. She directed her energies elsewhere. By the time she finished

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her first year at cole des tudiants, she was so far ahead of the other students that no one attempted comparisons. The teasing increased, for now the children resented her talents. They called her, "Hunch Brain." Yujel's heart broke each afternoon when he saw Halide walking home slowly, sadly, always alone. Other children avoided her. Often he wanted to scream out in anguish as he saw them mimicking his child behind her back. One day, a little girl who'd been one of Halide's most constant tormentors, fell and broke her arm. Infection set in, and the girl was homebound. Yujel suggested Halide visit the child. "I'm afraid, Papa. She always calls me terrible names. She tells the other children I'm a dirty, smelly hunchback and not to play with me. She even tries to imitate the way I look." "It never pays to return pain with pain, darling. Remember when you and I talked about being brave? I think it would be an act of courage for you to visit this child." Halide went to the girl's home. She brought flowers and a book. When she came to the door, the child's parents inquired who she was. She felt a stab of pain as she heard a child's voice from the other room. "I don't want to see her." "Hush, Jeannette," a man's voice said sharply. "None of your other friends have come to visit. You will see her and you will behave." Halide wanted to turn and run from the house, but she stood rooted to the ground, remembering her father's words. "Come in, dear," Jeannette's mother said. "Our daughter is delighted that a friend from school has come to visit." Halide hid the cringing she felt, and went inside. When she brought the flowers to Jeannette, the child reached out and took them stiffly. Her mother

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said, "I'll leave you two alone to talk." No sooner had the door closed than Jeannette pulled the covers completely over her head, leaving Halide sitting there embarrassed. After a while, the girl had to come out for air. She glared at her visitor. Halide continued to sit quietly. The other girl finally broke the silence. "All right. You've brought flowers and come to visit. Now go away." "You don't like me, do you, Jeannette?" "No, and nobody else in school does either. Why don't you just go away?" "I can't. My papa sent me to this school. If you mean why don't I go away from my body, I can't. I'm stuck inside." For the first time in Halide's memory, the shadow of a smile crossed Jeannette's lips. "Why don't you look like everyone else?" "I don't know. I didn't ask to look the way I do, and I can't always see what I look like, because I'm on the inside. Are you afraid that if you talk to me or act nice, you'll start to look like me?" The sick child looked down at an imaginary spot on the blanket. Then, very quietly, she said, "Yes." "You'll never look like me, Jeannette. It's what's inside that's important. Papa told me a story about an ugly duckling once." "I know that story. My mama read it to me. Does your papa tell you fairy tales?" "Sometimes. Mostly I read a lot of books myself." Jeannette cast her eyes down again. "I don't read very much at all. I'm not very clever." "Is that what teacher says, Jeannette? I don't think she gives you a chance. Do you

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like to read?" "No." "Why not?" "It's boring. And very hard." "Would you like me to read the book I brought you?" "All right." Halide opened the book of mythology tales and began to read. Time passed more quickly than either girl imagined. While Halide was reading about the mighty Hercules and his feats of strength, Jeannette's mother came in. "Jeannette, I hate to interrupt, but your friend has been here over three hours. You need your rest." Jeannette pouted. "Halide, could you come back tomorrow and read some more?" # Halide never flaunted her academic excellence. In time, she discovered that

modesty and thoughtfulness consistently gained her new friends. Eventually, she no longer walked home alone. She was invited to a few parties. Although some children continued to harass her, the teasing gradually became manageable, then simply tiresome. As Halide became more popular, her resultant happiness spurred her to become even more gracious, poised, and generous. She and Papa went to museums, concerts and exhibitions together. Halide was always curious and Papa always made their outings so much fun. Invariably, he asked if she wanted to bring a friend. Sometimes she did, but mostly it was glorious just to be with him. When Halide asked about her mother, Yujel did not evade her questions, but he refused to speak ill of Colette.

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"Why would she leave us, Papa?" "Sometimes people become very upset. Things happen in their lives that make them so unhappy they cannot live with other people." "But wouldn't she want to visit me?" "The last I heard, she had moved far away, south of the equator." "Perhaps some day, when I'm a professor like you, I shall find her and surprise her." "Perhaps," he murmured. "Papa," she said, changing the subject. "How come we never go to any of the large, beautiful churches other children go to each Sunday? We go to a mosque in a poor arondissement on Saturday. When you pray, you call God `Allah.' Once Jeannette said she didn't think I was really French. I asked her what she meant, and she said I should ask you." "Darling, have you heard of the Ottoman Empire?" "Of course. The capital is Constantinople." She started to recite facts she'd read in a book. Father held up his hand to stop her. "My precious child, your mama was is French. I'm not. I was born in Istanbul. The French still call it Constantinople. Even though we live in France, my adopted country considers me a subject of the sultan. Since you're my daughter, you're also considered Turkish." "Did your parents come from there?" "Yes, darling." "Then I want to go and visit Istanbul as soon as I am able." # The principal of the cole lmentaire had observed Halide over the years, and when

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Halide was in her fifth year, the principal asked Yujel to come to a private conference. When Yujel arrived, the principal introduced him to Matre Paul Weygand, a distinguished-looking man his own age, who was headmaster of a very prestigious lyce the high school that Halide was to attend the following year. "Professeur," the headmistress began, "You have an exceptional young daughter. Most exceptional." "Yes, Madame Dassault. Is something amiss?" "Amiss?" she repeated, then shook her head. "Not at all, M'sieu. What I should like to suggest is that perhaps you might be of a mind to retain a prcepteur." "A tutor, Madame? I had no idea she was behind in her studies." "Behind in her studies? Behind, M'sieu? Mon Dieu, Professeur, I have been principal of this school for a dozen years. Before that I taught for fifteen. I've never seen the likes of Halide, Professeur Orhan! The child soaks up knowledge like a sponge. She is ten years old. A year ago, she completed the entire curriculum we offer in our cole lmentaire. I consulted Matre Weygand, the principal of the lyce, who suggested certain advanced studies as a means of maintaining Halide's interest. The girl completed those projects with an ease that left us dumbfounded. She is extraordinary. She adjusts to her, ahem, disfigurement. She's modest and courteous. She is so far above the rest of her classmates it is impossible to use the same measure for her as for them. She is now doing work equivalent to a second year lyce student. At the rate she is going, Matre Weygand's school will run out of things to teach her in a year, two years at the very most." Matre Weygand nodded, emphasizing Madame Dassaults words. "Then why a prcepteur?"

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Professeur, perhaps I can best answer that question, Matre Weygand said. "It would be sinful to waste this child's mind. Your daughter's promise must be developed to its full potential." "To what end?" "I believe she would qualify for an early very early admission to the Sorbonne, the premier college of the University of Paris. "A child prodigy with a unique physical condition. You'd make her a double oddity? Her deformity has caused problems even here." "Sir!" Madame Dassault said sternly. "You dwell on Halide's appearance. The hump, which is not nearly as pronounced as you appear to believe, is something she cannot help. She deals well with her handicap. She has won the loyalty of teachers and classmates with her open and caring ways. It's true some children never cease their taunting, but surely you can see that by moving her up with more mature students, the tormenting will diminish rather than increase?" "But the Sorbonne?" "What's wrong with the Sorbonne? You're a professor there, are you not?" "That has nothing to do with it." "Come, come, Professor," the woman said, smiling. "Are you concerned your daughter will eclipse you as a scholar?" "Have you a prcepteur in mind?" The principal indicated that the headmaster of the lyce should answer the question. "At first a university student would be appropriate. But in two years or so, I recommend no less than Hlne Durein. She is most influential with the university admissions department.

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She is quite expensive, Professeur." "I'm not concerned about expense." "Very well. I willl notify you when it would be appropriate to seek out Mlle. Durein." # In December, 1910, Matre Weygand asked Halide to take a series of written tests. He told her, "Our lyce is part of an educational experiment. We've been asked to see how these examinations can be employed by other schools." Halide answered the questions easily. Afterward, Matre Weygand thanked her and introduced her to a tall, stiff woman with close-cropped red hair. Halide did not give the tests a second thought. She was looking forward to the winter break. After she'd left the room, Weygand said, "What did I tell you?" "You're correct, Paul," the woman replied. "Her papers are astounding." She stroked her chin, reflectively. "I believe I could prepare her for admission quite easily." The following month, Matre Weygand summoned Halide to his study. "Halide, Mademoiselle Durein, whom you met last December, has asked that you visit her in her office. It is situated in the Rue Metz near Place Lafayette." "Who is she, M'sieu?" "She's one of the best known educational specialists in France. Your father, Madame Dassault, and I discussed the possibility of Mlle. Durein as a special instructor. She is most selective and takes on only a very few private students each year. Last month, when you took those tests, she evaluated your abilities. I'm delighted to say she has decided to accept you."

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Mlle. Durein worked Halide harder than any of her teachers had in the past. There wasn't a subject in which the woman lacked knowledge. She directed Halide to closed stacks at the university library and guided her through the conflicting authorities in many fields. The prcepteur's breadth of knowledge challenged Papa's. Occasionally, Halide daydreamed that Mlle. Durein was her real mama. What a shame Mlle. Durein and Papa had not met years ago. The instructor seemed oblivious to her student's hero worship. Sometimes Halide brought flowers, patisserie, or other small gifts to the Rue Metz. Mlle. Durein was cordial in her thanks, but was more interested in the quality of Halide's preparation. In 1913, Raymond Poincar, was elected President of France. Aristide Briand became Premier. Impressionist painters gave way to Cubists. The foxtrot was the year's dance sensation. Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" debuted on the Paris stage. Parisians, enamored with motion pictures imported from America, giggled at the antics of a hilarious little man with a square moustache, who wore ragged, ill-fitting clothes and waddled like a duck. Since Henry Ford had pioneered new assembly-line techniques in his car factory, some of his automobiles had made their way across the Atlantic. Doctor Albert Schweitzer opened his hospital in Lambarene, French Congo. And, in September, a small, slight, young woman, barely sixteen, with a noticeable humpback, took her seat in her first year classes at the Sorbonne.

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Most university students concentrated on their studies, not the physical appearance of classmates. For the first time in her life, Halide was no longer an ugly duckling. She took part in several study and discussion groups. Talk spilled over into day trips with friends to the opera, films, the sidewalk cafes. It was a delightful time for Halide. Although Mlle. Durein had given Halide a firm grounding, particularly in history, literature, the arts, and mathematics, for the first time in her life Halide found that not all classess at the university were easy. Chemistry in particular was daunting, and although her test scores showed she was doing remarkably well, she knew in her own mind that she was slowly falling behind. Halide redoubled her efforts, dramatically cutting back on her social activites. In order to try to understand the subject that was slipping from her grasp, Halide asked one of her girlfriends who was doing reasonably well in chemistry whether the girl knew of a study group she might join. Youve picked a perfect time to ask, the girl said. We limit our group to six, and one of the girls just transferred to the University at Dijon. Why dont you come with me tomorrow evening and you can see how you like it. The group consisted of three boys and two other girls. She recognized faces from her class, but not names. During the first session, she sat and listened quietly as the members explored what they had learned earlier in the day. One slender, dark-haired young man in particular, without being pushy or overbearing, seemed able to explain the most difficult concepts in simple language, using examples that were familiar to them all. He greeted Halide politely, and even though he was quite reserved, he made her feel very welcome in

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the group. The meeting lasted three hours, and by the time the meeting concluded, she was exhausted. Still, she acknowledged to her friend, the evening had been worthwhile and the days lesson now seemed clearer to her. After that, Halide started coming to the twiceweekly study group meetings. She found herself more firmly in control of the subject matter and also found it easier to participate actively in the discussions. From time to time, she noticed that while she was talking, the dark-haired young man whod so impressed her the first evening, seemed inordinately interested in what she had to say. He made a point of emphasizing the value of what she said without patronizing her. There were times when he looked candidly at her and for the first time in her life she felt delighted little shivers when he did. The young man was somewhat taller than average, slender, and not at all bad looking. At the conclusion of the third group meeting, Halide got up the nerve to actually approach him to introduce herself. Please dont think me forward, she began, but Ive heard others call you Metin and youve no doubt heard those in our group call me by name. Im Halide Orhan. Metin Ermenek, he said, bowing ever so slightly and smiling. Not to be rude, but Im aware youre Halide Orhan, the youngest and, from what Ive seen one of the brightest students in our class. I was absolutely delighted when I heard you were thinking about joining our study group. I had wanted to approach you myself, but I didnt know how youd react. I hope my dominating the group didnt put you off. Hardly, she said, smiling back at him. You explained things so clearly. It was as though I were sitting and listening to my father. Oh, did I say something to offend you?

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Not at all, he said. But I hardly pictured myself as old enough to be anyones father. Im only eighteen, and Ive never so much as dated a girl. I didnt mean it that way, Metin. I meant that you somehow seem to mature. Anyone would feel very comfortable around you. You seem so confident. Are you a native Parisian? No, Im from Istanbul, Turkey. Why, Halide, you seem to be blushing. Now I fear Ive said something wrong. Not at all. Are you aware that Im half-Turkish? Come to think of it, Im almost all Turkish. My father and I live alone. Hes a Professor here. Her words came out in a rush. And all my life Ive wanted to see Istanbul. The janitor interrupted their conversation by indicating that all the other students had left the room and he wanted to lock up the place so he could go home for the night. Are you too tired to join me for a cup of coffee or tea at the cafeteria? Its open til midnight. # Months passed. Slowly, almost imperceptibly Halide and Metin came to look more and more forward to the time they spent together. After-group coffees expanded to light snacks together. Each was scrupulously polite to the other. Each felt a growing closeness with the other, yet convention held them back from speaking about what they felt. At the end of the term, Metin finished first in the class, which was not unexpected. What was a total surprise to her was that Halide finished a close second in a subject that, scarcely three months earlier, she had thought she might fail. Metin, she said, uncharacteristically taking his arm, I owe this success all to you.

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Every bit of it. I think we should celebrate. Would you feel me too gauche if I asked if I could treat you to dinner for your efforts?" she asked. I wont say no, Metin said. I agree this calls for a celebration, but dont give me the credit. Youre the one that never stopped trying, even when you must have believed it was impossibly hard. But Id really prefer if youd let me treat. We can argue over that all night, but the evening is so lovely, lets not waste it. Im hungry as a bear. Could you suggest a place nearby? As a matter of fact, I do, he said. Metin chose a small Turkish restaurant where he'd been many times before, inexpensive, but with excellent food. It was crowded, but he spotted a small table for two in the back. As they threaded their way through the crowd, both realized that Halide had not let go of his arm since theyd left the university. "Good evening Meton," a big, burly bear of a man in his early twenties said. Lovely young lady with you tonight. Will it be the usual?" "Not tonight. Tarkan, I'd like you to meet Halide Orhan, a friend of mine and a fellow student from my chemistry class. Weve just finished first and second in the class and were celebrating. The waiter nodded politely. "Halide and I have been walking the better part of a kilometer. We deserve something better than falafel. I'd like your roast chicken dinner, chips, salad and Coca Cola to drink. How about you, Halide?" The same, please." The waiter departed. "Now, Metin, she said, The semesters done and I still know virtually nothing about you except that you're a third year student, that youre one of the kindest people other than my father that Ive ever met, and that in the time I've known you I've seen you smile only once a very handsome smile I might add.

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Metin blushed. "I've always had trouble talking about myself with anyone," he said. "I read somewhere that women get very bored when all a man wants to do is talk about himself. I thought if I listened more, learned more, it might somehow make me a more interesting person." "I don't know about other girls you've talked to, but I'd like to hear about your life. She was about to say more, but at that moment the burly Tarkan reappeared, bearing two huge plates filled with food. The chicken was done to perfection, with a healthy brown color and crispy skin. The chips were not greasy, and the salad, a concoction made of chopped onions, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumber and parsley, sweetened with lemon and sugar, smelled fresh and delicious. After the meal, over American-style coffee, they discussed the childhood memories of different places they'd been to and seen. Have you ever thought of what you want to do when you finish school? she asked. Yes. My fathers a physician in Istanbul. Id like to go to medical school, but Id like to do more than simply set up a clinic in the big city. If I can, Id like to set up public health clinics throughout Turkey. Thats thats fascinating. I mean, being a doctor and all. You seem so sure of yourself at such a young age. Ive wanted to be a doctor as long as I can remember, he said. What about you, Halide? Would I sound like a silly child if I said I had no idea what I want to do? she said. Not at all. Id be more surprised if you did know what you wanted during your first year in university. Besides, a beautiful, intelligent young lady like you has so many options. Halide suddenly rose. I think Id like to go home now. Did I say something wrong? Please tell me if I did.

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You called me beautiful. And I meant it. Are you trying to humiliate me? She tossed enough money on the table to pay the bill for both of them, then angrily stomped out. Metin followed her into the street. The summer evening was dry and mild. Listen, please, Halide, what did I say to offend you. How dare you call be beautiful or even attractive. You have eyes, the same as anyone else. Wait a minute, he said, grabbing her by both shoulders. Youre saying because you have a kyphosis no one could find you beautiful? How shallow do you think I am? A kyphosis? Is that what you call it? A polite was of saying a humpback? She tried unsuccessfully to pull away. You can call it whatever you want. You didnt ask to be born with it, and if you think I care less for you because of it, why why ? He didnt say more because the girl was weeping copiously. He held her very gently until her sobs subsided. Halide, he finally said. Halide. Theres so much beauty in you. Beauty thats inside, beauty that surrounds you when you speak, when your brilliant mind is at work, when I look at you in a crowded room. Maybe you dont see the beauty and maybe others who are fools dont see the beauty, but I tell you the beauty is there, and its enough for me. Are you are you serious, Metin? she said between sniffles. I swear to you that I am. I didnt mean to say it so soon. I thought maybe if we let our our friendship grow into something more precious But youre the one that raised the issue when you said you were a silly girl, and what I said just gushed out of me. Why do you think I never protested when you linked your arm through mine? Because it felt so good and because I was so proud to be seen with you. But the ky the kyphosis? What about it? Does it make you less of a woman, less of a human being? Does it

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somehow make you less worthy? In the time were together, perhaps theyll find a way to perform surgery if it bothers you that much. I can tell you its absolutely meaningless to me, he said hotly. What is meaningful to me is you. Can you forgive me for the way I acted in the restaurant? she said, her eyes brimming with tears once again. Whats to forgive? he said, gently chucking her under the chin. They make lousy dessert anyway. # The months seemed to speed by. Metin and Halide went everywhere together the theater, the opera, museums, exhibitions. Fortunately, since neither of them was particularly well-heeled, Paris had always retained a special place in its heart for its youth, and prices were well within reason. They talked about everything and nothing, and although kissing and cuddling was very much a part of the picture, both of them observed an unwritten, unspoken promise to one another that it was not right for them to go farther than that. More and more, Metin spoke about his dreams for Turkey, and more and more often he almost unconsciously peppered his talks with, When we go here, and When we start to work together, and When we can bring about changes that will help our people. Halide never dissuaded him and never rebuked him, for she felt closer to him than any man, perhaps even Papa. Still, it wasnt until January, when he was into the final half of his third year, that things came to a head. Theyd just come out of a performance of Franz Lehars Merry Widow and Halide asked, Metin, could we stop for tea and a sweet? Im nowhere near readsy to go home. Certainly, he said. She held his arm and nuzzled closer to him. He was unusually quiet as they walked down the Boul Miche to a caf frequented by most of their friends from the university. No sooner had they sat down in a far corner

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of the room, more to escape the bitter Parisian cold than anything else, than she said, Darling, you seem awfully withdrawn tonight. Is something bothering you? He took her hands in his and looked steadily into her eyes. Yes, there is. Im in love with you, you know Halide blushed furiously. The words had never been spoken, but now they were out in the open and she responded automatically, Well, Mister Ermenek, its about time you told me. Im so much in love with you I could almost faint. Ive been in love with you since last summer. Thats the problem, he said. Youre barely seventeen and and Yes? Are you prepared to wait until I start medical school? Thats two years away? Wait for what? For the first time in her life, Halide, always the most direct of young women, was being coy. Metin sipped nervously at his tea. You want me to come right out and say it? Well, darling, it seems to me thats always been the way, hasnt it? She smiled demurely, but her eyes were brilliant with happiness. All right. In front of everyone in the tea room, he got down on his knees. Halide Orhan, will you will you allow me to ask your father for your hand in marriage? As if on cue, a quartet consisting of the members of the chemistry study group entered the tea room. Before Halide could say a word, before Metin could get up off his knees, they sang an original song, the lyrics exhorting Halide to say yes. Halide glared at Metin, who shrugged his shoulders helplessly. The quartet was not to be put off. They grabbed every student in the caf and a raucous chant of, Say yes! Say yes! Say yes! erupted. Halide, savoring the moment, stood and said to the assembly, Ill need some time to think about it. She waited all of five second before she said, Yes, my darling, you may ask my Papa for my hand. And if he loves me the way I think he does, I know what

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his answer will be.

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4 In 1914, two events jarred Yujel's world. On June 28, in the small Serbian city of Sarajevo, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was murdered, with the end result that numerous European nations declared war on one another. Three days later, Yujel felt even greater turmoil when Halide came home holding the hand of a slender, shy young man and said, "Papa, I'd like you to meet Metin Ermenek. He comes from Istanbul and he's studying at the Sorbonne." Yujel's heart skipped a beat. "Darling, wonderful Papa, we wanted you to be the first to know. Metin and I are in love. As soon as he graduates and starts medical school, two years from now..." "Professor Orhan," the lad said, clearly nervous, but in respectful, measured tones, "I'm most honored to meet you." Allah, why did it have to happen so soon? "Metin," Orhan said, not unkindly. "How old are you?" "Nineteen, sir." "My Halide is just a child." "Seventeen, Papa." Yujel glanced at her sharply, then melted. He'd never seen her so radiant. The girl was, dare he think it, beautiful. He felt a lump in his throat. Was it jealousy? Envy that time had passed him by? Or the very real thought that although she would always be his little girl, she was not his little girl any more. How on earth had he overlooked the obvious during the past several months? Praise Allah, how, in the whirlwind that was Paris, had she found an Ottoman?

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"Metin," Yujel said, "You must forgive an old man." He winced at the thought of being just that. "Would you care to tell me how this all came about?" "Of course, Professor. Halide and I met last spring during chemistry class. We worked together in study groups. I marveled at how Halide kept pressing on, even though chemistry did not come naturally to her. We finished in first and second place respectively in the class." "Not bad for a couple of Turks," Halide interjected, smiling and squeezing the young man's hand. "I invited Halide to dinner to celebrate our grades," Metin continued. "We talked about many things. Then we started going to the theater, museums. One thing led to another. It felt so much like being back home just talking with her." "What would your parents say about this? Aren't marriages still arranged in the Empire?" "That's true in the villages, Professor Orhan. But unlike most of Turkish families, where women are treated as little more than chattels, whose only talents lie in working the land and bearing sons so men can boast of their manhood, mine has always been liberal in that regard. We've had roots in Istanbul for a hundred years. Father's a surgeon and a professor at the mderrise. Mama's one of the very few women practicing as an avukat in the courts. I believe they'd want for my happiness more than anything else, just as Halide's your greatest happiness. I've no doubt when they meet Halide, they'll share my love for her." "Do you have brothers, sisters? "Yes, sir. I'm the eldest of three. I have a younger brother fifteen and a sister

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twelve." Yujel was pleased by Metin's answer. In the Turkey he'd known, girls and women were deemed so inferior that when a man was asked how many children he had, he would number only his sons. "What are you studying, Metin?" "I want to follow in my father's footsteps, Sir. My teachers at the French lyce in Istanbul suggested I test for admission to the Sorbonne. If my present grades continue, I hope to be admitted to medical school." "Do you intend to practice with your father?" "No, Professor Orhan. After I complete medical school, I plan to return to Turkey and set up public health clinics around the country. Ninety-eight out of every hundred people who live east of the capital exist much as they have for the past thousand years." "What about Halide? She's known nothing but an upper middle class Parisian existence. Anatolia's a far cry from Istanbul, let alone Paris. Even though she's heard me speak Ottoman Turkish at home, I doubt either of you would fit comfortably into an Anatolian village." The boy looked thoughtful for a few moments. Then he said, "I see what you mean, Professor. Neither Halide nor I have discussed how we're going to go about doing what we want to do. But surely, Effendi, there must be a way to help our countrymen." "What about your military service, Metin?" "I can only hope Turkey will stay out of Europe's latest conflict. The motherland has already shed too much blood. It's time for other nations to deal with their own problems, without our participation."

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"Unfortunately, Metin, there are war clouds on the horizon. I don't think Turkey can help but become embroiled in the conflict. We can only hope she'll will choose her allies wisely." "With whom should the Turks align themselves, Papa?" Halide asked. "The Argentines." The remark, made only half jokingly, broke the tension. "If Turkey enters the war," the young man said, "I'll no doubt be called to duty, perhaps near Istanbul." "Inshallah, Metin," Orhan said. Metin left shortly after dinner. Yujel spoke seriously with his daughter. "I believe you've chosen wisely. Promise me only that you won't forget the old fellow back in Paris." "Oh, Papa," Halide said, hugging him tightly, "that could never happen in a hundred years, a thousand years. Besides, it'll still be a very long time before we marry. What one wishes and what one can do aren't always the same. I'll still be under your roof so long you may well wish to get rid of me at last." "That," Orhan said gravely, "will never happen during my lifetime." # Turkey stumbled into the war. By accident. On the wrong side. The Turks ordered two ships from Britain. England cancelled the deliveries when war broke out. The Germans, who had two warships trapped in Istanbul at the time, turned the situation to their advantage and gave the Turks the two ships. The Turkish government renamed the ships Yavuz Sultan Selim and Midilli, gave the Germans command of the vessels, fezzes and Turkish uniforms, and `enlisted' them in the Turkish navy. The German admiral in charge took his two `Turkish' ships into the Black Sea, bombarded the Russian

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coast and sank several of the Czar's vessels. The Ottoman chamber of deputies was furious and demanded that Enver Pasha, the most pro-German of the ruling triumvirate, apologize to Russia, Britain, and France. But it was too late, and Enver's "apology" claimed Russia had provoked the attack. Within days, the "sick man of Europe" was formally at war with Russia, France and Britain. Late in the afternoon of November 17, 1914, Professor Orhan paced the room anxiously, then walked over to the living room window. He looked down and saw the last of the leaves blown by a cold gust of wind. The leaden sky promised an early winter this year. He shivered and turned the radiator up to its highest setting. He heard Metin and Halide coming up the stairs. They were laughing. He was in no mood for gaiety. He was an "enemy alien." It would be difficult for him to retain his responsible position in Paris this winter. He greeted the young people warmly. They went into the kitchen to prepare the evening meal and he returned to his notes. During dinner, the mood was tense. "What do you think will happen, Professor?" Metin asked. "I hope you'll be able to sit out the war in Paris. I read in the papers that the Ottoman chamber of deputies passed a military conscription order. Let's hope they ignore those young people who've gone overseas to study." "But what if they call me back?" Halide looked at her young man with alarm. "Don't say such things, Metin," she said quickly. "You're going to be a doctor. Surely they need surgeons more than soldiers." "You seem to forget, Halide," her father remarked, "that Metin's still two years away from medical school. There'll be a shortage of officers. Unquestionably, Metin would be

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commissioned." "Papa! I'll not hear of such things!" she said, suddenly pale. Metin glanced at Professor Orhan questioningly. "You don't think they'll really recall me?" "One never knows. Let's pray Turkey can somehow extricate itself, before it's too late." # The war did not end quickly. The Ottomans marshaled eight hundred thousand troops. Within a few months, Turkey was fighting a war on not one, but four fronts. Enver Pasha mounted a catastrophic winter offensive against the Russians in the Caucasus. As 1914 gave way to 1915, the Russians inflicted staggering losses and drove the Turks all the way back to Lake Van. Parisians escaped the ongoing war by forced gaiety. They went to the cinema and after the motion pictures, the students went to night clubs where they were entranced by the wonderful new American import, jazz. The Orhans worst fears soon came to pass. Metin was called back to Istanbul and entered military training. He wrote Halide every day, without fail. Because Professor Orhan had an influential friend in Geneva to act as go-between, their letters to one another arrived within a month of being posted. On January 17, Halide received the first of Metin's numerous letters. It was dated December 22 of the previous year:

Darling Halide: I'm sorry to be so late in writing you. I think of you always. I got back to Istanbul on the fifteenth and was allowed two days with my family before I had to report to the

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military academy. I told my parents all about us. They're anxious to meet you, but now would not be the time to visit. The city's in a state of near panic. There are all kinds of rumors in the streets. Only yesterday, Vatan reported that British and French forces were steaming up the Dardanelles to lay siege to the capital and that the Russians were about to attack from the north. Fortunately, the "news" was false. Each day, hundreds of people take ferries over to the Anatolian side. Very few passengers return to the European side. Cousin Rauf, who works in the interior ministry, came over for dinner the night after I arrived. He says the government has two special trains on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorous, ready to depart on an hour's notice. One is for the Sultan, the other for the legislators. Supposedly the government has already shipped the archives and the treasury's gold to Eskishehir. Another rumor making the rounds is that the police have stored oil cans all over town, ready to set fire to the city should the enemy break through. They say plans have been made to dynamite Aya Sophia and some of the other important buildings. I'm told that when the American ambassador protested, Talat Pasha, one of the ruling triumvirate, said there weren't half a dozen deputies who cared anything for the old; they looked forward, not back. If there's any truth to that tale, Allah help us all! Food is in short supply. The prices are very high. Fortunately, father's practice continues to be very busy; there'll always be a need for doctors. Papa used his influence to get me assigned to a special officer candidate school. Ill take a four week course, after which Ill be commissioned and assigned to duty. Career officers graduate from the Ottoman Military Academy, but there's such a shortage that

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anyone with a year of college behind him ends up a sub-lieutenant. I start next week. If all goes well, I'll get my commission in mid-February. I miss you so much, darling. I wish you were here right now so we could hold one another, or even just talk. Give my love to your papa. I kiss your heart. loving Metin # On February 13, the day of his graduation from officer's school, Metin sent a long, news-filled letter to Professor Orhan, which Yujel promptly read to his daughter: Dear Papa Orhan: Your future son-in-law, Sub-lieutenant Metin Ermenek, sends fondest greetings. You'd hardly recognize the fellow who left Paris a scant two months ago. I'm lean and trim, as you can see from the accompanying photograph, and you'll notice I've grown a most stylish moustache. "Oh, Papa, let me see." Halide interrupted. She sighed as she looked at the photo, caressing it for a full minute. "How handsome he looks!" she said proudly. "Hush!" Professor Orhan replied. "Let me go on, child." He continued. It's still hard to know truth from fiction in this city. Paris is a city at war. Istanbul is a city in war. You'd be surprised how many people are hoping the English and French hurry and capture the city. At least then Turkey will be out of the war. I was so worried about where I'd be posted. As you probably read in the papers, Enver's expedition in the Caucasus was a complete disaster. Most of our class has been assigned to Anatolia to try and stop the Czar's forces. I was really afraid I'd be sent there. Again, Father intervened. I'm to be posted close to Istanbul. I might even be able to return Your

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home to visit occasionally. I'm assigned to the 57th Regiment, 19th Division of the Third Army. My classmates who're headed east are envious. Two weeks from now I arrive at

what will undoubtedly be one of the easiest assignments possible, Gelibolu. Please send my fondest love to Halide and, of course, my respects and love to you as well. Yours, Metin "Papa, isn't that wonderful? Thank God he won't be going to the horrible eastern steppes and fighting Russians!" "I suppose we can rest a little easier, child, to the extent anyone can feel less nervous about a nearby war. At least he'll be close to Istanbul." "Where exactly is Gelibolu, Papa?" Halide asked. "I dont know much when it comes to small Turkish towns." "It's not a town, my dear," the Professor said, reaching toward the bookcase for an atlas. He leafed through the volume, finally coming to a map of the Ottoman lands. If we start at Istanbul and move south," his finger pointed to the map we go from the Bosphorous to the Sea of Marmara. From there, you follow that Sea south and west. You come to another narrow strait, the Dardanelles. That waterway is surrounded by two narrow land masses. We call the peninsula `Gelibolu.'" "Papa," Halide said. "What do you mean `we' call the place Gelibolu?" "I spoke as an Ottoman. Turks call a place one thing, Western Europeans always change the name to suit their language. Hundreds of years later they still insist on calling our capital Constantinople. Edirne is Adrianople to them, although Hadrian, for whom the place was named, hasn't ruled there for more than fifteen hundred years." "And Gelibolu?" she asked.

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"Oh, the English and the French have a different name for that, too. They call it `Gallipoli.'"

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When Turhan first arrived in Istanbul at the beginning of 1913, the Agha Nikrat's eldest son, Mattyo, an elegant man of thirty, met the boat as it docked at Galata Harbor. He immediately informed Turhan of the Agha's situation. "It's all part of the Internal Security Police's blackmail scheme. As long as Father paid them `protection' he was left alone. First, it was five percent. We could live with that. After all, if it didn't go into one government pocket it would go into another. Governments exist to line the pockets of those in power. But as time went on, the monster's appetite got bigger and bigger. The Security Police wanted ten percent, then twenty. Eighteen months ago the Chief of Sultanahmet section came to Father's home in broad daylight and demanded a third of all receipts. "That was more than Father could take. He met privately with the Interior Minister. Shortly afterward, the man who'd approached Father was send to Hakkari, near the Iraqi border, and it was business as usual once again. "The Interior Minister died a year ago. We harbored no illusions that the Security Police wouldn't try to seek revenge. We were quite surprised that they never even approached Father. But in guarding our outer flank, we ignored the devil that dwelt within. The police hire informers, people who're paid to infiltrate a household and quietly hide illegal caches of goods where the police are certain to find them. In our case, the plant was a boy about your age, who served Father for a month before the police broke into the house. The police confiscated whatever they could find, the house, a few boats, money. They prevailed on the Minister of Justice to bring the case to court. Father's being held in pretrial

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confinement because the Security Police fear his escape. The Public Prosecutor has asked the court to sentence the Agha to fifteen years." "What about the informer?" "He left our employ a week before the police invaded our home. We've never seen him since." Mattyo insisted that Turhan stay with him in his comfortable home in the heart of Pera. Turhan enrolled in a local lycee, where he mastered English and German. He read everything he could get his hands on. He honed his writing skills to such a degree that when he submitted an anonymous article to Vatan, one of Istanbul's major newspapers, it was actually printed. He also received education in how the world really works. Early on, he'd learned that what passed for justice in the Ottoman Empire was a charade propelled by power and greed. He was not ignorant of how the Agha's family had acquired its wealth. He knew enough not to intrude when a small cadre of men met with Mattyo behind closed doors at the Pera residence several evenings each week. Large amounts of money changed hands during these meetings. From time to time he caught snatches of German, English and what he recognized as French. Just before the Agha's final court hearing, Mattyo invited Turhan to visit his benefactor. "Are you sure that's permissible?" he asked. "Wouldn't it be an affront to his dignity for me to see him in such a humbled state?" "I think not, Turhan. You'll find the Agha a great and very wise man, regardless of how he's chosen to run his life. I doubt he'd feel embarrassed to meet you. Besides, my

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mother, my brothers and I have spoken highly of you." The "prison" was a huge, well-appointed apartment. The Agha was attended by his private secretary and a chef who cooked all his meals. During the hours Turhan spent with the man, they were interrupted half a dozen times by well-dressed men who sought the Agha's advice and counsel. The Agha, a man in his late fifties, of some girth but only moderate height, wore a silk caftan and slippers and seemed in good humor from the moment Turhan arrived until it was time to leave. He was utterly charming. Turhan could not help but like him. The Agha spoke candidly about his world view, and answered Turhan's questions directly. "My associates and I make no apology for what we do. If it wasn't us, it would be someone else, perhaps more greedy, and there would be chaos. At least we maintain order throughout our strongholds. There is always honor among us." "But Nikrat, Agha Effendi, don't you worry about addiction to drugs or theft by the people with whom you deal?" "Not at all. We exercise very strict controls. We may deal in hashish, opium or arms on behalf of others, but my associates are wise enough never to dirty their own hands by direct contact with such contraband. If they steal, they'd better not be caught. If they're even suspected of using illicit drugs, they quickly disappear, never to be heard from again." "But Agha Effendi, something obviously happened to destroy the order you speak about." "One can't always control what happens from the outside, my young friend." "I've heard the Public Prosecutor is asking for fifteen years at hard labor. Surely, Sire, you must be worried."

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The man smiled conspiratorially. "I don't say I'm not concerned, Turhan. But powerful men always play their games on a grander scale than most. One never knows what will happen. I have confidence that justice will be served." Within two months of the visit, the Agha was found innocent of all charges. The judge ruled that there had been insufficient evidence to convict Nikrat. Although the money that had been seized was not restored to him, the family moved back into the Agha's palatial mansion far up the Bosphorous and Turhan moved in with them. He heard later that the judge had moved to an elegant new residence less than a mile from the Agha's home.

During the next year, Turhan resided with the Agha's family. He was treated as a favored younger son and introduced to many of the Agha's business associates from outside the country. The Agha waxed richer than before. Certain industries are affected most favorably during wartime. No one heard from the Security Police. But the Agha had made enemies within that force. Powerful enemies who thirsted for revenge. In January of 1915, shortly before the beginning of Turhan's nineteenth year, the Agha Nikrat invited the German Ambassador to his home for dinner. Three hours before the dignitary was expected, the Agha asked Turhan to go down into a special hidden wine cellar to retrieve some pre-war vintage French wines for the diplomat. Turhan had scarcely shut the basement door when he heard a loud crash above him, followed by screams and the sound of gunfire. For the next hour he remained absolutely still, listening in fear as the crunch of several loud boots and the voices of a number of men as they searched throughout the house. Finally there was silence. When he emerged, it was twilight. He climbed the stairs noiselessly, lest a guard be stationed in the house. When he'd

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reached the top landing, he remained still for five minutes, listening for any sign of life. There was none. Still cautious, he entered the kitchen. No sound. "Agha Effendi?" he called quietly. Nothing. He pushed the kitchen door open and walked into the living room. "Agha ...?" He stopped in his tracks and retched uncontrollably. Everywhere he looked there were bloody remains of what had been bodies scattered throughout the room. The Agha's wife and four younger sons were recognizable. Mattyo's head and that of his father had been blown off by shots from large caliber weapons. Turhan forced himself to remain still, calm. He edged his way toward a small window near the front entryway of the house. Peering through it, he saw two Security Police guards stationed twenty feet away from where he stood, just outside the house. Silently, he made his way back down the basement stairs. The Agha had shown him the location of the secret tunnel some time before. An hour later, Turhan emerged two blocks from the residence. He was certain the Security Police had seen him in the Agha's company. For all he knew, descriptions of him were now circulating within every precinct in the city. Fortunately, it was dark. There were not many people on the streets. He made his way to a nearby dock and caught one of several ferries bound across the strait to skdar on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorous. The next day, he enlisted in the medical corps. After a week of training, Turhan was posted to a place close to the capital. Gelibolu.

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6 February 23, 1915 My Darling: There's an air of unreality here. Everyone seems to be waiting for everyone else to make the first move. After the British navy attacked the southern tip of the peninsula, the German General, von Sanders, came down from Istanbul to command a separate army to defend the Dardanelles. Our Division, under Colonel Mustafa Kemal, has been assigned to that Fifth Army. We're headquartered at Maidos. No one knows where or when the British and French navies will attack. I've been supervising the stringing of barbed wire along the beach. The `intelligence' thinks that will stop the assault. How idiotic! The English navy is out there shelling the shore. It won't take long for their ground troops to cut right through the wire. Mustafa Kemal believes we've got to keep control of the high ridges if the attack comes. He and von Sanders disagree on where the Allies will land. The German general thinks they'll come ashore at Troy on the Asiatic side and Bulair on the European shore. Kemal says it'll be at Cape Helles on the southern tip of the peninsula and Gaba Tepe on the west coast. I hear from my family frequently. Everyone is well. They appreciated the Maidos

photographs you sent and thank you for your last letter. Allah, how I long to be with you! I can only console myself that our time will come, sooner than we think. Father wrote that hes very tired. He said that with so many doctors in the field, everyone with a medical degree is seeing patients. He thinks most of the `illnesses' are

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hysterical reactions to what's going on in the capital. Istanbul's residents are convinced that the British and French will break through by summer, and then Turkey will be out of the war. Mama says maybe I should have gone east after all. No, thank you. I hear strange, disquieting rumors about the relocation of Armenians. It's all very secret. No one ever talks about it, but there have been stories of atrocities. The news is very confused. At least here I'm relatively safe and quite close to home. And the "enemy" are the civilized British and French. The professional officers who've known Mustafa Kemal before say they'd rather be lieutenants under him than colonels under any general they could name. I'm told he's quite the ladies' man when he's not at war. Who knows where all this will lead? So many young men thrown into war just so the politicians can justify their strutting and the industrialists can become wealthy. What a waste! Well, Angel, I seem to be raging at the world. Mostly from boredom I'm sure. Let's both pray that by this time next year I'll be back in Paris, or that Istanbul will be safer and you'll be closer to me. Give my fondest to Papa. I love you, darling. Ever your Metin. # In Paris, an early spring thaw and unseasonably warm, bright sunlight, caused the trees to sprout new leaves almost overnight. Flowers blanketed the areas adjacent to paths. Mothers and nannies pushed large-wheeled prams on tar-covered walkways, noisily berating older children and ordering them to play elsewhere, lest they awaken the babies. Halide was miserable. "Papa, it's been two weeks since I've heard from Metin.

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Could there be something wrong with the postal service?" "Possibly, child," her father replied. "Perhaps it's because of the action in the Dardanelles. Communications seem to have been cut off." "Something's desperately wrong. Perhaps he decided we weren't right for each other." "I rather doubt that, darling. I think he's caught up in a bout of mankind's most vicious disease. War." Another week went by. Still no word from Metin. Halide was in a state of panic. She could not keep her mind on her studies. She cut classes and cried at odd times, often for no apparent reason. It was worse when she read stories in Le Monde about the Allied landings on both sides of the Dardanelles. If one could believe the French press, the annihilation of the Turkish forces was not more than a few days away. Papa purchased a week-old copy of Vatan, a Turkish newspaper. Since Papa had insisted from the time she was seven that she learn his native tongue, Halide had no trouble reading the Arabic-script Ottoman writing. Her eye immediately seized on a small item tht read. PERSONAL REPORT FROM THE FRONT. OTTOMAN FORCES RETAIN KEY RIDGE IN BLOODY BATTLE! "April 25. 1915. Soon after dawn, English, Australian and New Zealander troops landed just north of Gaba Tepe. French soldiers landed on the Asiatic Coast. Colonel Mustafa Kemal told us earlier he believed the Sari Bair ridge was critical to our defense of the Dardanelles, that if the enemy captured that high place they would dominate the peninsula. "This morning, he led that advance up the ridge to its summit. Our medical unit

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followed immediately behind. When we came to the top of the hill, we ran into a company of Turkish soldiers. They said they'd been the only force opposing the enemy for the past three hours. They were completely out of ammunition. "The enemy was two-thirds of the way up the hill, three hundred feet below us at most, and the troops were firing. Colonel Kemal ordered the company to fix their bayonets and lie down on the ground in place. They did. Incredible as it may seem, when the enemy saw our troops cease their retreat, their forces lay down as well. For thirty minutes everyone held their fire. That half hour decided the fate of the battle. "Kemal sent an officer down to bring the regiment up the hill on a dead run. When they arrived at the crest, I heard an order which will stay with me as long as I live. "`I don't order you to attack. I order you to DIE! In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders can come and take our places! In the time it takes us to die, this hill will be saved. If this hill is saved, the capital will be saved. And if the capital is saved, the nation will be saved. If any of you turns and runs, I order that man be shot as a deserter. And should I do anything but LEAD you in this battle, I direct you to shoot me as well!' "By the end of the afternoon, almost the whole of the 57th Regiment had died, faced continuously with a curtain of enemy rifle fire. Only two of my friends, Corporal Firat and Sub-Lieutenant Metin Ermenek survived." Halide turned white. She re-read the part about her fianc over and over. Finally, she forced herself to continue reading. "They are good fellows, both of them, typical of what Mustafa spoke of as the `new breed' of Turk. Firat's a country fellow from Angora, eighteen, who graduated lyce just before he was inducted into the Army. Lieutenant Ermenek studied at the university in

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Paris. The enemy soldiers are no different from us. They, too, have wives, mothers, and sweethearts. "The battle continued all afternoon. Mustafa Kemal rode away for a little while. When he returned, he brought reinforcements. During this day, I carried at least two hundred men to our field infirmary, less than a hundred yards from the battle lines. When the sun set, the Allies had been driven back to the lower ground they'd occupied early that morning. We'd kept them off the Sari Bair!" That night, Halide made up her mind what she must do.

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Halide was already dressed when Papa came down to breakfast the following morning. Yujel found the table set with the finest service they had. There was orange juice, a pitcher of coffee, and several warm, crisp croissants, purchased by Halide that morning. He inclined his head toward her suspiciously. "What's all this about, daughter?" "Papa, I'm going to Istanbul." "What???" "I'm going to Metin." "Are you insane, girl? This is the middle of war. You're barely eighteen years old. Thousands are trying to get out of Turkey!" "I'm not crazy, Papa. I must be near my man." "In the middle of a battlefield? You talk like a fool. Halide, I forbid this rash act." "Papa! Would you truly hurt me like that? In all my life, have I ever disobeyed you or done anything to shame you?" "No, but..." "Papa, please understand. I must go to him. I can't think of anything else! I've got to find out if he's safe, if he's even alive!" "There are channels, Halide." "Damn the `channels!'" she said, slamming her orange juice glass on the table. "It could be weeks before I hear anything. By then I could be in Turkey." "But, Halide, you're a child." "I'm not a child, Papa. I've finished two years at the Sorbonne with honors, though God knows how I managed to study these last two months. The world won't need another

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teacher so quickly. And Metin is more than my life to me. Yujel saw his daughter was determined to make the journey. He softened. There was no way he could ever deny her what she asked. "Mind, I'm not agreeing to this folly. I suppose you've planned exactly how you're going to do this?" For the first time in over a month, Halide smiled. Her eyes took on a lively twinkle that had been missing. She rose from her chair and hugged him affectionately. "As a matter of fact, Papa, I made no plan at all. A girl relies on her father to take care of such details." Yujel buried his face in his hands for a few moments. When he looked up, his eyes were shiny with unshed tears. "Halide," he said. "A child is only lent to you for a very short time. You try to bring that child up to be the best human being possible. And you try, Allah, how you try to hold back the clock, make that child stay small a little longer. All too soon, the time comes to let the bird fly free. "I'll help you get to Istanbul. What's so very hard for me to accept is that you might not return. Each child brings his or her own blessing to the world. May yours be special, my darling. Fly to the arms of your love with my deepest blessing." Two nights later, over a simple meal of onion soup and sourdough bread, Yujel said, "This is wartime, Halide. The French consider you a hostile alien, even though you've lived here all your life. With their penchant for petty bureaucracy, they'll check everything out most carefully before they let you leave their sacred soil. Once you've left, don't expect to return for the duration of the war." "I know, Papa. Once I get out of France, how do I get into Turkey? Ottomans suspect me as well, since I was born and raised in France?" Won't the

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""Halide, you recall how smoothly you've been able to correspond with Metin during these difficult times?" "Yes, you told me you've a friend in Geneva." "Karl Feldkirche was a student of mine some years ago. Today he's Deputy Minister of Transport. He and I have stayed in touch over the years. We both saw the war coming. It was Feldkirche who suggested since no one knew who would end up on which side, one could always benefit by possessing a passport from the only European country everyone knew would not participate." "What you're telling me, you sly fox," she grinned is that..." "Fralein Halide Orhan, born 1897, the ward of Doktor Karl Feldkirche of Geneva, Switzerland, was issued a passport from the Swiss Confederation in March, 1914. The passport was forwarded to me in Paris for `safekeeping.' I'll take you as far as the frontier. Geneva's a short boat ride from there. Karl's agreed to meet us on this side of the border. After that, we must leave the planning to him and to your escort." "My escort, Papa?" "I could not allow you to make such a journey unaccompanied, Halide. Despite the tragedy of war, we're truly fortunate. Feldkirche told me a junior brigadier general, Omer Akdemir, is in Geneva, involved in peace negotiations, and he'd be honored to escort you to Istanbul." "Will you be all right, Papa?" "Only when I know you're safe. I wish I could make the trip with you, but Doktor Feldkirche says that's impossible. Don't forget to write." "Papa, I'll do more than write. I'll return."

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"Inshallah, may it be during my lifetime." "The war can't go on forever." "But neither can life, my angel." "Papa, years ago I told you I'd follow in your footsteps as an educator. I've not yet graduated. I have unfinished business here. I'll be back. You'll be proud of me, Papa. Don't you dare get ill or die! You say you're brave? So am I, Papa. We two must be there to help one another. And we will be!"

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"I've never seen anything so breathtaking!" the girl gasped. They'd arrived near the border at Chamonix the night before. Professor Orhan had insisted they be up by sunrise. Halide, who'd never traveled more than fifty kilometers from Paris, awoke in an Alpine town four thousand feet higher than the French capital. Though it was early June, the air was nippy. Yujel made certain his daughter wore her warmest coat, muffler, and gloves before they left their pension. As she emerged into clear air and bright sunshine, Halide was awed by her first view of the ice-covered glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif, nearly sixteen thousand feet high. Bright green meadows ascended to darker forest green and ultimately to rocks and the eternal whiteness of the craggy summits. The girl hugged her father tightly. "Oh, Papa, Papa! Thank you so much for everything." "I felt the nicest send-off for my only daughter would be a sight she'd remember until she returned to me." They walked through the center of town until they reached Le Brevent funicular station, then boarded a tram, which took them up five thousand feet to the crest of Mont Blanc's smaller sister. What had been an enthralling view from the valley floor below was overwhelming. As they alighted, they were met by a short, sprightly man of fifty, with thinning hair, rimless spectacles, and a slight paunch, wearing a smile almost as wide as his face. "Grss Gott, Bienvenue, Hosh Geldiniz, my dear professor," the man said effusively, kissing Yujel

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on both cheeks. He bowed to the girl and continued, "This must be Halide. Welcome my child. I apologize for ignoring you, my dear, but I'm so delighted to see your father. Yujel, Mademoiselle, may I present General Omer Akdemir." He nodded in the direction of a tall, distinguished- looking man of forty-five, with neatly clipped moustaches and iron gray hair. The man nodded politely, then stepped back as the two old comrades jovially embraced again. "How long has it been, Karl?" "Twenty-four years, Yujel. June of 1891 to be precise." "I wish you wouldn't have reminded me. That means I was a young man of fortyfour." "Ja, und I was a sprout of twenty-six. Your Halide is as old as I was when I first met you." Despite the length of time since they'd seen one another, they slipped into conversation as easily as if they'd been together the night before. Years dropped from Papa's face. As the two men talked, Halide gazed in rapture at fifty peaks, each of which stood out in grand, snow-capped seclusion. Her reverie was interrupted by the general, who spoke for the first time, his deep, commanding voice, resonant with mildly accented French. "Excuse me, Miss Orhan, but it must bore you to hear old comrades reliving memories that took place before you were born." "Not at all, General. I don't know when I've ever seen my father look so happy." "I am indeed pleased to meet you," the general continued smoothly. "I'm overwhelmed that one so young has the courage and determination to go to our motherland when the rest of the world is fleeing from it." The man seemed very kind. Dignified.

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Strong, yet gentle, a younger version of her father. Halide felt protected in his presence. "Would you care to take coffee with me? I'm afraid your father and Doktor Feldkirche will be in their own world for hours." "It would be my pleasure, General," she smiled. There was a small coffee house nearby. As they entered, Akdemir said, "This is the way to see the massif! All the comforts of home." "Have you a home during this war, General?" "As much as any soldier can. I was stationed on the Armenian border when war broke out. Last November the High Command ordered me back to Istanbul and promoted me to Brigadier. I was assigned as junior attach to the Turkish General Staff. My wife and three of our four children accompanied me back to the capital. The last few months have been very costly for both sides. At the beginning of May, the General Staff requested I accompany Minister Eshref to Geneva. I'm afraid the talks have not gone well." "What a shame, General." "Indeed it is. The blood of all those young men." He stopped, and looked stiffly ahead. "Is something the matter, General?" "No. Yes, it is, damn it! Please pardon me, Miss Orhan. I've not been able to speak openly before, but meeting you, seeing your courage, makes me want to talk. My eldest son, Seljuk, was nineteen." He stopped, coughed roughly, pulled out a handkerchief and blew his nose. "I'm so sorry," Halide said softly. "Where?" "On the eastern front. Enver Pasha sent an ill-armed, suicidal mission into Russian

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Armenia. The aftermath was appalling beyond belief." # Neither Brigadier Akdemir, nor, for that matter, the world ever fully understood the enormity of what he referred to as "the aftermath." In November, 1914, Russian forces crossed the Turkish frontier, supported by Armenian nationalists who for years had borne the brunt of the sultan's repressive tactics. As the shattered Ottoman army retreated toward Lake Van, the government in Istanbul ordered the entire Armenian population be evacuated from Eastern Turkey and moved from all areas where they might undermine Ottoman campaigns. The army was specifically directed to resettle the Armenians in Mosul province, to protect the Armenians against attack, and to provide them with sufficient food and supplies during the march. No one in Istanbul ever accepted responsibility for the holocaust that ensued. Turks and Kurds, their years of frustration heightened by agonizing defeats, turned the evacuation into a massacre. They descended on Armenian villages and slaughtered refugees along the road. How this occurred remained shrouded in mystery. The exact numbers were never known. The Turkish government claimed no more than three hundred thousand perished, through a series of "unexplained, illegal misfortunes in which the government played no part." The Armenians, shocked beyond anything in their history, insisted that more than two million of their countrymen were savagely annihilated by a genocide unparalleled in history. The end result was that a large proportion of a population which the Ottoman Empire had considered a thorn in its side for hundreds of years, disappeared off the face of the earth. The western allies condemned both the atrocity and the Turkish government under whose authority it had happened. Fear and loathing of the "barbarian Turks" created a

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furor throughout Europe that was to have disastrous repercussions. Under those circumstances, even one death would have been too many.

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Although Halide was impressed by Genevas spectacular mountain backdrop, and especially by the Jet d'eau, the 145-meter high water fountain in the midst of Lake Geneva, she was anxious to leave for Turkey. "The Eastern Mediterranean's quiet. Most naval activity is centered in the Atlantic," General Akdemir said. "With the Battle for Gallipoli bottling up the Dardanelles, no one can get in or out. Trieste is a free port. We'll take the express train to Trieste, board a steamer to Smyrna, which we Turks call Izmir, then traverse the Turkish coast as far as the Sea of Marmara. From there, we'll take the ferry to Istanbul." "When do you propose to leave?" Feldkirche asked. "Today's June fifth. Two days from now." In contrast to Geneva, Trieste was a filthy, open, sailor's town. Its buildings were grimy with the accumulated grease of centuries. The port smelled of fish, mildew, cordite, and stale beer. Its oily waters and tired, broken topography added to the sleaziness of the place. Ships flew their own national flags, disregarding the old rule of the sea that required them to fly the port's ensign. Trieste's ties with its nominal ruler, Austria-Hungary, were virtually nonexistent. Brigadier Akdemir and his charge walked as swiftly as possible through the crumbling streets. Halide kept her pride and stared grimly ahead as numerous hands touched the hump on her back, a peasant omen of good luck. Akdemir took pains to block the rude interlopers. After dinner the brigadier, strikingly handsome in civilian clothes, suggested Halide might like to stroll on the quay. "It gets rugged as the night wears on, but you'll be safe enough if we go early. You'll be somewhat shocked at the low life you'll see. I'll understand

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if you'd rather not go." "General, I felt stifled by the antiseptic starchiness of Switzerland. I grew up in one of the `better' arondissements of Paris. Every girl needs to feel daring once in a while. As long as I have you to protect me, I'd love to go. And since I'm going to be in the Ottoman empire for some time, would you mind very much if we spoke Turkish? I don't want my native nationality to be too obvious when I get there." "Chok gzel, Halide Hanim," Akdemir replied, switching smoothly to his native tongue. "Your wish is my command." As they descended toward the docks, the city became progressively seamier. Halide, who'd been warned what to expect, occasionally giggled. "General Akdemir," she said as they ambled down a side street. "There must have been at least twenty ladies near that hotel. They had everything but `For Rent' signs hanging from their bosoms." "Ummm, yes," the officer replied briskly, clearly embarrassed. "Not the type of woman one wants to associate with." He moved quickly to a larger street. Soon they came to the harbor. The streets were lined with bars, tattoo parlors, shops filled with cheap, tasteless trinkets, sailors' hotels. By day these streets looked tawdry and run down, the buildings grimy and dark. At night, the district came alive with thousands of lights and the din of raucous music, off-key singing, and drunken violence. Heavy trucks rumbled along the streets, delivering whatever could be sold at a profit to waiting cargo ships. At one point, Halide remarked, "General, it seems there are an inordinate number of trucks going by with huge crates marked `water tanks.' Do they need so much water in wartime?" "Our intelligence sources tell us those so-called `tanks' are a secret new weapon the

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British have invented for desert warfare. We haven't actually seen any of them yet." "Do I hear Turkish?" a man's voice spoke up behind them. Halide turned and saw a man of thirty-five, considerably shorter than General Akdemir, who had a luxuriant, bushy moustache and clear, brown eyes. He wore a

nondescript coat and fisherman's hat, and held hands with a plump, smiling dark-haired woman. "I am Erdoan Balikjiolu. This is my wife, Demet." "Good evening. Im Omer Akdemir and this young lady is Halide Orhan." "I'm honored, General, Halide Hanim. May I invite you to be my guests for coffee?" "It would be our pleasure, Balikjiolu Effendi," Halide said. suggest?" "Why don't we stroll along Front Street and pick the least disreputable looking place?" As they walked, it became apparent this would be no easy task. Each bar competed with the last, with ever noisier, more obscene promises of delights. After a mile, they reached a quieter section of town. The view from the cafs window was worth the walk. From this distance, the boisterous saloons cast bright, flickering lights over the oily water. The sound was just far enough away to be both exciting and harmless. "What are you doing in Trieste, Erdoan Effendi?" Akdemir asked. "Demet and I live in Izmir. We operate a small fleet of five fishing vessels. The boats' engines break down and ultimately wear out. The war boosted the price I can get for my catch, but it's impossible to keep machinery running forever. I've nursed two of the older motors along well beyond their useful lives. Trieste is one of the few European ports "Where do you

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not under wartime blockade. Mashallah, I've been able to purchase serviceable engines at a good price. I'm taking them back to Turkey." "Isn't it unusual to take one's wife abroad in wartime?" "Not for me, Effendi. Demet's a shrewder negotiator than I. I see you're also traveling with a female companion, much younger than mine. How old are you, Hanim?" "Eighteen, sir." "What are you doing in Trieste?" "General Akdemir was with a military mission in Switzerland and kindly agreed to take me to Istanbul. My fianc's at Gallipoli." "Ahh," the man clicked his tongue in a tsk-tsk sound. "That's a dangerous place. Each time I read a paper, there's news of more killings. Inshallah, your man is safe and well. I'm impressed you're traveling in the company of a pasha." "Not quite, Erdoan Effendi," Akdemir said, "although I thank you for the compliment. I'm only a brigadier. I need a couple more stars on my epaulets to be called a pasha." "You'll be traveling to Izmir by ship?" "Yes. My superiors want me to return by sea, via an Ottoman vessel." "That can only be the Mustafa Fazil Pasha. Inshallah, it will make it as far as Izmir. At least we'll have the pleasure of one another's company on board." "Bad?" the general asked. "Let's walk along the quay. You can see for yourself." They left the caf and walked half the distance back to the bars. A square, sooty steamship of indeterminate age sat under a series of lights. "The Mustafa Fazil Pasha,"

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Balikjiolu remarked. "Pride of the Ottoman merchant fleet. A thirty-five year old rust bucket, one of the early steamers. Ordinarily we'd have taken a modern Austrian Lloyd ship plying the same route, but it's wartime and our government insists we travel under the Ottoman flag." "I've never been on any ship before. It will all be new to me," Halide remarked. General Akdemir winked at Halide and said, "Inshallah we'll get there." Next morning, they boarded the Ottoman vessel. Captain Rahmit, having been apprised that a brigadier general was to travel on his ship, was especially solicitous toward Akdemir and his companions. He assigned them the most luxurious accommodations on board, but even those rooms were musty and smelled of oil and mildew. The ship stayed close to the shoreline. They were always in sight of the

mountainous lands of Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania as the ship steamed down the eastern Adriatic. "Everything you see was once part of the Ottoman Empire," Akdemir told Halide. "Now, there are so many petty kingdoms one never knows who's at war with whom." They entered the narrow strait of Corfu, passed through a series of gulfs and inland passages, and headed across the Aegean toward their destination. "I wish we had time to stop at a Greek island," Akdemir sighed. "You'd see buildings so bright they nearly blind you. They're whitewashed to reflect the heat of the sun. Once, many years ago, before Greece tore itself away from the Empire, my wife and I visited these islands. Each one's a paradise, a pearl in the midst of a wine dark sea. Warm, lovely, boardwalks along the sea. Fresh fish and shepherd's salad. Friendly people and entrancing music. Now it looks like we'll be at war with our Greek brothers."

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There was a sudden high pitched squeal, followed by a loud clanking noise. After a few moments, there was a loud WHUM-UMP! from below. Then silence. The ship slowed to a crawl. General Akdemir excused himself, rose, and headed toward the captain's deck. He returned a few minutes later, his face reflecting unhappiness. "My friends," he said, "it seems the Mustafa Fazil Pasha has cracked a piston, destroying one main cylinder and severely damaging another. The ship will have to put in at the nearest port. The captain radioed the Greek government to allow us to land at Samos. Unfortunately, repairs may take the better part of three weeks. We could be on Samos for a month clearing customs." "No!" Halide turned pale. "I've got to get to Metin, now!" "I'm sorry, Halide," Akdemir replied. "There's nothing anyone can do. The Mustafa Fazil Pasha was ancient when they sent it out. They couldn't spare another vessel because of the war effort." The girl excused herself and ran down the deck toward her stateroom. "Ah," Balikjioglu said. "I understand the poor child's feelings. It won't help when we have to deal with Greek customs. There's no love lost between government officials of our two nations. Even though the Turkish coast is only a few miles away, the Greeks will hold any Ottoman vessel as a war trophy from the time we drop anchor in the harbor." "Would it help if Halide holds a Swiss passport?" "Not likely. She's a foreigner. Even if the Greeks let some of us go, the Turks wouldn't let a Greek vessel from Samos land at a Turkish harbor." "Can't anything be done?" "I didn't say that," replied Balikjiolu, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "How well

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do you get on with the captain?" "What do you mean?" "At the rate this tub is traveling, we won't reach Samos until late tonight. If there's one thing the Greeks like, it's a good party. No one from Samos will be anxious to offload this ship until tomorrow afternoon. This ship has several large lifeboats, which are of no use to us, but I saw one of those new tubular life rafts on the upper deck. It's light enough for us to manage and could hold us all. Perhaps you might persuade your captain that the military would be quite appreciative if one of their high-ranking officers were not detained in a Greek port." The captain was sympathetic to Akdemir's request. "Of course, General, you may use our ship's radio to contact your headquarters in Izmir, but I'm responsible for the lives of every passenger aboard this ship. How could I explain the loss of a life raft?" "Captain," Akdemir said quietly, "I am going to ask to you to excuse yourself for a very few minutes, because the message I send is classified as a military secret, and you would not want to disclose to our Greek hosts that you are party to such information. When you return, I'll take leave of your quarters. You'll find five hundred lira, more than enough money to purchase three life rafts, in the cabinet above your bed. I regret if some desperate person, fearing Greek reprisals for an imagined crime, caused the raft to disappear during the night, before we officially made port in Samos. You will, of course, provide me with detailed instructions on how to lower the boat?" "Of course, General," the captain said, smiling broadly. He rubbed his hands together. "If the Turkish military needs a sacrifice from me for the war effort, who am I to protest? But these are expensive rafts. Seven hundred fifty."

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"Not a penny over six, you scoundrel." "Mashallah." Late that night, General Akdemir knocked on Halide's door. She opened it slowly, her eyes red from crying. She was shaking. "Come," he said. "You can cry later. We've no time for that now. Pack only what you absolutely need, no more than will fill a small satchel." They met the Balikjioglus near the raft. "Is there room for everything?" Erdogan asked. "Absolutely. You're sure you know these waters?" "Perfectly, General. It's less than fifteen miles across the strait." "We can't count on Demet or the girl to row. We're in trouble unless the tides are just right." "Not to worry, General. We brought three engines with us from Trieste. One of them, much smaller than the others, was designed for emergencies." "You fishermen are a shrewd lot. How exact can you be about where we'll land?" "Why?" "Surely you don't intend to walk to Izmir from Dilek. My aide will need to know where and when." "Ah!" Balikjiolu returned the general's compliment. "You soldiers are a clever lot." They lowered the raft into the Strait of Samos. The two men rowed in silence until they'd cleared the harbor area. When Samos's dim lights disappeared off the port side of the raft, Balikjiolu started the small outboard motor. He kept the engine running at a whisper as they headed slowly east. They could just make out one or two lights in the distance. The

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Turkish coast. It would be a three hour trip if all went well. Halide dozed in the bow of the small raft. She awoke to the sight of a searchlight combing the waves. "Cut the motor," Akdemir whispered. "This far in, it must be Ottomans." They heard the roar of a powerful engine approaching. They were a stationary target, with no hope of outrunning the other vessel. An amplified voice, speaking Turkish, peremptorily commanded, "State your name, destination and intentions." "Turkish fishermen out of Dilek." "Impossible! We've just come from Dilek. No one reports a small boat having left there in several hours. State your name, please." "Akdemir." They heard a shuffling in the larger boat. The spotlight shone directly on the general. "It's him, all right! Hosh geldiniz, General! It's about time, sir!" "Lieutenant Tellat?" "Evet, Effendi! Follow us, sir, the car is waiting." "Chok, chok teshekkr ederim, my friend. Thank you so much! That's my aide-decamp," the general explained to the others. They followed the coast guard boat into a small gulf and arrived just as the sun was coming over the horizon. The landfall was extraordinary. Kushadasi, Bird Island, was connected by causeway to the mainland. It was dominated by the ruin of a large, rock fortress. "Five hundred years ago, this was home to the Barbarossa brothers, the most feared pirates that ever sailed the Mediterranean," Akdemir said. "They were Greek converts to Islam who pillaged the coasts of Spain and Italy, attacked the ships of all Christian nations,

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and sold passengers and crews into slavery in Algiers. The French Emperor, Charles the Fifth, personally led an expedition against Tunis in 1530. He liberated thousands of

Christian slaves and killed one of the brothers. Unluckily for the Christians, the remaining brother was appointed Grand Admiral by Sultan Sleyman the Lawgiver. The surviving Barbarossa was so effective that within ten years the Mediterranean was an Ottoman lake." As they made port, Tellat, a swarthy young man of twenty-five, turned to his superior. "General, I know you were planning to land at Izmir and take the train back to Istanbul, but headquarters received a new car from Germany. I suggested there'd be no better way to test it than to retrieve you. Besides, I know how you love mechanical things. I think you're going to enjoy this one." He led them to a flattened area, a hundred yards away from the landing. There, gleaming in the morning sun, was an elegant black Mercedes saloon, the only automobile in sight. Akdemir let out an involuntary whistle of appreciation at the impressive machine and ran his hand gently over the hood. "Mr. Balikjiolu," Tellat said, formally. "Thank you for bringing our general back to the motherland. The coast guard radioed that they offloaded the engines you left on board the Mustafa Fazil Pasha. They'll be shipped direct to Izmir by army transport and will probably arrive before we do. We'll start north tomorrow morning." Halide was uncharacteristically silent during the drive along the miles of white beach shoreline. She seemed tense, but there was no undue alarm when she failed to appear for dinner. The company assumed she'd fallen asleep in her room. They decided to let her rest until morning.

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"Halide, time to get up!" "Go away." The voice inside the door was muffled, harsh. "I beg your pardon?" "I said go away. Leave me be." "Halide? Do you know who I am?" "Yes, I do, General Akdemir. Now please leave me alone and go away." With an effort, Akdemir curbed his impatience. This was totally unlike the cheerful young woman. "Are you all right?" "No, General, I'm not all right. I'm not all right at all. Now will you please go away and leave me alone." "Halide, there are three other people waiting to get started for Izmir. They would like to leave within the hour, since we'll be driving most of the day." "Then let them go, General. I just want to be left alone. I don't want to talk to anyone. I want to go home." He heard barely concealed sobbing. "Please, Halide," he said, gently. "May I come in for a little while?" After several seconds, he heard shuffling toward the door. The latch opened. Halide's face was tear-splotched, her eyes swollen. When she saw him, Halide burst into a new round of sobs. The general stood quietly until the crying subsided. "Would you like to talk?" The girl sat on her unmade bed, clasping and unclasping her hands. General Akdemir pulled up a chair and sat next to her. After a while, she started speaking, haltingly at first. Then the words came out in a torrent.

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"All my life, I've been brilliant, ugly Halide Orhan. That poor little thing with the humpback. `What a shame, poor dear. If only she wasn't misshapen.' Do you think I haven't heard the hushed whispers when I walk by? Do you think I'm such an idiot I don't feel when they touch my hump? That I don't look in the mirror and say, `Why can't I look like any other normal girl?' "Once, just once in my life, I'd like somebody to look at me and say, `She's rather ordinary but not unattractive.' Finally, a man falls in love with me. A good man. A man who wants me for me. Then he's hauled off to war in a country I'm supposed to care about because he was born there and because my father's Turkish. Like a fool, I follow him to this Godforsaken place. "Well, I'm sick of it all! I'm sick of being everybody's good little girl! I don't know why I came here in the first place. If I weren't a lady, I'd use words I've heard that would shock you, General! I'm angry. I'm tired. I've had diarrhea the whole night. I'm filthy because there's no bidet here. I don't know how I'm supposed keep myself clean. To top it all off, my monthly curse arrived last night. I want to go home! I don't want to be here at all, I want to be with my Papa!" She started crying again, sobs wracking her small body. The general stood up, covered her with a blanket, and sat with her until she fell into exhausted sleep. He left the room, silently closing the door. He told Lieutenant Tellat and the Balikjiolus that Mlle. Orhan was feeling ill, but this should not delay their return to Izmir. "Lieutenant," he said to his subordinate. "Please arrange transportation to Izmir for the Balikjiolus. I'm sure by tomorrow Halide will feel better. Perhaps we should visit Meryemana. Under the circumstances, I'm certain our high

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command won't begrudge me the extra day." "Of course, General." Lieutenant Tellat saluted and was gone in an instant. # Next morning, Halide was still withdrawn, but she'd slept and eaten a little of the rice and broth Akdemir had brought her the night before. After breakfast, Tellat brought the Mercedes around to the front of the hotel. They headed inland, through hillsides lush with grapes and tobacco. An hour later, they turned onto a narrow, gravel road and climbed into the hills. When they came to a wooded area, Tellat shut off the motor and they got out of the car. With the exception of wind whistling gently through the cedars and the flutter of an occasional bird, there was almost total silence. The general beckoned Halide to follow him. They entered a clearing, where she saw a small brick-and-stone structure of surpassing simplicity. The view of the Aegean and Samos in the distance was breathtaking. Outside the courtyard, Halide heard the soft sounds of running water. Something stirred within her. She walked inside the tiny chapel. It was no larger than her bedroom back in Paris. There were two large candles at the entryway and two more in a small alcove at the feet of a black marble statue of the Virgin Mary. As she looked around, Halide saw several crutches, pieces of clothing and a few framed, yellowing letters written in different languages. She closed her eyes and felt warm inside. A soft breeze caressed the back of her neck. She felt the tension within her dissolve. Halide had no idea how long she remained in the chapel, nor could she later recall exactly what happened there. Time didn't matter in such a place. When she opened her eyes and looked at the Blessed Virgin, she wondered if she were imagining things. The Virgin

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seemed to be smiling at her. At length, she walked outside and found a small fountain in the courtyard. Its water was channeled toward a pool some yards away. Halide dipped her hand into the water, brought it to her lips, and kissed her fingers. She dipped into the water again, and touched her eyelids. A third time, she placed her fingers in the water and touched her heart. She whispered, "Thank You." She turned and walked back down the path, to where she knew the general and his aide would be waiting. She was at peace. No matter what happened, everything would be all right. # They continued north through the green, hilly countryside. Halide, lulled by the uniformity of the landscape and the throaty purr of the Mercedes, fell into deep slumber in the back seat of the car. When she awoke, some hours later, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry. I really am. Ive acted like a spoiled little brat the last two days, but I really am so appreciative for everything you've done." "No matter," he said. "I'm sure what you said had been waiting to come out for several years." "All the poison seemed to drain out back there." "Meryemana? I've been told unexplained things happen there." "What do you mean?" "After the prophet Jesus was crucified, his mother, Mary, came to Ephesus. It's not hard to believe she'd stay in this area. Ephesus had a quarter of a million people back then. It was the third largest city in the Roman empire. About a hundred years ago, a German

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nun, Catherine Emmerich, had a vision that Mary's last home was here.

archaeologists and Roman Catholic scholars explored her claim, they found the ruins and foundations of a place that conformed to what Sister Catherine had seen in her dream. It's been a holy place for centuries, something akin to your shrine of Lourdes. The crutches and letters of thanks in the chapel aren't meant to impress tourists. They represent the gratitude of people who've been healed there." "I know. It is a healing place," she said quietly.

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Halide's first sight of Izmir was of green hills surrounding a perfect, half-moon shaped lagoon. Palm trees lined Birinji Kordon, the main street which ran along the waterfront. Immediately behind the city rose Mount Pagos. Kadife Kale, an imposing, white fortress from ancient times, crowned its summit. Izmir's harbor was as busy as Trieste's, but the land was much softer. Halide saw crates marked "Tobacco," "Figs," "Apricots" and "Silk," their destinations stenciled neatly on the sides. Unknown to General Akdemir, Halide had formulated a plan that would have stunned her chaperon. It had come to her while she was at Meryemana. At first, it had seemed so implausible as to be absurd, but the more she thought about it, the more she realized it could be done. The Balikjiolus had shown themselves to be compassionate. It just might work. The following morning, General Akdemir looked apologetic as he greeted his charge at breakfast. "Halide, I'm afraid you'll have to spend your first day in Izmir without me. I must attend a military briefing at division headquarters. Lieutenant Tellat will be at your disposal. He knows some of the most interesting areas in Izmir." "That's all right, General," Halide remarked, with a dramatic sigh. "Much as I long for your company, I'll try to survive the day without you. Perhaps Lieutenant Tellat might drive me to visit the Balikjiolus." "What a wonderful idea!" he said, obviously relieved. The plan was starting out much better than she'd anticipated. # Erdoan Balikjiolu had been very modest indeed about his "small" fishing fleet.

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Two of his five boats, the Yolju and the Chabuk, were large, modern vessels that dwarfed the nearby wooden caiques. When Halide and Lieutenant Tellat arrived, he was installing the new engines. He invited them both to come to his home for the noon meal. Halide accepted immediately. Tellat apologized, explaining he'd promised to retrieve General Akdemir. "I understand, Lieutenant. Why don't you and General Akdemir join us for an early supper later this afternoon?" "I see no reason why not. In any event, allow me to drive you to your home, Mr. Balikjioglu, so I'll know where it is when I return." During lunch, Halide quickly explained to her friends exactly why she'd sought them out. "You're really serious?" Erdoan asked, amazed. "I am, but I need your help. Father gave me five hundred francs. I'd be pleased to pay you for your trouble." "I won't hear of any such thing!" Demet said sharply. "When it comes to young lovers, money is never important, right Erdoan?" "Yes, my love." He grinned sheepishly. "Now," Demet continued, delighting in the plan and becoming part of it. "My cousin Yetkil has a farm near Dikili." By the time the general and his aide arrived, the plan was in place. # Three hours north of Izmir, the road again met the sea at Chandarla Bay. Halide asked, "Could we stop here for lunch? It's so lovely." "I know just the place," Akdemir said. "A small fishing village, Aliaga, not far away.

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The freshest fish you'll ever taste." The entourage caused quite a stir when they drove into town. Villagers had never seen an automobile like the Mercedes. Everyone from the muhtar down to the poorest peasant came round to stare in rapt amazement. With a warmth and hospitality Halide had never experienced in France, villagers insisted that she, Akdemir, and Tellat accompany them to a white stucco garden restaurant, trimmed with dark green vines, which overlooked the sea. They were served meze tidbits of every imaginable variety, grape leaves, eggplant, spinach, stuffed with a mixture of rice, currants, and pine kernels and thin, doughy pastries stuffed with white cheese, ground meat, chopped fish, or rice. A fisherman carried two medium-sized red fish, which were still thrashing gamely, toward the restaurant. Halide nudged her escort to get his attention. "Barbnya, mullet," he said. "Wait 'til you see how it's served." Several minutes later, an attentive waiter brought a fresh, steaming, hot loaf of bread. A sharp, crackling sound caught Halide's attention. Three more men approached their table, each bearing a large, hot ceramic tile, with a generous serving of flaky, white fish sizzling on top. "Your mullet, Mademoiselle," Akdemir said, and smiled. "Freshly baked alongside the bread, and served on the same tiles that were in the oven." After they enjoyed the last of their dessert, Halide said, "General Akdemir, thanks to you, I've traveled a thousand miles without so much as a broken fingernail. Might I strain our friendship by asking one more small favor?" "Anything you want." "Would it be very wicked of me if I asked to stay in a small village like this one,

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overnight? I'd like to get to know the real Turkey." "I don't see why not. There are fine lodgings at Chandarla, just up the road. We can start for Balikesir in the morning. Whether we spend the night on the Aegean or inland makes little difference. Let's finish our tea and have a leisurely stroll through Aliaga." The waiter, who'd listened to this exchange, recognized Halide from the description circulated by Yetkil, Demet Balikjiolu's cousin. By the time Akdemir, Halide, and Tellat arrived at their destination that evening, Yetkil's old hay wagon was halfway between Dikili and Chandarla. # Halide, get up! We must be off if we're to make Balikesir by nightfall." The general's tone became ever more exasperated. Children had been so much more predictable when he was growing up. He pounded on the door with increasing force. "Halide!" he called again. No response. Now he was worried. He asked the innkeeper to open Halide's door. "But, General, when a young lady wants to sleep in, she mustn't be disturbed." "I've been banging on her door for fifteen minutes." "Very well. Follow me." The hosteler shrugged his shoulders and went down the hall with his skeleton key. "Halide!" General Akdemir called another time. Nothing. He nodded to the

innkeeper. The two walked into the room and stared in amazement. The bedclothes had not been turned back. The room was empty. Not a stitch of clothing. No indication anyone had even been in the room. "General, there's a letter by the nightstand. I can't read but perhaps you might."

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Dear General Akdemir: How can I ever thank you for all you've done for me? Whatever I could say would never be enough. I thank you so much for being there in my hour of greatest need. When you read this, you may feel I've betrayed your trust. I sincerely hope not, because I will consider you my friend as long as I live. When I started my journey I had no idea where I'd end up. I intended to go to Istanbul to meet Metin's parents, to be so much nearer to him than Paris. That's why your coming into my life was such a miracle. I don't mean to repay your kindness by deceit. It's just that it's no longer enough for me to be near Metin. I must be with him. You see, General, I fear he may not survive Gelibolu so many young men have not and if I didn't see him, I'd never forgive myself. Call me a silly woman if you will. It's not that I have any premonition of his death. It's just a realistic appraisal of what could happen at the battlefront. When I left France, I had no such plan. The idea came to me at Meryemana, and I thought, "Why not? What have I got to lose?" And so, my dear, dear General Omer Akdemir, I'm asking you the greatest favor of all. Pray for me. Pray that I make it safely to Gelibolu. Pray that I'll be able to see my Metin. You may be angry and frustrated with me when you finish reading this letter. I know you believe I'll never make it to Gelibolu. But when one wants something as badly as I do, anything is possible. Your wife is one of the luckiest women in the world. Inshallah I will meet her and your children some day. Be of good health and courage my friend. With fondest love, Halide When Akdemir finished reading the letter, he whispered, "May Allah protect you, my child." Then he called his lieutenant and showed him the letter.

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"Shall we comb the countryside, General?" "To what avail, Tellat? You know village Turks." "What should I do?" "Make arrangements at the highest level to protect the girl if she's spotted. No one is to interfere with her passage. Find some way I can get a telephone connection to the front. Get me Mustafa Kemal. One more thing." "Yes, General." "I want to speak with Erdoan Balikjiolu down in Izmir. I have a hunch he's involved in this up to his bushy eyebrows! Lieutenant, we are going to make sure that little snippet gets to Gelibolu in one piece!"

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At the moment General Akdemir was reading her letter, Halide was having serious second thoughts about the wisdom of her enterprise. She was buried in hay. The wooden wheels of the clumsy cart squealed and complained at every turn. There wasn't a part of her that wasn't sore. It had all started so easily. Within ten minutes of checking in to the small hotel in Chandarla, a young man had helped carry her bags to her room. Once inside the room, hed turned to her and said, "One hour after the sun goes down tonight, Yetkil will be here." She could hardly contain her excitement at dinner, but had managed polite conversation. Neither General Akdemir nor Lieutenant Tellat objected to her turning in early. Less than five minutes after shed completed her letter to General Akdemir, there'd been a knock on her door. If anyone had told her to choose someone who fulfilled her idea of what a Turkish peasant would look like, it would have been Yetkil. The man was as short as she, with a large barrel chest. The coat he was wearing was much too tight for him. What tufts of gray and white hair she could see under his peasant cap stood out from his head in all directions. Under bushy eyebrows and a bushier moustache, he had a most engaging smile. "My sister, Demet, says you wanted a ride to Dikili, yes?" "Yes, Mister...?" "Yetkil. Take your bags and follow me." Now it was nine hours later. She felt a sharp jolt as the cart finally came to a halt. "Time to get out!" Yetkil called, cheerily. A very dirty girl smelling of hay and dried manure, her hair matted with straw, her

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eyes bleary from lack of sleep, shook herself and emerged from the cart, just in time to look into the laughing faces of ten women of various ages. The largest of the women stepped forward. "Hello. My name is Fetiha. I am Yetkil's wife. My sister-in-law says I'm to get you ready by tonight. First we'll get you a good bath and breakfast. Then we'll deal with the problem." For the second time in as many days, Halide was struck by the friendliness of Turkish villagers, moved by their willingness to help a stranger. After breakfast, Halide found she was the center of a social gathering of a dozen women. Fetiha studiously measured Halide for clothes. "We must make a new outfit for you. The little lump in your back is not a bad thing, but we must disguise it for travel. Our muhtar the village headman can get new shoes for you, but we must measure your feet." After the noon meal, the women gathered together again. "Try this outfit on," Fetiha said. As one of the women held it out, Halide stared dumbfounded. It was a sloppy, outrageously large Turkish army uniform, the kind she'd seen enlisted men wearing in Izmir, heavily padded in numerous places. "Surely you don't expect me to wear that?" "You're not going to a village dance. You're going to the battlefield at Gelibolu. How welcome do you think you'd be if you suddenly appeared at the height of battle dressed for a party? The general who brought you this far will alert everyone within a hundred miles of Gelibolu that you're trying to get there. How far do you think you'd make it, before you were turned back to Istanbul or arrested as a lunatic?" "But, Madame!" "Enough talk. Try it on, please." She did.

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"Where are the shoes?" Fetiha asked a wizened older woman, the muhtar's wife. The woman handed Halide a large, heavy pair of high-top military shoes. Halide obediently put the brogans on over thick white socks. When she was fully attired, the women almost collapsed in giggles. Even Halide laughed when she looked in the mirror and saw a very short, round soldier, wearing an ill-fitting Turkish military uniform, who looked very much as if "he" wished "he" were someplace else any place else. After the women had left, Halide asked Fetiha, "Do you really think it will work?" "Why not? Just keep your mouth shut 'til you get to Gelibolu. Most Turks can't read anyway. Hand them this card and look as stupid as you can." She gave Halide a small, white piece of cardboard on which were written the words "Gelibolu" and "Gallipoli," the first in Arabic script, the second in Roman letters. At midnight, the small quay was deserted. Halide saw lights offshore flash on and off, three times, the prearranged signal. She got into a small rowboat, blew a kiss to Yetkil and Fetiha, and sat quietly during the half hour trip out to the Chabuk. Once aboard, her reunion with Erdoan was emotional and heartfelt. She knew he was risking his life and his fortune. What could she possibly say to such a man? The following morning, he brought Halide hot tea, warm rolls, rose petal jam, feta cheese and olives. After she finished, he showed her about the boat. "The vessel was built to house eight men in comfort. On this journey, we've only got three plus you. We're carrying extra fuel tanks. We'll need them. By tonight we'll be north of Samothraki. Thereafter, we'll stay outside Turkish waters 'til the last part of the trip. I doubt we'll be disturbed by anyone while we're in Greek waters." Balikjiolu took Halide to the upper deck, where he kept his current charts. "Up

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here," he said, moving his finger north, "is the entrance to the Dardanelles. On the east is Chanakkale, ancient Troy. The Gelibolu peninsula guards the straits. The entire area is under siege. The British have blockaded the west coast from Cape Helles to Bulair. We'll make landfall at Enez, just this side of the Greek frontier, for refueling. Then, we'll make our way as far east as safety permits. We'll drop you off somewhere along this coast, under cover of night, and you'll be on your own. Turkish army convoys continually travel from the Greek border to Gelibolu. Keep your mouth shut and point to the card Fetiha gave you. Sooner or later you'll get to the front." As they headed east along the Turkish coastline, Erdoan cut the engines to one quarter speed. The vessel could not be heard from a distance of a hundred yards. Halide had hardly fallen asleep when the night exploded in light. She heard the shrill blast of two horns, followed by a megaphone-amplified voice. "Chabuk, this is Turkish Coast Guard ship Giresun. What are you doing in these waters?" Balikjiolu, stifled a smile, picked up his own megaphone and answered, "Giresun, this is Chabuk out of Izmir, fishing vessel, most recently out of Enez for minor repairs." "You received no approval to enter these waters. Permission to board and check for contraband?" "Allah!" Balikjiolu swore in a voice loud enough for Halide to hear, as she came up the stairs from her sleeping quarters. "What can we do? The ship is armed. It could blast us out of the water in seconds. I should have let you off when we had the chance at the border. Forgive me, Halide." He spoke into the megaphone. "Permission granted, Giresun." Within moments, the gunboat pulled aside the Chabuk and secured lines. A sternlooking Turkish officer came aboard and saluted Balikjioglu. "Captain Hassan, Giresun.

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Permission to inspect?" "Of course," Erdoan said, resignedly. "A small crew for being so far from home," he remarked. Captain Hassan continued his cursory inspection of the Chabuk. "Please have all crew stand to attention, Captain Balikjiolu." Hassan's eyes narrowed as he looked at Halide. "Well, well, well. A Turkish soldier among you? He seems to fit the description we were given at headquarters. A spy or a deserter from the front, perhaps?" "No, Captain Hassan," answered Balikjiolu quickly. "We'll have to see. Identity papers, son," he said, addressing Halide. She fumbled in the pockets of the uniform and brought out the piece of cardboard. "Gelibolu," Hassan read. "Are you supposed to be there?" Halide nodded. "Captain Balikjiolu, I don't know what this is all about. I'm going to take this young fellow with me until we can straighten it out." He took Halide by the arm and led her onto the Giresun. "You're free to go, Captain, but I'd be careful if I were you. You're a long way from home to be out at night." Halide did not see the wink and smile the two men exchanged. By morning, the Giresun made port at the northeast corner of the Gulf of Saros. A stocky major approached Captain Hassan. "We've got an unexpected visitor from Turkish General Staff, a brigadier no less, who's taken over the commandant's office. I've been ordered to bring in anyone within a five mile radius of Kadiky fortress." "Looking for spies or deserters, no doubt," Hassan said. "All I've got to offer is this runt I picked up off that fishing boat last night. He can't even speak. When I ask him

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anything, all he does is take out some card that has `Gelibolu' printed on it. Useless village idiot if you ask me." "Maybe so, Hassan, but orders are orders." "You can have him, so far as I'm concerned." The major escorted Halide to the commandant's office at Kadiky, the nearest Turkish outpost, some two miles inland. When he knocked on the door, Halide heard a muffled voice. "Come in, Major." As they entered, all Halide could see was the back of the commandant's chair. The visitor's back was to them. He was looking out the window toward the distant sea. "General," the major said, "You said if we found anyone who matched the description you gave us, we were to bring him in for questioning. Giresun picked this one up on a fishing boat last night. On your orders, I've brought him here now." "Very good, Major. You're dismissed." The major saluted the back of the chair, did an about-face, and left the room, closing the door behind him. The dignitary turned and faced Halide. "Wouldn't you say he's done very well indeed, private?" Halide stared, speechless, as she found herself looking straight into smiling eyes of Brigadier General Omer Akdemir.

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"You can't stop me, General. I'll get to him somehow." "Relax, young lady," he replied, chuckling. "You did a remarkable job getting this far. Far be it from me to frustrate a love that's gone to this extreme." "How did you...?" "Find out about your adventure?" "No. I know you read the letter. I figured you'd eventually get in touch with Erdoan. I'm curious how you got here so fast?" "Tellat knows the territory very well. When you're a general, it takes no great effort to commandeer a fast boat. The run from Karabiga to Sharky only took three hours." "What if I'd have landed elsewhere?" "I alerted all the border checkpoints. We knew you'd have to come in from the sea. The Dardanelles and the Gelibolu peninsula are hemmed in by our enemies. You had only a thirty mile area in which to land. And Erdoan was entirely cooperative." "You mean he knew?" "Let's say he wasn't as surprised as he may have let on." "What happens now?" "You made it almost as far as your destination. You wanted to see Sub-Lieutenant Metin Ermenek, did you not? Major," he called out the door, "this is not the spy I thought. Call the transport pool and arrange to have him taken promptly to Sari Bair, 57th Regiment."

That afternoon, Halide arrived at Colonel Mustafa Kemal's headquarters. There had

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been a two week lull in the battle. The commander nodded to the new arrival and said, "Sit in the next office until someone comes to process you in." As soon as the new soldier left his office, Kemal was on the line to Kadiky. "She made it safely, Omer. We'll take care of it from here." "Mustafa, despite what anyone says, you're an old romantic at heart." "Don't push things, General," Kemal growled into the phone. "You wouldn't want anyone to think I've gone soft." Ten minutes later, Mustafa Kemal summoned Sub-lieutenant Ermenek into his office. "Lieutenant," the colonel said, without preamble. "I can't spare you from the front during this battle, but I must meet with Von Sanders this evening. Sit watch at headquarters tonight. I doubt it'll be necessary for you to stay awake. I don't anticipate any action. There's a new recruit from the village waiting in the building. Counsel him on what life's like at Gelibolu and place him in an appropriate regiment." "But Sir, isn't that a bit unusual? We've got sergeants and corporals to handle that kind of work." "Lieutenant," the colonel said sharply. "Every Turkish soldier carries the blood of our nation into this battle. Every day on this Allah-forsaken battlefield could be his last. This recruit, like any other, is entitled to the dignity of knowing that he's a worthy man, that his officers care for him enough to acknowledge his existence. Every so often, you single one out for special treatment. Spend half an hour or so thanking him and telling him how much our motherland appreciates his sacrifice. You'd be surprised how fast word gets around among the troops and how much it raises morale. So please do me a favor with this one, all right?"

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"Yes, Sir. I'm sorry I raised the question, Colonel." Ermenek saluted smartly, turned, and left the office. Mustafa Kemal had a hard time suppressing his laughter. # Sub-lieutenant Ermenek returned to headquarters with mixed feelings that evening. On the one hand, he looked forward to a real shower, an acceptably soft bed, and some time away from the dusty, deadly battlefield. On the other hand, speaking to these nave, wideeyed innocents from the steppes of Anatolia was never easy. They were usually poorly trained, illiterate bumpkins, with little comprehension of why they'd been sent so far from home. Ah, well, he thought. At least I'll finally have a chance to write Halide. It had been so long. In the heat of battle, he simply hadn't had the chance. What if she'd given up on him? It would serve him right. It had been two months since he'd written. He reached into his breast pocket and extracted her most recent letter. Halide expressed how much she loved him, how much she missed him, how she would wait forever. Ermenek spent the first few minutes giving the recruit the basic lecture about how he was preserving the right of all Ottomans to live in peace, how his government had never asked to start this war, and how he might expect hard work and little glory. The recruit said nothing, but nodded from time to time. Metin could not fathom whether the soldier understood half of what he was saying. Something about the way the youngster looked at him unnerved the sub-lieutenant. The shape and color of the eyes, perhaps? He thought back to Halide's eyes. This was one of the smallest soldiers he'd ever seen. Almost as tiny as Halide. Grab hold of yourself, Ermenek. You're cracking up. Keep your mind on your duty. This is a battlefield. People die if they lose their concentration. "And so, Private, that's really all I have to tell you," he concluded. "Do you have

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any questions?" The soldier looked directly at Metin. The face crinkled into a smile a Halide smile. "Just one. Why haven't you written to me in eight weeks?" "What did you say?" "You heard me, Sub-lieutenant Ermenek. Your future bride wants to know why you've ignored her." "Oh, my God! Halide?" Metin went white, then blushed, then simply stared. "The same." "How in the name of heaven did you get here?" "It's a long, long story. Shall I tell you now, or after we've had a chance to eat something?" Dinner was simple. Each of them picked at their food. Neither was hungry except for the other. Halide told Metin of her journey from beginning to end. His eyes widened at each revelation. Halide's eyes glistened with the vision of her man. By the time Halide finished her tale, it was dark. The battle front, five miles away, was silent. "What happens now?" Metin asked. "Do you still love me?" "More than my own life. More than I'll ever be able to prove to you." They kissed, with infinite tenderness, then with startlingly powerful emotion. When they broke at last, she said, "Darling, this may not be the right time to say such a thing, but how long has it been since you've bathed?" "I'm sorry," he began, then noticed she was laughing gaily. "Seriously, angel, I'd

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intended to bathe tonight. This is the only building within twenty miles with a private shower. Would you mind horribly if I did?" "Only if there's room for both of us. Someone has to scrub your back." Metin looked shocked. She gazed directly into his eyes and smiled sweetly. "But we're not married yet," he mumbled, weakly. "In Allah's eyes and mine, we are. Isn't that enough?" "You know what might happen?" "I know exactly what will happen, my love. And I'm ready for it." Her body was soft, milky white. When she emerged from the shower, she stood proudly before him. Her small breasts were beautifully formed. "Be gentle, darling. It's the first time." "For me, too," he said. His voice sounded choked. "It's all right, my darling. It'll be fine." And it was.

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14 The following day, Allied forces raced Turkish troops to peninsula's highest point. The Ottomans beat the English by twenty-five minutes. Kitchener's troops retreated

halfway back to the sea. Shortly after sunrise, there was a soft knock at the headquarters building door. Metin, used to responding to the slightest sound, came instantly awake. Gently, he extracted himself from Halide's arms. She moaned once, turned over, and continued sleeping. He opened the door. "Lieutenant," an orderly said. "Colonel's orders, Sir. Every man is needed at the front immediately." "Thank you, Corporal." He looked back at the sleeping figure of the woman who'd risked so much to come to his side and smiled as he thought back to the night before. He would never have imagined her so passionate. It had been so wonderful. For an instant, he daydreamed about their life in the years ahead. It would be so soon, so soon. He dressed quietly, blew her a silent kiss, and left the building. Outside headquarters, a tall captain in combat gear bellowed orders as a hundred men raggedly assembled. Two sergeants were rounding up the ill-kempt, poorly-clothed recruits into a motley formation, two abreast. "Ermenek!" the captain shouted above the din. "Make sure the men have filled their canteens! We head out in ten minutes. Bring up the rear. No laggards!" "Yes, Sir!" Metin snapped back, automatically. He ordered the four men nearest him to carry wooden buckets from a trough to the center of the crowd. Men jostled one another

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for position. At the captain's signal, Metin and the non-commissioned officers gathered around him. "What's the battle plan, Captain?" Ermenek asked. "There is no battle plan." The captain shrugged his shoulders helplessly. "The enemy has unleashed an all-out effort to take the ridge. Our orders are to hold it at all costs." Metin was shocked. "You mean these men are nothing but cannon-fodder?" "My orders were to put together any company I could find and do it quickly. How many of these boys have seen action?" "None, Sir," one of the sergeants replied. "We've got one outdated rifle for every three of 'em. What in blazes are we supposed to do?" "Colonel says we go to the top of the ridge and Allah will provide." "Which means?" "We take rifles from the hands of dead men." Metin felt a tight grabbing in his bowels. Two months ago, he'd survived a major battle. He'd been lucky to come back alive. Allah only gave so much good fortune. "What do I tell the men, Captain?" the sergeant asked. "The truth, Sergeant. They'll get weapons once we get to the front. How's the ammunition?" "Forty, maybe fifty rounds for each weapon." "Grenades?" "A couple hundred at most, Captain." "Bohk! Mustafa Kemal's orders are like last time. Once we're out of bullets, we stay

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there with bayonets and spades. No retreat." "How do you know these boys won't turn and run when the time comes?" "If anyone turns and runs we shoot him. If we don't, we face a firing squad." The troops totaled one hundred fifty men. They traveled light. A single canteen of water, hard tack, a spade, which doubled as a truncheon, a hand grenade and, for every third man, a rifle of indeterminate age. They marched in surprisingly orderly fashion to the front lines. Metin heard the whistle of shells coming ever closer. The sky was cloudless. Three hours before the sun reached its zenith, the heat was already blistering. The path that had been hacked through the canyons below Tekke Tepe, narrowed. The troops now trudged single file. A few scrub trees grew, none capable of providing shade against the brilliant sun. The soldiers were still well below the ridge line. The pounding of artillery reverberated through the narrow valley like kettledrums. Metin, who trailed the last soldiers, saw only the backs of their heads. Perhaps that was best, since he knew that in most instances he'd be looking into the faces of death. Just before the final ascent, the captain called a halt. He stood on a ledge, ten feet above his troops and addressed them. "Men, you are here today because it is Allah's will." There was an angry grumbling. They were here because they'd been unable to escape the government's dragnet as it dropped over their villages, and they knew it. The captain waited for the noise to die down, then continued. "We are fighting for the life of our country. Many of you may not return. Those will be among the blessed whom Allah calls to His kingdom. You are fighting an enemy who'd carry off your wives and your sisters, who'd happily make eunuchs or cuckolds of you all, and who'd force you to watch as they performed indignities upon your children. Ours is a holy war. Each of you is a piece of the

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whole, a thread in the glorious carpet of Islam. The Christians have shown over the centuries what they will do if they conquer. We're not trying to capture their lands. They want to dismember ours. I've told you Allah will provide arms for you who don't have them. When you get to Tekke Tepe ridge, you'll see bodies of your dead comrades, whose souls are in Allah's arms. Their shattered earthly bodies will be handing you weapons with which to preserve the heart of the motherland. Take them. Fight as they would have fought! Fight for Trkiye! Inshallah, we will prevail over the heathen!" Metin could not tell what effect these words had on the soldiers. Their mouths remained closed, their eyes betrayed no emotion. The captain resumed his place at the head of the column. The troops followed him doggedly up the ravine. # Halide was disappointed to awaken alone in the narrow bed. She glanced down at her nude body and smiled. Everything she'd gone through to get here was worth it. Soon this battle would be over and Metin would be hers. They'd have children, of course, and work together to bring a better life to this land. Gunfire and mortar shells burst nearby, startling her out of her reverie. My God, she thought, there's got to be a way I can help right now. Less than an hour later, Halide, dressed in the same `army' uniform she'd worn to the front, but without a cap, approached the field infirmary. In answer to the startled look of a captain who was acting as the chief

administrator of the place, Halide said simply, "I want to help. Any way I can." "But you're a woman! This is a battle front." "Florence Nightingale was a woman, too." The captain scratched his head, then assigned her to the infirmary.

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As they reached the top of the hill, Metin thought for an instant of deserting. But an officer could not turn and run. That would condemn him to death as surely as enemy bullets. There were no trees on the bald ridge. The earth was dry, rocky, hard as concrete. He'd have to dig a trench or use those already in place, sharing a shallow four-by-six foot depression with dead men. Other companies gathered to his right and left. Together, three thousand men slowly, silently approached the top of Tekke Tepe. Sun glinted off the distant sea. Smoke from artillery fire rose from the ground below. Metin had been here before. Once in place, he was no better than the lowest private, a single human being reduced to a frightened supplicant for another night of life. Below, four huge ships loomed just offshore. Every few moments, there was a bright orangeyellow explosion of light from each, followed by a loud whistle and a thunderous crash. Metin lurched against something hard and momentarily lost his balance. He looked down and shuddered. The corpse of a Turkish soldier in full uniform lay face up, his lower remains chewed into ground meat by a combination of shell fire and the feet of Ottoman troops who'd simply walked over the body on their way to battle. The soles of the dead man's shoes had large holes, filled in with cardboard. Part of a bloody foot projected from a tear at the bottom of the shoe. The threadbare uniform had probably been requisitioned from an earlier corpse. The pathetic body spoke of poverty. Poverty of luck, poverty of years, poverty of blessings. The dead soldier was nineteen at most. Metin continued forward. A shell whistled over his head. He dropped to his stomach immediately, clawing the earth for purchase. There was a small slit-trench, fifty feet to his right. He scurried, crab-

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like, into its protective safety. Moments later, two other soldiers crowded into the small hole with him. The three of them said nothing, but began digging at the rock-hard earth with bare hands, grasping for pebbles, sticks, loose earth, anything they could find to build minuscule mounds in front of them. Metin noticed that depressions all about him were filled with soldiers, living and dead. Each trench had small barricades of the type he'd been erecting, on the side facing the enemy. A ground squirrel leapt atop the battlement directly in front of him. For a moment, it eyed the three humans, then scampered up the hill and over the far side of the ridge. "Where are you from, Officer?" "Istanbul," Metin said automatically, then turned to the man whod asked the question. "What about you, Private?" Metin was, at most, a year older than the man. "Hozat." "Where's that?" "East. You got a girl, officer?" "Yes." Metin flushed, thinking of the night before. "You?" "No, sir. My father said when I get back, there'll be one waiting." "Shhh!" The third man could have been a twin of the boy from Hozat. "Your talking'll give away our position." All three realized the idiocy of the remark immediately and it cut the tension. "You been in battle before, Officer?" the third man whispered. "Yes." "Is it always like this, Sir?" "What do you mean?" Metin asked. He noticed a rank odor from the man's

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direction. "Sir, when those first bullets whizzed over, I crapped my pants." He started shaking. "Don't worry about it," Metin replied. "Happens to everyone in battle." "It ever happened to you, Sir?" "Most likely will." A shell screamed over the trench and exploded fifty feet behind them with a loud WHOOOMP-PPHH. A second later, a shower of sand and pebbles rained down. "Oh, Allah, Allah, Allah!" the third man wailed. "I crapped again. Oh, mama, mama, mama! I want to go home." Metin and the youngster from Hozat tried to calm the man down. "That's all right. It'll be all right. You're still here. You'll be fine." Another shell crashed twenty feet to their left. Before either of them could stop him, the third man leaped out of the trench and ran to his right. "Get down!" Metin shouted. There was the crack of a rifle. Their companion stopped running, spun around and screamed, "My eye! Allah, I've been hit! My eye! My eye! Allah-h-h-h!" He fell to the ground, clutching his head. Metin saw blood running down the man's face, through his fingers. Mad with pain, he was striking his head over and over against the earth. There was another rifle shot, this time much closer. Metin glanced over to the right and saw that one of the sergeants had shot the fellow dead. The storm of noise deafened him. The Turks gave as well as they got. Suddenly Metin heard a thunderous boom behind him. He involuntarily looked back. Turkish heavy artillery had been wheeled into place. Death belched from the bowels of Ottoman cannon

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onto the enemy below. As his eyes returned to battle scene, Metin felt sheer panic. The enemy was moving inch by murderous inch up the hill toward the Ottoman position. Turkish fire intensified. The enemy crumbled like so many trees felled by a woodman's axe. Allied artillery bombarded their positions from left and right. The hills crawled with English, Australians, New Zealanders. Where in Allah's name were they all coming from? "Bohk!" the man beside him cursed. "No more rounds." Metin realized he'd firing automatically. The barrel of his gun was so hot it burned when he touched it. "I'm out of ammo, Lieutenant," a voice next to him said. "You got any to spare?" Metin was about to toss some to his trench-mate when he realized he had only six rounds left. "No, I've got none." "What'll we do if they attack, Sir? Should I fix my bayonet." "No," Metin responded, surprised at how calm he sounded. "Itll only stick inside the ribs and get messed up with a lot of other stuff. You'd have to kick the enemy back to pull it out of him. By that time, the next one'll be into the hole. Use your spade. Jab the enemy and keep him at bay. Or crack it down between his neck and his shoulders and try to chop him in two." He stopped, realizing the cruelty of his words. He, Metin Ermenek, a wouldbe doctor, a man whose destiny was to save lives, not take them. How dare he talk like this? Then another part of him took over. He had to talk like this and act like this. It was the only way he'd survive this hell. Forget that the enemy were human beings just like him. Ignore that they ate and defecated, that each was someone's son, brother, lover, husband. They'd come to this land, his land. If he didn't kill them, they'd kill him. Suddenly everything was silent. Heavy dust settled over the battlefield. The sun

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was at its zenith. God, he was thirsty and sleepy. He felt his bladder would explode. He unbuttoned his pants and relieved himself in the trench. Steam rose as liquid hit the ground and evaporated immediately. Strange. It reminded him of the way his breath had come out in little puffs of steam when it was winter in Paris and he and Halide had walked down the Boul' Miche together. After a moment, he looked to his left. The fellow from Hozat was sound asleep, sitting bolt upright, his back against the front of the trench, his useless rifle clutched in his arms. Metin felt a tingling in his right leg. He'd been leaning to the side since the firing stopped and his leg had fallen asleep. He tried wiggling his toes. Jagged bolts of feeling coursed up the leg. He stretched and unstretched it, relieved when the tingling stopped. "Lunch time," he heard from a hole ten yards away. Good idea, he thought. The meal was hard biscuit and goat cheese, which he washed down with brackish, warm water from his steel canteen. It was the best lunch he could remember. For the next hour, the battlefield slept. An unspoken truce had been declared. Metin faded in and out of a fitful slumber. He was back in Paris. He was out on the steppe. Sheep danced before his eyes. The sun beat blood-red holes in his lids and it was painful to keep them closed, but more painful to open them and face the dry, cordite-smelling dust. When the shelling began again, it was not as loud and threatening as it had been earlier in the day. Metin was thankful. He looked down the hill and saw that the enemy had not advanced in the last two hours. All around him, the field was littered with bodies, from the top of the ridge down the hill to the sea. A brisk breeze came up. The stench of blood and powder filled him with a strange excitement. God, he'd survived! He'd survived! Praise Allah, he'd live to fight another day

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and then another and another until this war was over and he'd go home. Home to Halide. Home to happiness. He was out of ammunition. There was a body less than fifteen feet away holding a gun out to him. Metin waited for the next lull in the fighting. No sense taking a risk in the midst of the rampant fire. Inexplicably, the sounds of battle stopped all at once. The hill was silent for the hundredth time that day. The beast called war was taking a break before devouring more fine young men. Moving as slowly and quietly as he dared, Metin extracted himself from the trench. He'd just reached the man's hand and placed his own on the gun when the grenade exploded. Metin instinctively tried to jump out of the way. But he had no legs left to do so. # Throughout the day, Halide volunteered for the meanest labor, bringing and removing bedpans, disposing of old bandages, changing dressings, raking hard-packed earth floor made slippery by the blood and other bodily fluids of dying soldiers. She was attending her hundredth battle casualty of the day when Turhan approached her. "Halide," he said. "Please come here. I need to talk to you." "In a moment, Turhan," she said, automatically. "As soon as I finish bandaging this corporal." "Halide!" the voice was sharper. She looked into his eyes. She did not want to see what she saw there, pleaded silently with those eyes that the words wouldn't come. When he opened his mouth he said, "Metin is dying, Halide. I'm so sorry." "No." she said softly. "It's not true. He won't die. You'll see. I'll save him. I'll give

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him life." "Halide! Please don't be a fool. The man is dying. Pull yourself together." "Turhan, I will stay by my man, no matter what. He will live. Now, please bring him in here so I might care for him." # The field infirmary reeked of carbolic, ether, sweat, urine and excrement. Halide ignored the overpowering smell. She sat holding Metin's hand. "How do you feel now, darling?" "Not so bad. But I have such incredible pains in my feet." Halide couldn't bring herself to tell him he'd lost both of his feet. That he'd lost his legs from just above the knees. Metin looked ghastly, yellow, with strain lines in his face. Death was working on him from inside. His eyes were already beginning to show it. No, he won't die, Halide tried to convince herself. Twelve hours ago he lay with me, inside me. He'll be whole again. They make prosthetics in Paris. The best in the world. He's going to be all right. "You'll feel better soon, my darling. Sleep for a while." She bathed his brow with cool water. Metin closed his eyes. Halide was shocked when she looked down at his face. His features had become softer, paler. He was moving in and out of her world. "You'll be going home soon, my darling," she said softly. "To Istanbul, to your mama and papa." She held his face gently in her hands, trying to bring it back into her world. Metin's hands had taken on a waxy look. His fingers were so delicate for a man. There were faint burn marks from the heat of the rifle earlier in the day. His nails were so neatly trimmed. He groaned in his sleep.

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"Turhan!" she called sharply to the orderly. "Get him a dose of morphine." The young man who'd been working by her side the entire day returned moments later. "Colonel'd have me court-martialed if he knew. I took this out of the hospital commander's bag." Halide administered the injection smoothly, surprised at how steady her hand was. She was suspended between her world and Metin's, and she could not let him go. Some hours later, Metin awoke. The command doctor passed by his bed and nodded. Metin looked at the medical officer. "I've lost my legs, haven't I?" Halide choked. He stared into her eyes. "It might have been much worse," she said. "You'll still father our sons. You'll be going home soon." "You think so?" "Yes, darling." He hesitated a moment, then signaled her to bend toward him. "I won't be going home, Halide," he said quietly. "I love you so much. But I won't be going home." "Don't talk like that, Metin. Colonel's sent for a carriage. In three days, four at the most, you'll start to mend. You must eat, my angel, so you can get back your strength." Metin stared, uncomprehending, at a plate of lamb stew and soft, white bread placed before him. He turned from the food. "I dreamt of bringing a better life to this land." "And you shall, my darling. They make such splendid artificial limbs in Paris nowadays. They attach them right to your muscles, so you can walk and get around. You'll see. And they'll always make improvements as the years pass." Metin lay still. His skin was translucent. He turned his head away from her. He slept again. When he awoke, his face was so pale it looked like chalk. Halide sat where

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she'd been when he'd fallen asleep, gently wiping his brow with a cloth and cool water. Her hand was trembling. She felt choked. "Halide?" His voice was a soft croak, but to her it felt like a feather caressing her soul. She bent close to him. "Yes, my darling?" "Tell papa I died a brave man." "Don't talk like that," she scolded, but there was no force in her voice. "Your father's the best doctor in the Empire. We'll have you in University Hospital before you know it. You'll be all right." Metin's face lay in shadow. "No, Halide," he said. He breathed lightly. Tears started to roll down his cheeks. An hour passed. He said nothing. He wept. He looked into her eyes. She saw what she didn't want to see. "I love you, Halide. You were my whole life." Her tears joined his, her soul joined his. She tried, God, how she tried, to hold onto him just a little longer. Metin's life slipped slowly, quietly away. His eyes remained bound to hers, his heart locked with hers until the last possible instant. And then he was gone. # Turhan, watched as Halide sat silently, her hand holding one that no longer squeezed back. The tears continued to roll down her cheeks. Finally he approached her. "Come, Halide," he said, as gently as he could. "You must not stay longer. He's no longer with us." "No, Turhan," she said. "It's not true. IT'S NOT TRUE! This is a nightmare, isn't it? Tell me it's not true. TELL ME IT'S NOT TRUE!" Halide screamed from deep within her

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soul, a shrieking, keening wail, extracted from the bowels of hell. The battlefield fell silent as she screamed over and over, giving voice to the lament of every woman who ever lost a man to the cancer of war. For fully ten minutes, her agonized shrieking continued until her throat was raw and the sound that erupted was a ragged moan. Turhan waited for the racking sobs to stop. Then he held her tightly and said, in the same gentle voice with which he'd pulled her from Metin. "I'm sorry. Truly, truly I'm sorry. Metin's dead. He was my friend, too. I grieve for his soul and yours. But there are thousands of men dying and wounded on that field this instant. We must save what lives we can. For Allah's sake and Metin's, pull yourself together. Help me save the few we've got left!" She nodded dumbly and started working again. Through a growing haze of pain and numbness, Halide bandaged the wounded, carried away their excrement, bathed their glistening foreheads, and told dying men they'd be all right, without respite, without food, without sleep, for the rest of the afternoon and all that night. The following evening, Colonel Mustafa Kemal wrote in his journal, "The damned malaria and exhaustion are getting to me, but I dare not let it show. The officers and men see me as superhuman. Perhaps that's necessary if we are to survive this battle. Earlier this evening, when I was feeling particularly weak, Halide Orhan attended me. What a tragedy she's sustained. She lost her fianc less than twenty-four hours ago. Never in my life, have I seen such courage in one so young. She must have been dying inside, yet she listened patiently to me. Because of women such as this one the Turkish nation must the Turkish nation will survive." Halide refused to eat. The battle raged on. She performed her duties as if she were a

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wooden doll. Turhan kept her moving.

exhausted, weakened from lack of food and sleep, she collapsed. She blamed herself for Metin's death. She cursed Allah and vowed to starve herself. Turhan continued to talk to her softly, covered her with blankets, sat by her side after they'd left the infirmary tent. "Curse Allah," he said. "He deserves it. You didn't cause this war. You brought happiness to Metin before he died. He was fulfilled as a man. Could any woman have done more?" On the third day after Metin's death, Halide managed to hold down some hot soup and tea. As day followed bloody day, she watched helplessly as hundreds, then thousands, of young Turkish men, clothed in rags, with old weapons and little hope, died so that the Ottoman Empire could hold on to this tiny piece of land.

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September 1, 1915. Gelibolu Darling Papa: Only now have I pulled myself together enough to write to you. I cannot thank Colonel Kemal enough for setting up the emergency call to Paris. I still find it hard to believe Metin's gone. I must work for two, to accomplish what we both would have wanted. Next week, I'll be leaving Gelibolu. General Akdemir has arranged for me to meet Metin's parents in Istanbul. Their suffering has been as deep as mine. How terrible it must be for a mother who carried a child in her womb, nursed him, and saw him grow into young manhood, to lose that child at the very beginning of his adult life! Metin died for a land that is suffering. He was proud to return and fight for it. When I first left France, I found it hard to comprehend how anyone would willingly give his life for a country. Yet, since I arrived here, I've seen something I never saw in France. The people are desperately poor, their government corrupt and inefficient. But these people open up their hearts to one another and to strangers as well. So many went out of their way to help me come to Metin. So many have comforted me since he died. The people of this land have given their love to me. One day I must return that love. Isn't it strange I can still feel that emotion? I will suffer the loss of my Metin for the rest of my life, Papa. But I had two glorious years worth of memories some girls never have. I've been blessed by the love of two good men. Now I have only one left. You were my first. Turhan, a boy my age, has spent more time than anyone helping me through this

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dreadful time. I could not have survived without him. He's as exhausted as I, but he's twice refused to take leave, even though directed to do so. He said they could court-martial him if they wanted but he would not voluntarily quit this place. He showed me a few entries from a journal he's been keeping. He said he was determined to become "Turkey's spokesman to the world," He's already had a piece published. When he showed it to me, I had a sense of dja vu. Remember the story we saw in Vatan? Turhan wrote that article! He's taken on a last name, something quite rare in Anatolia. He never knew his father. His mother never paid him much attention from what I can gather. He considers himself simply a `Son of Turkey' and has taken on that last name. If you ever read anything by someone named "Turhan Trkolu," you'll know you heard it first from your loving daughter. Last week, the battle lines moved closer to the infirmary. During the morning, before we evacuated the area, I saw Kemal leading an assault. He was hit by gunfire, but he refused to go down! I was close enough that I heard his Aide de Camp shout, "Sir, you've been hit!" Kemal told the man to be quiet, lest the other officers hear. He fumbled around his chest and drew a watch from his breast pocket. His face went white when he saw that the timepiece had been shattered. "See," he told his adjutant, "here's a watch that's worth a life!" The battle went on for ten days. The hills were afire with death and destruction. Is it really so important that thousands of men die to capture a single hill? What a tragic, meaningless waste for both sides. For humanity. In the end, the Ottomans held the high ground. The battle was abandoned. Things

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settled down to the same trench warfare as before. The only difference was that a hundred thousand men who'd breathed, eaten, laughed, written letters to their sweethearts, no longer walked the face of the earth. I multiply my grief at Metin's death by countless thousands of other young sweethearts, wives, mothers, sisters, who will shortly be receiving the same news I did. And what was really accomplished? If I sound bitter, I am. What a tragedy! What a disaster! Oh, papa, I love you so much. I pray for your happiness each night, and it comforts me to know that you are there. I hug your spirit to my breast. Your loving daughter, Halide # On September 9, 1915, Turhan wrote in his journal, "Halide Orhan left Gelibolu today. We're all the less for it. She worked tirelessly at the dirtiest, most menial tasks. She always had a kind word for everyone. Halide told me Lieutenant Ermenek's spirit lives on through her. If that's so, he is blessed in memory. Allah couldn't have found a better human being to send to this forsaken hellhole .... They called her the "angel of Gelibolu" behind her back. Inshallah our paths may someday cross again." # In Gallipoli, the campaign grew static. Both sides dug in. Kemal begged permission to launch one final, massive attack to destroy the enemy. The request was denied with the curt response, "We have no forces, not even a single soldier, to waste." Mustafa asked to be relieved of his command and returned to Istanbul. Ten days later, the British evacuated the peninsula and withdrew from Turkey without further casualties. Each side entered the Battle for Gallipoli with half a million men. Each side

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suffered two hundred fifty thousand casualties. And at the end, except for the oceans of blood that soaked the earth, and the oceans of tears shed by those left behind, everything remained precisely as it had been a year before.

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After spending the winter with Metin's family, Halide went to Paris in the spring of 1916, vowing to return "home" to Turkey as soon she completed her studies. The story of her heroism at the front had spread from Istanbul to Paris, and diplomats in both warring nations insured that her passage to France was an easy one. The city had lost its love of battle quickly. The first Zeppelin raids brought war to the French capital. News that the ancient Franz Josef of Austria had died and that Kaiser Wilhelm had decreed food rationing in Germany did not lift the city's mood. A sad, dirty war of attrition ravaged the countryside. Casualties on both sides continued to mount with no end in sight. Turhan was released from military duty about the same time as Halide returned to the west. He took a few courses at the mderrise, but soon became convinced he was not cut out for university life. In the fall of that year, Turhan sought full-time employment as a reporter and submitted samples of his work to every newspaper in the Ottoman capital. Despite his confidence that it would be only a matter of days before an astute editor or publisher would discover his brilliance, weeks went by and he received no job offers. He knocked on doors again. The response was invariably the same. The papers had all the reporters they needed. Most were trying to cut staff because of expenses and the shortage of newsprint. Although Turhan's fortune from the caravan journey was largely intact, he knew it could not support him forever. With the deaths of the Agha Nikrat and his family, Turhan's connections to power in the capital had dissolved. He spent days observing and writing about life in the city and sent his articles to the various dailies where he'd applied for work. At night, he worked as a waiter at Rouge et Noir, where many of Istanbul's European

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community gathered to enjoy the decadent naughtiness of the vaguely sinister place. Istanbul the Europeans continued to call it Constantinople was a fascinating monument to collapsing grandeur. Elegant, two-storied wooden villas owned by the nobility crept up the hills overlooking the Bosphorous, from Dolmabahche Palace north to the Black Sea. High stone walls bordering the verdant lawns and miniature forests surrounded these mansions, insuring that French, Italians, Germans, and wealthy Turks were a world apart from the teeming, crowded alleys closer to the city's center. Ships flying the ensigns of every European nation tied up at docks alongside Galata Saray, the floating bridge across the Golden Horn that connected European Pera to Turkish Stamboul. As 1916 gave way to 1917, Turhan noticed more and more Russians debarking from many of the smaller vessels. Often they arrived with little more than the shirts on their backs. One evening, when he reported to work at Rouge et Noire, Turhan heard a voice importuning the manager in heavily-accented Turkish. When his eyes became accustomed to the dimly-lit cavern, he saw a fellow no older than himself, in battered, ill-fitting clothing, carrying a violin case that looked more tattered than the man's outfit. "Turhan, get this Russian fool away from me," the manager said, good-naturedly. "Look, tovarisch," he said, turning back to the threadbare young man. "I haven't got enough work for my people as it is. Now you're telling me I need a violinist?" "Please, sir," the young man said, focusing his attention on Turhan. "I'm not asking for salary. I need food. I don't beg. I only ask that your employer allow me to play my instrument a few hours a night, even outside the door, for whatever listeners might throw." "Turhan," the manager said, exasperated. "What do I do with this man? This town's

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already got more than enough Russian musicians to fill every concert hall in the Empire." "Kivrim Effendi," Turhan said politely. "Have you listened to this one play?" "What am I, the conductor of a symphony orchestra? How would I know if he's better or worse than any other?" "Please, sir," the musician broke in. "Won't you just listen?" The manager glared at Turhan, who'd failed to rid him of the interloper. During the few moments of silence, the Russian opened the battered case and took out a highlypolished, obviously old, but lovingly cared-for rosewood instrument. He lifted the

instrument to his chin, plucked the four strings lightly to make sure they were in tune, and started to play. What came out of the violin was magic. The instrument laughed, cried, and sang from its master's soul. When the violinist broke into the third movement of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto, the manager stood amazed. Moments after the man put the instrument down, he said, "When can you start?" "Tonight at two in the morning." "What kind of foolishness is this? We're open from eight at night 'til four in the morning. I expect you to play the entire time." "I can't for at least a month." "Why not?" "Because of my other job." "Your other job?" "Yes, sir. I play piano in a bordello reserved for wealthy Europeans. They only close at two."

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Within a month, Turhan and the young Russian, Sascha Brotsky, had become fast friends. Sascha was as charming a companion as he was an astounding instrumentalist. Invariably he left the Rouge et Noir with a woman on his arm. Young, old, it made no difference. By the hungry, glazed look in their eyes, these ladies, regardless of station, had one thing on their minds. During their days off, Sascha often suggested it would be fine with him if Turhan wanted to share his wealth of female companionship. "Some of the girls in the `house' have been providing me with their favors. Let me tell you, they're delicious, and wonderfully proficient! If you're not interested in those fillies, there are so many luscious young women in this city I couldn't possibly bed them all. Like fresh, ripe fruit, just waiting to be plucked. Trust me, you'd be doing me a favor by taking some of them off my hands." "I haven't had much time for that sort of thing. First school, then the war, now two jobs. I'd feel clumsy. I wouldn't know what to do." "Don't be ridiculous, my friend. Women provide the greatest relief from all the tensions of life. Surely you wouldn't pass up a little fun." "Tell you what, Sascha. Give me a month or so to get my life in order, and then we'll talk about it." "Suit yourself," the Russian said. "Just let me know when, what color hair you want her to have, and how large you want her breasts to be. The mood in this city is `live for today.' With so many soldiers at the front, we've our choice of almost any woman in the capital. And we're only young once, eh?" He punched Turhan jovially on the arm. Turhan refused to abandon hope he'd eventually land a job as a journalist. He continued to visit the editorial offices of every newspaper in the city often they were little more than one-room storefronts at least once each week.

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One day, Rustem Effendi, publisher of a small, conservative newspaper, Rahin, said, "I may have a short-term assignment for you. Would you be interested in going to the southeast?" "Yes, Effendi. I'm from Diyarbakir province." He tried to keep the excitement out of his voice. "Good. The British have just appointed Colonel Lawrence as political and liaison officer to Faisal's Arab army. It doesn't take a great deal of political insight to predict it'll only be a matter of time before the Arabs demand independence. All my regular reporters are covering war stories in other parts of the empire. I need someone close to the area to get a feel for what's going on down there. It's a two month assignment. I'll pay your travel expenses plus twenty-five kurush for every article we print." "But Effendi, how could I possibly live on such a sum? I'm barely getting by on the three hundred kurush I'm paid at Rouge et Noir each week." "Do you want to get started in this business or not? You can make a fairly comfortable living being a waiter. If you want to be a reporter, you've got to starve just like the rest of us. Every week, I look at my books and wonder how I've staved off bankruptcy." "How soon would you want me to get started, Effendi?" "Here's an open round trip ticket. You can take the boat to Iskenderun tonight." # The Levantine coast was a rowdy, noisy, polyglot mixture of all the peoples of the Earth. Egyptians selling bolts of cotton cloth were shouted down by Chinese hawking ginseng herbs guaranteed to increase sexual performance. Greek fisherman promised the freshest fish in the Mediterranean. Persian merchants displayed piles of colorful carpets

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stacked higher than Turhan was tall. There seemed little, if any, order here. Coastal cities blended into each other much as houses leaned against one another. Merchants and beggars congregated in narrow alleys. Urine and feces ran down gutters in the middle of these commercial "boulevards," mingling with odors of fried fish, onions, cabbage and khari peppers. One shout was indistinguishable from another. Turhan was pushed and shoved anywhere he walked. No one apologized or offered any excuse for such rude behavior. The cacophonous voices blended to form a strangely harmonious mural. "Woman, sah? Nubian. Very black, very hot. You evah been with black woman, sah? My seestah. She is virgin, sah." This from a greasy-looking brown boy of ten. "You need a horse, perhaps, My Lord? From the sands of Arabia. Very strong, very cheap." "Alms, patron. Dispossessed of my fortune and my feet, look here your kindliness, I have only to beg." "Come with me, young man. I want to show you some interesting drugs, guaranteed to give you the potency of a lion. You can lie with twelve women in one night and delight them all!" Street musicians abounded, each jangling, piping, clashing, beating to outdo the other. Music from Cairo, Baghdad, Teheran, Beirut, all the mysterious places he'd read about in an atlas at the lyce, merged noisily in this place. Soon, Turhan found there was order in this apparent chaos. Jewel merchants, usually Jewish or Persian, sometimes Syrian, camped on the east side of Iskenderun, close to trade caravans. Brown-skinned hindus from the East congregated in spice bazaars north of the jewelers. Even the areas on the sea were divided. Fisherman docked at the northern

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extremities of the harbor. South of that, an Ottoman naval station dominated the central cordon. Immediately below the comparative civility of the military station was the commercial part of the bay, where everything from soft little boys to the most potent drugs could be bought by anyone with sufficient money to spend. South of the city, toward the Syrian border, there were wide, white-sand beaches which stretched for miles beside the warm sea. During his first week in the city, Turhan met the naval commander, walked the city's streets and alleys, and wrote dispatches back to Istanbul. There were a large number of veiled women in the marketplace. Often, he noticed that he got hard when he saw them. In the evenings, he found it more and more difficult to push sexual thoughts out of his mind. Ten days after he'd arrived in Iskenderun, he'd written three articles. A major army installation, however, was near Diyarbakir, two day's journey to the east. Diyarbakir. The name conjured up so many memories. # Diyarbakir was more crowded than Turhan remembered. Its main streets were now paved to accommodate motor vehicles that drove about the city. The feeling of the place had not changed in the years since he'd left. Kurdish horsemen still rode through the streets, oblivious to everything else. The central marketplace still teemed with commodities. The shouts and bargaining took him back to the time when he'd worked near these very stalls. He was happy to learn that Jelal the butcher, who'd been so kind to him, had amassed a fortune purveying meat to the army after the war started, but was disappointed that the man was in the central steppes for a month, finding a new supplier of lamb for the garrison. He made a halfhearted attempt to locate his mother. When he learned from old neighbors that

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she'd gone "south" with a Syrian, he was satisfied he'd done his filial duty. Earlier that morning, he'd breakfasted with the press liaison officer from Diyarbakir fortress. Shortly before noon, he returned to the center of town. He felt a buzzing lightheadedness and knew exactly why. He walked toward a neighborhood he remembered so well. Enroute, he stopped for shish kfte, ground lamb meatballs in pita bread, with yogurt on top. His hand trembled as he ate the roll-up sandwich. "Come on," he said to himself. "You're twenty years old, a grown man and a newspaper reporter. You're acting like a child." When he got to the street he was looking for, he stopped. Allah! The house looked exactly as he remembered it. It had been five years. She'd probably moved. No doubt, she'd changed, most likely grown old, fat as a cow. He walked around the block. His heart was pounding. His hands were clammy. He argued with himself again. "You are Turhan Trkolu. You've seen death at Gelibolu and shown yourself capable of finding a job with a newspaper, something you've always wanted to do. You are on assignment from a

newspaper in the capital of the Ottoman Empire. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your knocking on the door of an old friend to pay your respects." It didn't help. He walked around the block three more times. She's probably not home anyway, he thought. The shades were drawn. It was mid-afternoon by the time Turhan got up the nerve to go to the door. Even then he hesitated. He knocked tentatively. There was no sound. He knocked again, waited another minute. Then he heard a shuffling noise and a female voice, "Yes? Who is it, please?" Was it her voice, or not? "Trkolu." He used his assumed name. "Just a moment."

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The door opened. He stood speechless. Time had stood still. Gnl must be thirtyfour. She was slimmer, more elegant than he remembered. Her hair was cut short, in the current style, but it was still the same blue-black color. "Yes?" she asked, no flicker of recognition in her eyes. "Ummm, Gnl Hanim?" he stammered, feeling like an imbecile. "I am she. How can I help you, Sir?" "Ummm, is your husband at home?" "What kind of prank is this? Erturul died last year. That's common knowledge in Diyarbakir. What is your business, young man?" she asked, somewhat impatiently. "Gnl Hanim, you don't remember me?" "Should I remember you? I believe you said your name was Trkolu. The name means nothing to me." "I am Turhan. Don't you remember?" She looked at him carefully. Her eyes widened with a dawning recognition.

"Turhan? Turhan? Allah be praised, it's you! My God, it's been five years." She smiled warmly. "Come in, come in, Turhan! Allah, you've grown! I mean, you're a man!" As Turhan entered the house, he noticed that many of the old pieces of furniture were gone. The house had an airy, lighter feel than he remembered. "Now sit down and tell me what's become of you," she said. "I heard Ibrahim died of heart failure three months after you joined his caravan. It was kind and most generous of you to send so much money back to me. I tried to get in touch with you, but when the caravan came through Diyarbakir, Alkimi told me you'd gone to Istanbul. I was surprised you never tried to reach me, but I hoped I'd be a memory you'd look back on with pleasure."

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"After Ibrahim died, I was fortunate enough to attend the lyce in Istanbul. I enlisted in the medical corps and served at Gelibolu. While I was there, I started writing and I never stopped." "What are you doing back in Diyarbakir? I thought you wanted to see the world." "I've been sent here on assignment for a short time. I'm told the war's shifted to the southeast and there's a big military buildup along the Syrian frontier. My home's in Istanbul." "Well, my young lion," she said. It looks like you're doing what you set out to do in life." "And you, Hanim Effendi? You're more beautiful than I remembered." "You flatter an old woman, kind sir. The boy I knew has become quite the charmer. Erturul died last year. He was a good man. You never met him, which was certainly for the best. He left me quite prosperous. When he passed on, his mercantile empire had grown. He taught me well. I'm still involved in the business. Whenever there's a wealthy widow, there are always men about. It's only now that I'm allowed to seek social company again. In fact, a widower merchant has asked me to dine with him this evening. What about you, `little lion?' No doubt you've conquered the hearts, and what's between the legs, of a hundred women between here and Istanbul." Turhan blushed deeply. "Did I strike a raw nerve?" Gnl asked. "Surely you've not gone the other way?" "No, Gnl Hanim, it's not that at all." "What, then?" "It's simply that with everything that's gone on in my life I that is I haven't had

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the time or learned how to approach a woman." Gnl laughed delightedly, a wonderful, musical, sensuous laugh. "I find that hard to believe." They sat in amiable silence for several moments. Gnl glanced at a wrist watch she was wearing, then said, "Excuse me for a few moments, Turhan. I promised I'd telephone my widower friend about what time he should pick me up for dinner this evening. I'll only be a few minutes. Make yourself at home, unless you're in a hurry to go somewhere." "No, that's fine," he replied. "I've got a week before I return to Istanbul." Gnl went into the kitchen and returned with a bowl filled with apples, oranges and grapes. Then, she disappeared into another part of the house. Turhan got up, stretched, and looked at the books in Gnl's bookcase. Her tastes, as evidenced by what he saw, were wide-ranging, everything from histories of the Ottoman Empire to scientific journals. He became so engrossed in thumbing through a book on the American War of Independence that he did not hear Gnl return. His first indication of her presence was a strong, musky fragrance that struck a long dormant nerve. When he turned to face her, he saw she'd changed into a silk robe of the Chinese style now popular in Turkey. "All done, young lion," she said, her voice husky with a smokiness he remembered from so long ago. "I wouldn't want to keep you from your dinner engagement," he said, his words coming with difficulty. "Oh, you won't." She walked over to the front door, locked it, and walked back toward him. She gazed directly at him, her eyes very bright. She loosened the belt on the robe and let it drop to the floor. She wore nothing underneath the silky outfit. Her breasts

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thrust forth, as youthful and inviting as he remembered them. "Turhan," she said. "We're now going to prove you possess all the charm you'll ever need, as well as everything else necessary to follow through on that charm. And you are going to bring a very randy woman a great deal of pleasure. Ah, I see our friend remembers what he's supposed to do," she said, loosening his pants and pulling them down below his knees. She kneeled, and whispered, "Now let's see if you remember as well." She lowered his undershorts and caressed his member with her tongue. "Mmmmm," she said, her eyelids growing heavy, as her tongue darted all over him and she started sucking. There was no way he could hold back. No way he wanted to. In a remarkably short time, he exploded with a ferocity which surprised them both. "Whew!" she said. "I think you work just fine. Now, let's see if you can satisfy both of us." He obediently followed the beautiful woman into her boudoir. "What about your dinner date?" he asked. "You said I wouldn't keep you from it." "You won't. I canceled it." She looked at him lustfully. "Besides, I have my own ideas of what I want for dinner this evening." # When Turhan returned to Istanbul, he suffered two immediate disappointments. Rahin had gone bankrupt, leaving Turhan without the five hundred kurush he'd been counting on. And when he returned to Rouge et Noir, he learned that his friend Sascha was no longer there. "Packed up and left," the manager said. "Gave me two day's notice. I'll miss the little Russian. He was friendly enough, and the women certainly seem upset he's gone." "Any word as to where he went, Kivrim Bey?"

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"America. Strangest thing you ever saw. One evening he was playing up a storm that Tchaikovsky number in fact. Big, fat man, about forty came in, asked me if I had a contract with Brotsky. I shrugged. He handed me six hundred lira to tide me over 'til I could find another violinist. He said America would pay a fortune to hear the fellow. Next thing I knew, Brotsky was gone. At least I've got one of my two most popular employees back. Did you discover anything of interest while you were gone?" Turhan nodded inscrutably, hiding a secret smile. "Ah well, no mind. I'm glad to have you back. Now if only you could learn to play the violin and speak with a Russian accent, everything would be just fine."

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PART THREE

NADJI

1918 - 1924

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By the end of 1917, Europe was exhausted. The newly formed Soviet Union had made peace with the Ottoman Empire at Erzinjan. This did not stop the carnage on the frontier. Christians sought revenge for what they perceived as Ottoman bestiality of years gone by. Armenian nationalists massacred hundreds of thousands of Turkish villagers in the east. Enver Pasha ordered a general offensive to deal with the untenable situation. Turkish forces stormed Erzurum, breaking the Armenian stranglehold in East Anatolia, but the Ottoman Empire could not go on hemorrhaging much longer. By summer, 1918, the mood in Istanbul was grim. It was only a matter of time before the Turkish fronts collapsed. On June fourteenth, Omer Akdemir, now a two star general, closed the door to his library and addressed his sole surviving son. "Are you sure that's what you want, Nadji? I'm proud you've been accepted into the Turkish Military Academy, but don't you think we've given enough blood to the Empire?" "Father, we've gone over this again and again. I'm not a little boy, and I'm not Seljuk. I'm sixteen. This is not just a whim." "But there are several honorable ways to serve your country and not risk your life. Won't you consider the university? After you graduate, if you still want to put in for the academy, you could do so." "Father, my decision is made. Please realize that and let me go. Besides, no one knows better than you, Pasha, it's in our blood." At slightly over six feet tall, Nadji was three inches taller than his father, with closecropped light brown hair. He was attractive by any standard. He had the erect bearing of a

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born soldier. Although Nadji was soft-spoken, he projected an unmistakable aura of leadership, a quiet confidence that charmed rather than overwhelmed. The boy was correct when he said it ran in the blood. The Akdemirs had been a military family for four generations. Nadji's great grandfather, Hasan Pasha, whose stern visage glared down at the family from a yellowed daguerreotype in the hallway, had been the hero of Sevastopol during the Crimean War in 1855. Grandfather Shefvik had risen to the rank of colonel and would no doubt have become a Pasha, but for his loyalty to the deposed Sultan Abdulaziz. On his mother's side, great grandfather Lieutenant Brol, had been killed at the Battle of Kars, three months before the Paris Peace Conference ended the Crimean War. He left behind an infant son, Grandfather Midhat, who'd retired as a colonel of cavalry in 1900, two years before Nadji's birth. Nadji's young life had been filled with travel. There were new assignments every few years, as his Father rose higher in the military ranks, and the family accompanied him. When war erupted, Mama assumed command of the family. Nadji had worshipped his brother, Seljuk, eight years his senior. Seljuk decided early on he was going to be a general like Father. Nadji determined he'd be Seljuk's adjutant. The Akdemir brothers would rise through the ranks together. That dream had been shattered three-and-a-half years ago in the Caucasus, when Seljuk died in battle. The family had never been the same afterward. Mama often disappeared into her bedroom. Walls were thin. Nadji heard his mother's sobs and his father's fruitless attempts to comfort her. Seljuk's name was not brought up in conversation. The family visited his grave at Istanbul's military cemetery six times each year. Nadji's academic performance and

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the strong impression he made at his personal interview went a long way toward his selection for early admission to the Turkish Military Academy. His father's rank did not go unnoticed. "Very well, Nadji, since you speak like a man, I'll address you as one. It's always been a great honor for our family to serve the Ottoman Empire. That empire is dying. I don't know when the final death rattle will come. Perhaps in a month, perhaps in a year, but it will come. In September, you'll enter the academy. Because of our imminent defeat in this war, you may be looked upon with ridicule. What I tell you now is between us. Neither your mother nor your sisters know this. I ask you between father and son between comrades in arms to keep what I say within the four walls of this room." "I shall, Father." "I accept your word. The Ottoman treasury is bankrupt. There are no more funds available for war. The antiquated weapons we've been using will have to last the duration of the conflict. Last year, we gave up Jerusalem to the British. Now, the entire southern front is collapsing. Mustafa Kemal, the only Turkish general who has never suffered a military defeat in this war, was sent to Syria to shore up our defenses. He does not believe he can salvage the operation. Do you understand what I'm saying, Nadji?" The boy nodded. His father continued, "We're trying to obtain the most honorable peace we can. We've been negotiating secretly for over a year, with no progress. That devil Venizelos, who became Greek Premier after King Constantine was expelled, has frustrated our attempts at every turn. That bastard dont look shocked Son, you'll get used to such language from soldiers soon enough is smooth as glass. His perfect French and elegant manners have charmed the British and French politicians. The English Prime Minister,

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Lloyd George, called him `the greatest Greek politician since Pericles,' while we're portrayed as the `terrible, bestial Muslim savages who annihilated millions of innocent, Christian Armenians and Greeks. "We can't expect gentle or even `civilized' treatment from the enemy. You might not even have a military career. The British charg advised our government that the one nonnegotiable point is complete demobilization of the army." "But father, our family has given officers to our homeland for generations. I wouldn't want to take up any other profession." "I'm certain you intend to carry on the honor of our name. I'd be less than honest if I didn't advise you of the difficulties you'll face should you choose to accept the appointment to the academy. Having made your decision, I will give you the same advice my father gave me. The Akdemirs are a proud family, harking back to a proud tradition. We respect duty and honor above personal want or ambition. Sometimes it may seem almost impossible in the face of life's trials to adhere to such a practice, which seems outmoded today. But I expect you will live by this heritage, Nadji. Do you understand what I'm saying?" "I understand, Father, Sir." He smiled. Then the boy's restraint broke. He hugged the older man. "Papa, I made it, I made it! I'm going to be an officer after all!" "May I be the first to salute you, my future Pasha," Omer replied. # "Kerem Effendi, I made it, I made it! I'm going to be an officer after all!" "Indeed, Abbas, and at the top of your class. You have every reason to be proud. You must remember not only your oath as a member of the Internal Security Police. Even more important, you must live by your blood oath to our inner circle."

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"I shall, my friend and teacher." Abbas earnestly repeated the words he'd recited six nights before at a very small, secret meeting. "No matter what, no matter where, I dedicate my existence to the purification of the motherland. To bring the Ottoman Empire back to the days of Sleyman the Lawgiver, we must be ever vigilant, rooting out those foreign elements who pollute and threaten to strangle our Ottoman bloodlines. Jew or Christian, Armenian, Greek or Frenchman, the yabanji must be expelled from our homeland like excrement from a human body. I swear by Allah to bring this about, in the name of the Sultan and in the name of our brotherhood." "Good. Now as my gift to you, you are no longer plain Abbas or even `Clever Abbas.' You deserve the dignity of two names. Henceforth, you shall be known as Abbas Hkmdar, Abbas the Prince. Even though your first assignment, Stamboul, won't be a very princely precinct in which to begin your labors." # In September, 1918, Nadji Akdemir entered the prestigious Ottoman Military Academy which, despite continuing defeats of Ottoman forces on the battlefield, continued to maintain its proud tradition. His initial training was vigorous. Cadets were up before dawn each morning shining shoes, pressing uniforms, scrubbing down barracks for what was invariably a vicious inspection. Nadji took to sleeping on top of his cot rather than turning down the covers because the time between wakeup and inspection was unmercifully short. During the first four weeks, the cadet inspector was merciless. As he passed by the row of small, steel beds, the inspector would casually toss a kurush coin on the cover of each. If the coin bounced, well and good. If it didn't, demerits were duly noted. As he

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searched the area around each cadet's bed, he opened the small closets that held crisply pressed uniforms, starched shirts, and shoes so shiny he could see his reflection in the burnished leather. He'd better see his reflection, or there would be more demerits.

Occasionally, the point system became ridiculous. One morning, Nadji's neighbor suffered dire misfortune when a fly landed on the pillow of his cot during inspection. The first year students stifled their laughter as they heard the inspector bawl at his assistant, "Fly on bed, one demerit. Dust on fly, one demerit. Fly not properly squared on the pillow, one demerit. Total, three demerits." It was not so funny at week's end. Anyone who'd accumulated twenty "down points" during the week was denied weekend leave, and spent what could have been free time painting doorways and cleaning latrines instead. After a month, inspections became easier. There were ugly rumors in the streets that the hated French general d'Esperey intended to occupy the Ottoman capital. During the third week in October, General Melih, the Academy Commandant, summoned the faculty and cadets to an evening meeting in the main assembly hall. There was nervous shuffling as students sat in full dress wherever they could find a vacant place. The doors closed at eight o'clock. "Officers, gentlemen," Melih began. "It is my sad duty to advise you that as we speak that our diplomatic envoy, General Rauf and Admiral Calthorpe of the British naval forces are negotiating aboard H.M.S. Agamemnon for the unconditional surrender of our Ottoman forces. Last week, two of our three Ottoman leaders, Enver Pasha and Jemal Pasha fled Turkey aboard the German warship Prinz Wilhelm. Earlier this week, the third member of the triumvirate, Talat Pasha, resigned. General Izzet is now functioning as Grand Vizier."

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There was an audible gasp in the room. Rumors of the imminent collapse of the war effort had circulated for months, but as time went by and Ottoman forces remained in the field, the populace had developed an immunity to gossip. Now, the unmentionable had come to pass, and the news was coming not from sensationalist newspapers or prophetic doomsayers, but from the top military echelons. "The British have made four concrete demands: the opening of the Dardanelles and Bosphorous, allied occupation of all important strategic points, surrender of Turkish garrisons in occupied territories, and," he hesitated for a moment, before saying, very quietly, "demobilization of the Turkish army." "What does that mean for our academy, sir?" a senior classman asked. "For now, nothing," Melih replied. "We'll continue as usual. Cadets are not armed combat soldiers. But we'll be operating on a day-by-day basis. There's little more to say. Prepare yourselves for hard times. May Allah bless our Sultan, and bring peace to his glorious Islamic Empire. You are dismissed."

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On the last day of October, 1918, Ottoman troops began laying down their arms. At dawn, November 13, Nadji was awakened by a barracks mate. "What is it, Yusuf?" he responded, still half asleep. "Come with me to Topkapi." "Are you crazy? Who'd want to go to the old imperial palace today? And why so early?" "Not the palace, Nadji, the hill overlooking the Bosphorous. We must get there as soon as possible if we want a good view. Don't wear anything that would identify you as military." "What's this is all about?" "The `conquering Allies' are entering Istanbul they're calling it `Constantinople' once again and they're making a big show of it." "Why would I want to go see that?" "Suit yourself," Yusuf responded genially. "This place has been deader than a mausoleum, or haven't you noticed? Any excitement is better than what we've had around here recently." "All right," Nadji said. "Give me half an hour. They arrived at the bluffs above the Bosphorous by nine. Crowds lined the hill. Promptly at ten, fireworks and rockets lit the daytime sky. Over a hundred vessels tooted their horns and whistles, creating a deafening noise as the Allies entered the Ottoman capital. A sixteen-mile-long convoy, from the smallest tug to the largest battleship, churned the waters of the mile-wide strait. The victors arrived in full panoply, with a parade

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designed to dazzle the populace. British, French, and Italian flags flew in multicolored profusion. But it was the hated blue and white Greek banner that made Nadji's stomach churn. The two cadets were among the very few Turks who'd turned out for the display. Glhane Park, adjacent to the old imperial palace, was filled with Greeks, Armenians, Italians, French, and English, who waved small pennants and noisily cheered each new ship that hooted its happy presence. "I wonder where these people would have been had we won the war," Nadji remarked. "Certainly not here." "What happens now?" "More humiliation. Then a long, hard winter." And more humiliation there was. Two days after Admiral Calthorpe's naval show, General d'Esperey triumphantly led his troops through the ancient Roman gates of Byzantium down Millet Caddesi, past Aya Sofia and the Sultanahmet the Blue Mosque to the French headquarters at Topkapi. "Just look at the arrogant bastard!" Yusuf remarked. "Trust the French to rub our noses in dirt with dramatic flair." "What do you mean, Yusuf? He's riding at the head of his troops on a white horse. That's his prerogative." "Perhaps," the other man said sourly. "But he's riding without reins. When the Ottomans marched into Istanbul hundreds of years ago, Mehmet the Conqueror, who captured the city in the name of Islam, rode in like that." Within days, Allies swarmed all over the defeated city. The French set up

headquarters in Stamboul. The British occupied Pera. The Italians had the good grace to

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move farther up the Bosphorous. Technically, the invaders did not "rule" Constantinople, since Turks theoretically retained political and administrative "control." But to the defeated Muslim majority, it was occupation in all but name. The cadets returned to their classes. Two successive prime ministers tried unsuccessfully to set up a government. French, British, and, worst of all, the hated Greek forces occupied almost all of southern Turkey. It was a long, bitter winter. Constantinople, under allied "protection," was listless, fraught with a sense of doom. Coal supplies vanished. The trams did not run. Steamers seldom plied the icy Bosphorous. The main streets were bathed in shadowy light. Side streets were completely dark. No one went out unarmed at night. The few police patrolling the city were corrupt and universally mistrusted. Profiteering was shameless. Turkish money was almost valueless. A loaf of bread, if it could be obtained at all, cost the equivalent of four American dollars. The Allied command claimed that since Turkish Muslims had slaughtered millions of Christians for no reason whatsoever, they'd lost the right to rule themselves. Since the Allies had won the war, Western civilization was obviously superior to that of the backward Ottomans. Greeks and Armenians continued an endless party for what they termed the "liberating" Allied forces. Christians replaced Muslims in most local government positions. When state schools reopened, only Christians were allowed to attend. Greeks swaggered through the streets of Constantinople, flaunting the blue and white Greek flag. They roughed up any Turk who did not salute it. In mid-January, a rumor spread like wildfire through Stamboul. "Did you hear, they're installing bells in Aya Sofia? I swear it." A thousand Muslims swarmed up Divan

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Street to the fifteen-hundred-year-old edifice, which had been a Mosque for the last five centuries, only to find that the rumor was untrue and that the courtyard was still guarded by Turkish troops. In February, Nadji had a holiday break. His parents' home in Shishli, less than ten miles away from the Academy, was a world apart from the dying old city. Father had put by ample supplies. The house was warmed by coal-fired mangals. At dinner on the third day of his stay, father announced, "We have some very special guests coming from Paris tomorrow night." "Father!" Nadji exclaimed with distaste. "Youd have a foreigner a Frenchman at that in our home? "Nadji, I'll thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head, until you've listened to what I have to say. Idiots and fools to jump to conclusions. You are neither! The head of our military academy has invited Yujel Orhan, the distinguished Ottoman historian and the only Turkish full professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, to address the school on what it was like to be a Turk living in France during the war. Hes bringing his daughter, Halide, with him. I had the privilege of meeting her in the summer of 1915, and I can truthfully say that she is more courageous and has a bigger heart than any officer I repeat, any officer Ive ever commanded. She risked everything to be with her fianc at Gelibolu. She arrived in time to watch him die the following day. She stayed on and became known as the Angel of Gelibolu. She worked days and nights without sleep in our field infirmary. A thousand men would gladly have given their lives to bring her fianc back. "I apologize, Papa, Nadji said quietly. "Please forgive me." "I do, of course," the general said, smiling warmly. "Your remark never occurred."

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Halide instantly captivated the entire family. She brought bottles of rose-petal perfume for the girls, a carved ivory music box for Mama, and a case of the finest Bordeaux wine for the general. Nadji was overwhelmed when he opened his gift, a marble nameplate on which were engraved the words "Nadji Akdemir, Pasha." Professor Orhan was an elegant man who looked a decade younger than his seventy years. His wife was a slender, attractive woman, with stylish bobbed hair just starting to go gray. He told the Akdemirs that she had been an associate of Karl Feldkirche, a mutual friend of both himself and Omer Akdemir, in Geneva, and that theyd met a few days after General Aldemir and Halide had left Switzerland for Turkey. Mama covered the large oak dining table with a white, silk tablecloth, hand-painted Ktahya glazed plates, and the family's finest heirloom silver. Dinner was a remarkable change for Nadji, who'd become used to spartan meals at the academy and the numbness of Istanbul. Besides the Orhans, General Akdemir had invited Metins parents, Doctor and Mrs. Ermenek, and one other guest, a tall, handsome man with electric grey-blue eyes, General Mustafa Kemal, who wore an immaculately-tailored military uniform. As soon as he spotted Halide, his severe face took on a sparkle. "Halide Orhan?" "It is indeed. My word, Mustafa Kemal Pasha, you seem to have moved up in the world. Congratulations, General." "Thank you, Halide Hanim," he said with a courtly bow. "Unfortunately, there's not much call for Ottoman generals these days. Have you finished your schooling yet?" "I'm about to graduate from the Sorbonne. I intend to return to Turkey when I do." "Praise Allah! If we have a hundred like you, we can't help but move forward into

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the Twentieth Century at last." Dinner consisted of roast lamb, garden vegetables, and bottles of the hearty red wine Halide had brought from France. After dinner, conversation turned serious. "In Paris, we read only one side of the story," Professor Orhan began, "The newspapers talk about partitioning Turkey. From what I gather, the western powers want to carve it up among themselves until there's nothing left." "That could actually happen," Doctor Ermenek responded. "We've lost Greece, the Balkans, Palestine, Egypt, and Syria. Most of southeastern Turkey is now in French hands. Armenia got most of the eastern provinces. Italy occupies the southwest. But it's those sons-of-dogs, the Greeks, who concern us most." "I know what you mean," General Akdemir interjected. "Can you believe that talk about a `greater Pontic state?' The Greek premier, Venizelos, wants everything from Samsun to Sivas. What's worse, the damned English support his demands." "That will never happen during my lifetime," Kemal said quietly. "The Turkish people will rise up and throw them all out." "Do you think we could bring it about?" Halide asked. "Yes, Halide Hanim," Kemal replied. "The Turks have two things in their favor. They're extraordinarily proud. And they're being bullied by the one enemy they'll fight to the last Turk's death. The Allies will push a little too far." Halide noticed the steely glint in his hard eyes. "In Paris, they speak highly of Ferid, the new Grand Vizier," Professor Orhan said. "Droopy Damad." Sayra Ermenek said, drawing derisive laughter. "The Allies' perfect little puppet. No self-respecting Ottoman can imagine him being village constable,

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let alone Prime Minister of the Empire. He married Abdl Hamid's sister thirty years ago. The sultan sent him to England as a minor diplomat. When he bungled the job after six months, they recalled him to the palace. No one heard of him for the next twenty-five years. When it was time to negotiate the armistice, Mehmet hauled him out of oblivion to be chief of mission. Even parliament wasn't stupid enough to accredit him, so the fool went back to the palace again." "One must admit," her husband said, "Ferid fulfills the western idea of the `typical Turkish gentleman.' He dresses like an Englishman of twenty years ago. He's got enough Western `culture' to talk a good game, and he's got that polite, pompous air they all love to see." "As far as Turkey's concerned, he's not worth one of these," Kemal said, disdainfully plucking a fig from a nearby fruit bowl. "Enough!" their hostess interrupted. "It's my son's birthday tomorrow. I've a lovely Viennese-style torte and the finest aperitifs you'll find in what's left of the Ottoman Empire." She clapped her hands. Her two daughters brought out a large marzipan torte with eighteen candles alight. "Excuse me, Madame Akdemir," Halide said. "Yesterday you told me Nadji was going to be seventeen years old. Why are there eighteen candles on his cake?" "Different way of counting," she replied. "In the west, the first `birthday'

commemorates the first anniversary of birth. In Turkey, they use the far more sensible system of using the actual day of birth as the `first birthday.'" The party toasted Nadji, who thanked them. Then they toasted the future of their Motherland!

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After the auditorium had emptied, Nadji approached Halide. "Your father was magnificent!" he said. "Thank you, Nadji. Since we're so close to the heart of Istanbul, I wonder if you might show me the city." "I don't think you'd want to see it now. It's not the Istanbul you saw when you were here before." "That's exactly why I want to see it. Sometimes you have to build from the ground up start all over again. The result can be beautiful." "There aren't many physical changes in the city. The tourist attractions are still standing, but they're controlled by Greeks and Armenians. The commandant posted strict orders we're not to be in Stamboul after sunset unless absolutely necessary. Even then, we're to make certain there are no less than three of us together at the same time." "Nadji, I've seen Trieste's roughest slums and the battlefields of Gelibolu. I won't be in Turkey that long and I'd hate to miss the opportunity to see the old part of Instanbul." Nadji and Halide arrived at Galata Bridge just in time to see the late afternoon sun's reflection sparkling off the Golden Horn. Halide turned toward the Bosphorous. "Oh, look!" she exclaimed, excitedly. She pointed to a small rowboat, fifty feet offshore. A man was broiling fish over a small brazier. At Nadji's signal, he rowed toward them. Within moments, the two young people were happily munching crisp, hot mackerel fillets, covered with sliced tomato and onion, and sandwiched between thick slices of broad-grained bread. Nadji purchased two glasses of freshly-squeezed orange juice from a vendor, who carried a large brass tankard on his back. When they finished, they continued their walk up the hill and

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into the heart of the old city. "Has the grand bazaar changed since the war?" she asked. "Kapali Charshi is still the largest and oldest covered market in the Muslim world," he said proudly. "There are more than four thousand shops under the same roof. Even now, you can find things here that are unavailable anyplace else, but the prices are beyond my means. I haven't been here since the war ended." It was twilight. The main streets were only dimly lit. "I think it's time we started back," Nadji said, slightly nervous. "We're close enough to Galata Bridge to make it across. It's far safer on the other side." They'd gone about a hundred yards when they heard footsteps behind them. They sped up. Whoever was behind them came closer. Neither Nadji nor Halide looked back. The lights of Pera were a quarter mile away. Suddenly, Halide was bumped and rudely shoved into a small alley adjacent to the road. Nadji was grabbed and pinioned against the wall of a building. "Well, well, Aslanian, look what we have here," the larger of the two rough-garbed men said to his partner. "A big, Ottoman warrior and his little Turkish `lady.' Ugly as sin and all bent-over." "Yes, but she'll do. As my father used to say, `In the dark, all cats are gray.'" He laughed obscenely. Nadji struggled valiantly, but he was held fast. The first man was as tall as he, much heavier, and reeked of garlic. "Shall I soften her up?" "Why not? You'll get to be first." The smaller man, about thirty, nearly Nadji's height, had a greasy mustache. As

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Nadji watched horrified, the man punched Halide's jaw with the heel of his palm. She started to fall backward. He reached out and cuffed her on the back of her head. Halide fell to the cobblestoned ground. She started screaming at the top of her lungs. Her attacker kicked her sharply in her lower back. She moaned, involuntarily. The man opened his pants, took out his penis and urinated onto her face. "That's what I think of you Turks," he growled. Having defiled her, his member hardened. "Up on your knees, Turkish slut," he ordered. Halide didn't move. He kicked her hard, in the ribs. "I said, get up on your knees, do you hear me, you miserable Turkish cunt?" he shouted. Halide rolled over, moaning. "Get up on your knees, you whore, or I am going to put my fine Armenian prick into your mouth, right where you are." The young woman lay there, writhing in agony. Nadji tried everything to escape his tormentor's iron grip. Halide's attacker lift her dress and rudely shove his hardened penis into her from behind. The brute plunged in and out of his rag-doll victim, mouthing obscenities. With a strength he didn't know he possessed, Nadji broke loose from his captor and cried out in frustrated guilt and rage. Before he could get to Halide, the giant Armenian punched him in the kidney with the force of a jackhammer. Nadji collapsed, his pain so great he could hardly think. Having ejaculated, the second Armenian rolled away from the brutally ravished young woman, his phallus exposed, going limp. A slender man emerged from the shadows. Nadji heard a soft clunk. Halide's rapist gasped, startled. The mysterious rescuer kicked the prostrate man in the groin. As Halide's torturer reached down to protect himself, the silver glint of a blade plunged into his side. Nadji's burly captor stood frozen for an instant, then

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took a heavy knife from his own tunic and leapt forward, arcing it in a downward motion toward the slender stranger. A loud blast shattered the night. Nadji turned automatically toward the sound and saw a uniformed Internal Security Policeman. The heavy Armenian did not even realize his arm had been shot off, nor did he know anything else after that. The officer fired two more shots at point blank range. What had been the Armenian's head was mangled pulp. Meanwhile, the first man who'd come on the scene kicked Halide's assailant in the face, then in the stomach. With a loud whoosh of air, the fellow went limp. "Better get your friend out of here," the officer rasped harshly to Nadji. "There's bound to be trouble." "But you...?" "I don't need your help. I can take care of things very well by myself." Nadji and the slender man carried the semi-conscious Halide to a nearby fountain. The man extracted a handkerchief from his pocket, dipped it in cool water and started to bathe Halide's head. Suddenly, they heard the sound of another gunshot and the pathetic moan of a mortally-wounded animal. Nadji extricated himself long enough to run toward the sound. The policeman had disappeared. Where Halide's attacker's genitals had been, there was a mass of blood and tissue. No matter how great his anger, Nadji prayed the man was already dead. He saw a card on the ground beside the bloody remains. With shaking hands, he picked it up and read, "Osmanli Kardeshlik." Ottoman Brotherhood? But the man had been wearing a Security Police uniform. Nadji hurried back to Halide and the man who was helping her. Halide looked up at her rescuer. Her eyes widened with recognition. "Turhan?"

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"It's been a long time, Halide. We must get you to a hospital as soon as possible." "Can you contact Doctor Ermenek?" "I'll try. My employer lives close by. I'm sure he'll let us use his automobile to drive you there." Nadji watched in silence, humiliated. The young man turned toward him. "Don't blame yourself. It could have happened to anyone. These are bad times. I'm Turhan Trkoglu. Sorry I didn't have time to introduce myself before now." # Doctor Ermenek was horrified when he concluded his examination. Halide, my dear, dear child, I cant even think of anything I could say to lessen your pain. There are no broken bones, and as for the other The physician broke down in tears. I can only beg you not to hold it against Turkey. What happened to you is a disgrace to our people. He dabbed at his eyes and blew into a handkerchief. We dont even have control of our own streets anymore. Papa? Halide said dully. If Metin were alive It was Yujels wife, Franoise, who took control of the situation. Darling, it will take time for your spirit to heal. Yujel, I think that on our way home we should stop in Switzerland. Karl Feldkirche has a friend, Doctor Jung, who might be able to help our Halide to try to make some sense out of the monstrous tragedy that happened. # A few nights later, Turhan was invited to dinner at the Akdemirs' home. "Nadji told me you were born in a small village in Anatolia," the general said to him. "How did you end up in Istanbul?"

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"I moved to Diyarbakir when I was quite young. When I was fifteen, I joined a caravan and traveled to Sinop. Through good fortune, I earned enough to enable me to attend lyce in Istanbul. When the war started, I enlisted in the medical corps. Ive kept a journal since I was thirteen. Someone suggested I send some of my entries to the newspapers in Istanbul. I did, and I was quite surprised when Vatan published them. I enjoyed seeing my name in print. More important, I wanted to tell the world the truth as I saw it. When the war ended, there wasn't much opportunity for a writer and certainly not enough money to justify the newspapers hiring an extra reporter. They had trouble paying their existing staff. I had money saved from my caravan days. Istanbul was still the most exciting place I knew. So I stayed on. I wait tables at Rouge et Noir. It's honest work. When I can, I write odd pieces for a couple of small newspapers. They pay virtually nothing, but it's a start. "You want to be a reporter?" "No, Sir. I want to get people to think, not just blindly accept anything they read." "That's a dangerous practice, young man. You'll make many enemies." "I'm aware of that, Sir. One of the newspapers already got a warning letter from the Allied High Command about some of my articles." "What are your future plans?" "I'll send in articles and knock on doors until I eventually find full-time work with a newspaper, even if they pay me half what I make now. I believe in myself. If I work at what I love as hard as I can, perhaps Allah will do the rest." "I have an old friend who publishes a small paper in Samsun," Akdemir said. "Would you be willing to leave the capital if I could find you employment there? It might

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not pay much, but at least it would be steady work." "General, I'd work anywhere in the world if it allows me to express my thoughts," Turhan answered. At evening's end, General Akdemir suggested that Turhan spend the night in Shishli rather than chance the danger of Stamboul. # "Omer, you devil, what are you doing in this backwater?" Ihsan Selimiye hugged his former Young Turk conspirator with genuine warmth. "It's been a dozen years since I've seen you." "Indeed, Ihsan. The last days of Abdl Hamid. The good old days. I never could figure out why modern Turkey's most eloquent voice dropped out and moved halfway across the country." "Safety, my friend. Much easier to write from five hundred miles away, where you could disappear onto the Anatolian steppe if they tried to chase you. Besides, why would the Ottoman government bother with a small newspaper coming out of nowhere? The decision was easy, Omer. A quiet, safe place where I could raise my children. People buy as many papers here as anywhere. Samsun's the center of the Black Sea coast. Isharet's been good to me. I see you haven't done badly yourself. You still haven't told me what you're doing in town." "I was wondering if you could use a talented young writer." "Come now, Omer, you didn't come out of your way to find a job for your son. Besides, I heard he was following in his father's illustrious footsteps at the Military Academy." "You don't miss much, do you?"

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"Not if I can help it. Isharet's got friends in the capital," Ihsan chuckled. A dozen years before, he'd been the Empire's most astute reporter, capable of ferreting out any story wherever it broke. This talent had made him invaluable to the underground movement early in the century. When Ihsan had moved from Istanbul, he'd chosen his location shrewdly. Samsun was the only Black Sea city east of Zonguldak that connected directly into the Anatolian railway system, the only one with a paved road that led to the interior of the country. Although the eternal west winds, and the perennial rain did not make it the most equable place to live, the hills surrounding the town were green and provided protection from the harsh winter snows that fell farther south. "Where can we talk in private, Ihsan?" "Isharet's back office. Do I sense excitement?" "When we get to your place we'll talk." They reached the newspaper plant fifteen minutes later. The day's only edition had already been distributed. The place was closed. Ihsan unlocked the front door, walked through a large room that housed printing presses, and led his guest to a small office deep within the building. The furniture in the room was old, but serviceable. The two friends sat opposite one another in cracked leather chairs. "Now you have your privacy, Omer. Were you serious when you asked if I needed another reporter?" "I was. A month ago, Nadji brought home a young man who calls himself `Turhan Trkolu.'" "Two names, no less. And `Son of Turkey' at that. Rather pretentious, wouldn't you say?" "I seem to recall a young man who called himself `The Voice of the new Turkey.'

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Rather pretentious, wouldn't you say?" "Touch!" "Turhan came out of nowhere and saved Nadji's and his friend Halides life. I'll tell you that story another time. I've talked with him at length. Reminds me a lot of you. Take that as a compliment." The publisher stroked his chin, thoughtfully. "Have you seen any of his work?" "Yes. He's written a few pieces for Mimber." The publisher glanced over the articles Akdemir had brought with him. "Not bad. Strident, but they show promise. Do you want me to hire the boy?" "No pressure from me one way or the other. With or without you, he'll have a successful career. You just might speed it up a bit." "Oho! `No pressure from you,' and you immediately tell me the fellow will have a fine career. Omer, I've seen too many journalists with great careers ahead of them. Twenty years later, those careers are still ahead of them. They lose themselves in the raki bars, or they move on to other things. It's a tough life. It has a way of eating a man's soul." "What do you have to lose, Ihsan? You're in Samsun. You can get away with paying someone half what he'd cost you in Istanbul. If he's good, you can say you gave him his start." "All right, you've twisted my arm hard enough. I'll try him and see how he works out." "You'll be thanking me within six months." "Enough. You didn't haul me into the confines of my private office to ask me to hire a novice reporter. What's your news?"

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"A story that'll put Isharet in Turkish history books." "Go on." "Mustafa Kemal's coming here." "That's not news. Damad appointed him inspector general of the Ninth Army. He's on his way to Samsun on the Bandirma, a cargo ship the government bought from the Greeks." The general reached into his tunic and brought out a barely legible, crumpled carbon of a typewritten document. "Read this." "`To All Military and Civilian Authorities, From His Imperial Eminence and Grace Vahideddin, Sultan Mehmet VI: `Please take notice that the Sultan's own representative, Mustafa Kemal Pasha, is herewith afforded the mandate of this office to gather all arms and ammunition and restore order and security to His Majesty's ports, cities and towns throughout Anatolia and those areas referred to by the Allied High Command as the Pontic States. Whoever reads this proclamation and the seal thereon is directed, in Our name, to afford Mustafa Kemal Pasha all courtesy and governance, with the full authority of the Ottoman Empire over all military and civilian officials in the Anatolian provinces...'" Ihsan stopped reading. His face colored. "Mashallah! Do you know how much power that gives him?" "I do. So does Kemal." "Why the conspiratorial grin?" "Ihsan, how many newspapers can you print from this moment forward if your presses run day and night?"

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"Thirty thousand copies in each twenty-four hour period, assuming we've got enough newsprint in storage." "Can you buy newsprint from your competitors?" "Without them becoming suspicious? Hardly. Why?" "Two days ago, twenty thousand Greek troops landed at Izmir. As we speak, they're advancing toward Manisa and Aydin, with British and French protection. They've inflicted severe atrocities on the Turkish civilian population. A Turkish colonel, who refused to take off his fez and stamp on it, was shot and killed. The Turkish governor of Izmir was arrested. Hundreds of civilians on both sides have been killed. The Greeks believe they've opened the gateway to the conquest of Anatolia." "I learned that by telephone. How did our government in Istanbul react?" "`Heroically,'" the general said, sarcastically. "Mehmet started blubbering in public. His ministers filed a `protest' with the Allied High Command. The `government,' such as it is, seems prepared to sacrifice all of Turkey so long as Istanbul remains Ottoman." The editor sighed. "Omer, what did we Young Turks really accomplish?" he asked, rhetorically. "We knocked Abdl Hamid, the last strong sultan, off the throne a decade ago. What did it gain us? A weak puppet who dares call himself sultan, three proud pashas who led us into a disastrous war, and now the triumphant western Allies carving us up like a dead lamb. Where's it all going to lead?" "Listen, Ihsan. An unusually large number of soldiers and officers will be coming east in the next few days. Four days from now, May 19, Kemal will anchor off Samsun. As soon as he steps ashore, he'll announce his intent to form an independent Turkish republic." "WHAT??? You know that means civil war."

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"Within the next month, Kemal intends to set up armed resistance to the Greek incursion." "You're certain, Omer?" "Absolutely." "You know what it will do to my reputation, not to mention my pocketbook, if you're wrong?" "I'm not wrong, Ihsan. Have I lied to you in the past?" "Never." "Start your presses now. Use only people you can trust to keep quiet about this until Mustafa Kemal gets here. Buy up as much paper and ink as you can. Detail someone to be as close as a shadow to Kemal for the next year." "You've no doubt someone in mind for the job?" "Does `The Voice of the New Turkey' want to become a reporter once again?" "Hardly, my friend. I'm too old and too fat. You have confidence in this young fellow, Turhan?" "That's entirely up to you." "So it will cost me a few lira. If you're right, I can certainly spare that. Where's my newest employee?" "On his way to Samsun. He'll be here on the next train." # On May 19, 1919, the winds raised the Black Sea outside Samsun harbor to a rough chop. Small boats came out from the beach to meet the grimy cargo ship and row the new inspector general and his staff ashore. Mustafa Kemal landed at a rickety wooden jetty, and

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slogged ashore through shallow water. He was greeted by four officers, one of whom was Omer Akdemir. They took the Pasha to an old house off the main square, where he set up headquarters. A few hundred yards down the dusty street, three Allied officers were busily shuffling papers. They'd not even bothered to take the time to meet the new arrival.

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June 10, 1920

Ankara

Mlle. Halide Orhan Associate Professor of Education 18-B, Rue Besanon Paris, France Dear Halide: Has it really been six months since I've written you? So incredibly much has happened since the beginning of the year I don't know how or where to begin. I'm writing from Angora, which the nationalist government has renamed Ankara. You don't know how happy it makes Turhan and me to hear you'll be coming here within the next couple of months. Last year, father talked Ihsan into hiring Turhan. From the day they met, each served as a catalyst for the other. Ihsan, who hadn't put pen to paper in years, took to writing again. Between them Isharet's circulation trebled. Mustafa Kemal gave Turhan an exclusive interview. When he said he relied on Isharet for "accurate and patriotic reporting," the number of readers soared. Last month Isharet opened its Ankara bureau. Turhan was named chief, at the ripe old age of twenty-three. Congratulations on your graduation from the Sorbonne and your certification as associate professor of education. I'm gratified you want to teach in Turkey. We need all the help we can get! You're probably curious how I got here. After Kemal's nationalists won elections throughout Anatolia, they demanded their seats in the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies. Kemal announced his party was Turkey's rightful government. At that point, all hell broke loose. The British pushed the Sultan into declaring martial law in Istanbul. Allied troops

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replaced Ottoman police, the Chamber was dissolved, and Damad Ferid remember Droopy Damad? was called back to suppress the outbreaks. Father aligned himself with Kemal's new government in Ankara. Within a month, I was asked to leave the Academy. The commandant was embarrassed. He'd received orders from general staff. He said with Father working for Kemal in Ankara, I'd have divided loyalties. It was very smoothly done, but it hurt a lot to be dumped out in my senior year. Father was furious and tried to talk to his old friends at the Academy, but to no avail. For the next month, I sulked in Shishli, until Father told us we were moving to Ankara. He explained that Ankara's Grand National Assembly had ordered the creation of a new, nationalist officers' school. He'd been appointed its first commandant! If the new government works out, I'll be able to say I was in the first graduating class of the Turkish Military Academy of Ankara. I wasn't really surprised at Father's announcement because I'd been in touch with Turhan, who somehow managed to get a telephone hookup between Ankara and Istanbul. He kept me well posted. You'll find things unsettled when you get here. There's a civil war going on between Istanbul and Ankara. So far, it's only a war of words, but it's had ludicrous side effects. A tribunal from Istanbul condemned Kemal to death. The Sheikh of Islam made it the religious duty of any Muslim to kill him on sight. The Grand National Assembly retaliated by convicting Damad Ferid and sentencing him to death. Several local Muslim leaders decreed it was the duty of their congregants to kill Ferid. What makes this all the more idiotic is regardless of which government we support, Turkey is fighting a two front war, Armenians in the east, Greeks in the west. To top everything off, a group of irregulars calling themselves the "Green Army" nobody really

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knows whose side they're on aannounced that they're going to war against the Christian invaders. If this all sounds confusing to you, it's even more of a mix-up living in the middle of it. Let me know when you plan to arrive so Turhan and I can be there to meet you. In fondest friendship, Nadji # Ankara was less than impressive, Halide felt. Twin hills rose from the sere Anatolian plateau. The half-ruined walls of a citadel, which had survived two thousand years of wars, sat atop one of the hills. Mud-brick shacks, huddled together amid dunghills and dirt alleyways, descended into the dusty valley below. Raw sewage ran down the middle of these "streets." The odor of frying onions and garlic dominated Ulus' "Golden Hill." Horses drew ramshackle carriages over rough stones. Except for a very few motor cars, the only other means of transport were ancient buckboards and peasant bullock carts. The nationalist mecca was hardly more than a small market town. Its population had been reduced to twenty thousand by a fire that had wiped out a large segment of the place during the past war. Blackened remains of buildings still scarred the slopes. A low ridge of brown, inhospitable hills surrounded the southern end of town. Still, as she alighted from the station platform, Halide saw that Ankara was starting to grow into a city. The administration had erected new public buildings in the spare, modern European style. Houses were starting to dot the plain beyond Citadel hill. The city boasted a small municipal park, unkempt, ragged, its flowers and grass drying up in the brutal sun. But it was a beginning. Halide linked arms with her two comrades and gaily said, "Well, here we are, three

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heroes of modern Turkey, reunited once again. What will we do to change the course of history this time?" "Locate a good juice vendor?" suggested Nadji. "Better yet, find some kind of decent lodgings in this town," remarked Turhan. "Come now, you boys can do better than that for a Parisian lady who's come so many miles just to be with you." "I wish we could," Nadji replied. "The best accommodations we can provide are at my family's house on Chankaya hill, outside the city proper." "Take advantage of it," said Turhan. "At least there you'll be above all the dust and smoke of the valley." As they descended to the street, Halide's eyes widened in pleasure. "Isn't that the old Mercedes?" "The very one you rode in when you first came to Turkey! Amazing how time flies, isn't it." "The car looks so well-kept. And quite out of place in Ankara." "It's both," Nadji responded, laughing. "Father's commandeered one of only six of these behemoths in the capital. It's his one luxury, though a rather impractical one. With the streets in such abominable condition, he has to order new tires every couple of months." The three friends stopped for tea in Yenishehir, Ankara's "new city," and caught up on a year's worth of news. "Will there ever be anything but fighting and more fighting in Turkey?" Halide asked, seriously. "Inshallah, some day there'll be peace. Progress as well, we hope," answered Turhan. "I started out life in a village in southeastern Anatolia. Now I'm an `up and coming'

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journalist. Less than one person out of every ten in Turkey can read what I write. We must educate our countrymen so we can communicate with one another on the most basic level. It's a miracle we can mount an army at all." "Perhaps one day we'll really be able to do something for our country." "Yes, but we'll need a few years of peace to do it. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear we'll have that opportunity in the foreseeable future. The Greek offensive, which started three weeks ago, has turned into a rout. Just yesterday, they captured Gelibolu. # In October, 1920, young King Alexander of Greece was watching the antics of a pair of monkeys in his palace gardens, when he was bitten by one of them and died. The English statesman Winston Churchill wrote, "It is no exaggeration to remark that a quarter million persons died because of the monkey's bite." After Alexander's death, Premier Venizelos declared a general election. He was so certain of his popularity that he gave his countrymen full freedom to cast their ballots any way they wanted. They promptly voted him out of office. King Constantine, who'd been discredited and exiled in 1917 for complicity with the Germans, was restored to the throne. The Greeks determined to push forward all the way to Armenia and create the greatest empire since Alexander the Great. They planned to move east along the railway, unite all their forces in Anatolia and cut the Turks' communications. By the end of winter, they'd be poised to smash Ankara and Konya, twin Muslim rallying points. On January 6, 1921, they attacked along a broad front, stretching from Eskishehir to Bursa. The first clash took place in the valley of Inn. The Greeks expected an easy victory against undisciplined, ill-equipped, and

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demoralized peasants and irregulars. Instead, they found themselves facing a resolute, disciplined force under Ismet Pasha, Mustafa Kemals deputy and second in command. The Turks were greatly inferior in numbers and equipment, but not in leadership and fighting spirit. Knee deep in mud and snow, they stubbornly defended their own territory. Four days later, Constantine's previously invincible forces retreated, stunned, to Bursa. The Greeks would have to contend with a new kind of Turkish army. On March 23, the Greeks began a new offensive. Afyon fell to the Royal Hellenic army, but General Ismet's forces prevailed at Inn, and Ismet later took on Inn as his surname. The Greek forces retreated again. Ernest Hemingway, a young American correspondent with the Greeks, wrote, "Constantine's newly arrived officers didn't know a god-damned thing about how to run a war. Their artillery fired into their own troops. It was the first time I'd seen dead men wearing white ballet skirts and upturned shoes with pompons on them. The Turks just kept coming, steadily and lumpily, without show, without glamour. But they kept coming." In early June, Constantine proclaimed himself supreme commander of Greek forces in Asia, and left for Smyrna. He vowed to be the first Christian king to set foot on Anatolian soil in a thousand years. He did not enter the port, but stayed across the gulf at Cheshme on the western tip of Anatolia, the same place from which Richard Coeur de Lion commenced the first Crusade. By the third week in July, the Greeks had advanced to the Sakarya River, the last natural boundary before the nationalist capital. In Ankara, the Grand National Assembly prepared to move east, all the way to Sivas. # "Congratulations, Lieutenant! Since I'm the first to salute you, military tradition

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requires you pay me one Turkish lira. And I certainly don't intend to give credit to a soldier." Nadji returned the salute, took the oldest, most rumpled Ottoman bill he could find from his wallet, and pressed it into the outstretched hand. "Cheap Nationalist!" Turhan replied, grinning. "That won't even buy a man a glass of raki. I'll show you how gracious I am by allowing you to buy me a cup of tea and a piece of baklava." The two young men soon reached their favorite haunt. "Have you seen Halide lately?" Nadji asked. "No," Turhan replied. "She asked Kemal to be assigned to duty at the front. Dropped her teacher's garb for a nurse's uniform. Do you have any idea where you'll be assigned?" "I'll tell you after we've left." As they departed the tea house, Turhan asked, "Why the secrecy, Nadji?" "The information's sensitive. The less said, the better." "Understood, my friend. What's the news?" "Two weeks ago, the Greeks captured Eskishehir. Ismet retreated to the Sakarya." "That's nothing the world doesn't know." "Less than three hours ago, Mustafa Kemal agreed to become commander-in-chief on condition he be authorized to exercise all powers normally given to the Grand National Assembly, for the next three months." "That's political suicide!" "That Grand National Assembly agreed to it." "Mashallah!!"

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"Mashallah's right! He's going to proclaim that every household in Ankara'll be required to provide a pair of underclothing, socks and sandals to the war effort. The army's requisitioning all men's clothing in every store in Ankara. They've appropriated forty percent of all food and gasoline supplies. Kemal says the government will pay for these things later. Every vehicle owner must provide free transportation for the army." "He won't be too popular here." "There's more," Nadji continued. "He's ordered one out of every five farm animals and carts in the city to be given up. Anyone with a rifle, gun, or ammunition must surrender it to the army. Everything everything is being shipped to the front at the Sakarya. But I still haven't told you the big news." "There's more?" "Kemal himself is going to command the Sakarya front." "WHAT???" "Kemal says if he's going to take full responsibility he wants full authority as well." "That could be the story of the century as far as Turkey's concerned!" "Kemal's staked Turkey's whole future on victory at the Sakarya. He's sending every available officer, soldier, and reserve unit to the front. Father will be commanding a division. I'm being sent to an artillery unit. If the Greeks win this battle, there's nothing between the river and the capital. The war will be over." "Can I get there to cover the story??" "Talk to Kemal's chief of staff. Use your influence. You're well-liked. The story'll be bigger than Gallipoli." "Inshallah! Let us only pray it ends as well for us."

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Nadji arrived at Polatli. He was self-conscious when he reported to his commander in a new, fitted uniform. The short, stocky captain was dressed in battle fatigues that looked as if he'd worn them, unchanged, for ten years. "Lieutenant Akdemir reporting for duty, Sir!" Nadji snapped his best Academy salute. "At ease, Lieutenant," the commander, whose name was Merich, said. "You from the Academy?" "Yes, Sir." "Ever seen battle?" Before he could answer, a grubby-looking lieutenant, with three days' growth of whiskers, rudely interrupted. "Are you kidding? Look at him. Academy spit-and-polish. They all fall apart in the field. I can't understand why they send us the useless ones. Might as well stay home with their mamas." "That's quite enough, Erdal," the captain said. "Oh is it? These precious Academy types get the best quarters, the best food, the best assignments. They throw us into the field as expendable." "We're all in this together, Lieutenant," Nadji said coldly. "Once upon a time you went to your first battle. No doubt you're the bravest hero that ever lived. But I'm here to do my part. I don't need permission from you. Understand?" Captain Merich watched the exchange in silence. He addressed Nadji. "Akdemir, you'll learn quickly enough. If that uniform's as stiff and uncomfortable as it looks, you should report to the quartermaster and get outfitted. You get one set of clothes for the

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duration." "How long'll that be, Captain?" He felt stupid the moment the words escaped his lips. Erdal sneered. The captain looked at Nadji. "The Greeks say they'll fight 'til they get to Ankara. Only fifty miles between here and there." "How many men in our regiment, Sir?" "Two hundred on paper. A third of 'em have been killed in the last few days. We're supposed to get ten thousand reinforcements. You're the first they've sent this week. Is your father by any chance General Akdemir?" the captain asked. "Yes, Sir. But I'm not asking any favors on his account." "You won't get any. Mustafa Kemal's stripped himself of all rank. You'll be in charge of `D' company." "I've never held a command, Sir." "Dont worry, Lieutenant. Just about every commanding officer left can say much the same thing." "What am I supposed to do, Sir?" "Kill. And avoid being killed." # Nadji awoke to the scratching of a small ground animal. It was still dark. His back ached from sleeping in a sitting position in the trench. He wrapped himself tighter in the woolen blanket, grateful he could still feel hot and cold. It seemed like ten years rather than ten days since he'd arrived at the front. Nothing had prepared him for the grim reality of battle. Generals and politicians could talk all they wanted about the glory of the motherland

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and the valor of heroic warriors. When it got down to bedrock, war was an ugly, terrifying business, filled with the smell of gunpowder, feces, vomit, and blood. Merich had been a good man. Erdal had been a bastard. Now they were both dead, cut down by rifle fire three days ago, defending a hill so low it didn't have a name. Dawn brightened the sky in the east. Praise Allah the ground was more solid underneath him. Yesterday had been the worst. Normally the broiling summer sun of the Anatolian steppe turned the soil to rock as it beat down without mercy. By sunset last evening, corpses littered every yard of ground. The earth had become mushy, unable to soak up the blood spilled earlier in the day. The survivors had to be careful where they walked. Supper had been grim. Last night, much of the day's bread was soaked with his comrades' blood. Those who were still alive tore off dry pieces wherever they could find them. That was all there was. Water was in such short supply that after dark the survivors stumbled over dead bodies, searching for canteens. When Nadji assumed command of "D" company, thirty-two of the original forty men were alive: tough, battle-hardened veterans, particularly the company sergeant, all of twenty-two years old. By the time battle had ceased the night before, ten of his company would never rise again. He heard the rustle of animals scurrying about. "Rats!" The sergeant whispered the words harshly. "Ignore 'em, Sir." But they were hard to disregard. Several rodents crawled over the face of the nearest corpse, sniffing, squealing, tearing what skin and flesh remained. Nadji raised his rifle. "Don't, Sir!" the sergeant whispered in the same tone. "It'll alert the enemy. All you'll do is waste what little ammunition we've got left."

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"Did the troops find anything we can use?" "A few rounds, Lieutenant. For the most part, the shells were spent." "Any idea how many troops are on this hill?" "Eighty living. Maybe. Five hundred dead." "What do we do with the bodies, Sergeant?" "Nothing you can do, Sir. Let 'em rot and hope Allah takes them before the vultures do. It'll be worse today than yesterday. The flies'll gather in droves." Their conversation stopped. "Who's in charge here?" the voice said. "Lieutenant Akdemir, `D' company. Who're you?" "Karaja, Seventeenth Regiment. What's your troop strength, Lieutenant?" "Twenty-two last count." He saw captain's insignia on the newcomer. "Yours?" "Twenty." "Which company, Captain?" "The regiment." "Allah! How many did you lose yesterday?" "A hundred fifty." Within two hours of daylight, the flies started their horrendous buzz. They picked at the faces of dead soldiers strewn over the hillside. The sun beat down on the sweating men. There was no fresh water anywhere. Despite a stray shot here and there, the silence of the vast steppe was overwhelming. Nadji saw dark smudge lines on the distant horizon. The enemy. He heard the crack of gunfire. It was so distant it didn't disturb nearby ground squirrels. They sensed another man crawling toward them.

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Some soldiers took naps. Others gambled, trying to guess how many small stones were under a helmet placed on the ground. When the sun reached its zenith, Nadji heard a soft moan and turned to his right. A boy of seventeen keeled over, a victim of heat prostration. Nadji grabbed the fellow's canteen to pour out some water. It was empty. He unscrewed the cap on his own container. Nothing. "Anyone got water?" he asked quietly. No one had. "We can't go on like this," the sergeant said. "Another day without water, we'll all be like him." "What do we do about him, Sergeant?" "Nothing. Let him die, Sir." "You can't mean that!" "Just what do you expect me to do?" the sergeant asked. "Do you have any ideas about how we get water? I suppose we could cut into one of the corpses and see if there's any blood left." The young man's moans became more pronounced. A man crawled toward them on his belly, leaving a trail of blood behind him. When he'd gotten to their hole, Nadji saw the man's shoes were soaked in blood. His eyes were rolling up into his head. "L... Lieutenant..." he wheezed. "I'm dying. Take my water." He belched up warm blood, rolled into the trench alongside them, and was silent. Nadji uttered a prayer over the dead man. He tore a piece of material off the dead man's uniform and poured a few drops of water on the cloth. He applied the patch to the dehydrated boy's lips. When the fellow finally regained consciousness, he was weak and his eyes were fluttery.

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"Captain, we've got to get word to command for reinforcements, food, water." "I agree, Lieutenant. Any idea where we might locate battalion command?" "Back of the line somewhere." "Where do you think the `line' is?" "I don't know. We can't stay here without help. By day after tomorrow, we'll be nothing but food for the rats." Some time during the previous day, he couldn't say when, his terror and fear had disappeared. He was a very small piece of a fighting machine. If he did his job and the small cogs in the wheel next to him did their jobs, the machine would operate. Now he had to find fuel for the human element of that machine, and keep his little piece of earth Turkish. Nothing else mattered. "Do you have a map, Captain?" "An old one." "It'll do." The two men spent the next hour poring over a detailed, crumpled chart of the area. "We'll have to guess the best we can," Nadji said. "We're most likely on this rise," he said, pointing. The highest point, Chal Dag, is four miles east. As far as I can tell, we're the only Turkish officers between here and there. One of us has to stay put. I think it'd be best if it were you, Sir. You're senior and have more experience. We'll have to gamble I can get through. If I'm not back by tomorrow night, you'll know I didn't make it." "Allah's marladik, lieutenant," the other officer said. "Go with God." # The sun set. Nadji headed down and around the rise, moving slowly, from bush to bush. The countryside to the east was low. It did not appear to have seen much fighting. He saw lights on a hill to the east. Inshallah, let them be Turkish, he prayed silently.

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He was halfway across the valley when he heard a shuffling sound. More rats? He didn't know. The sound became louder. As he turned, Nadji saw a man running toward him. The stranger's rifle was raised, the bayonet aimed at him. His first thought was, "Allah, don't let me die!" The next was, "Don't let him be a Turk!" He spun round, dove for the ground, and dodged as the other man swiped at him. He ripped a dagger from his belt and struck at the back of the man's leg. With a shocked scream, his assailant went down. No time to think. Nadji struck again and again, plunging his dagger into soft flesh wherever he could find it. The man's body convulsed, then collapsed in a heap. When Nadji finally recovered enough to stop stabbing, his hand was wet and sticky. The other man gurgled. Nadji's eyes became accustomed to the dark. His attacker wouldn't be getting up again. Bile churned in his throat. He lurched a few yards from the dying man and retched until he felt his insides would come out. He still didn't know if his assailant was Greek or Turk. Was he alone? If he wasn't, Nadji knew that anyone within fifty yards would have heard the scuffle. He found a shallow burrow, twenty feet from where the man lay, and waited. Twenty minutes went by. The man continued to emit a bubbling noise as he strained to breathe. Nadji tried to cover his ears to blot out the horrible sound. When he did, he noticed his own head was wet. Putting his fingers to his lips, he tasted blood. Odd, he didn't feel particularly weak. Instinctively, he gathered dirt and rubbed it against his head. Probably just grazed by the bayonet. Then realization hit. An inch either way and he would be the one gurgling in his death throes, not the other man. An hour passed. The bubbling sound had become a dry rasp. The man was dying.

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Nadji crawled over, possessed by morbid curiosity. The other he was wearing a Greek uniform, praise Allah opened his eyes and stared at him with a look of utter terror. His body lay still, silent. His eyes confronted Nadji with an expression the young lieutenant would never forget. Resignation? Accusation? Anger? The dying man worked his mouth half open and tried to speak. No sound came. Nadji stared back at him. The overwhelming magnitude of what he'd done struck home. This was not a nameless, faceless enemy. Not like shooting across a vast field, tossing a grenade into an enemy concentration. Not even the same as seeing his comrades fall. He was witnessing the death of another human being, a death he had caused. Nadji moved closer. With superhuman effort, the man tried to say something. Nothing came out. Nadji reached for his canteen and opened it. Only a few drops of water left. They'd be wasted on a dead man. He looked at the other man's face again. The look was helpless, condemning. Nadji poured the last few drops onto the sleeve of his tunic. He pressed the moistened sleeve against the dying man's mouth. The eyes ceased their anger and became softer. "May your God bless you," Nadji said softly. Were the man's eyes actually

forgiving? Nadji never knew. A moment later they were sightless. The man was dead. Nadji felt a chill. His face was wet, but now the wetness was from tears, not blood. An hour ago, a moment ago, this man had lived, breathed, spoken with his comrades. Praise Allah, he'd killed a Greek. At least it was the enemy. Did he have a wife? A mother? Was the Greek any less of a man because he was fighting under a different set of generals? For different politicians? Nadji rolled the corpse over and saw a wallet in the man's back pocket. He removed

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it with trembling hands. Two pictures and a letter fell out. A quarter-moon had risen in the night sky. Nadji hadn't even noticed it before. No wonder it had been so easy to see the man's eyes. He couldn't read the strange lettering on the envelope. There were two photographs. A small, dark-haired woman with a serious face, stood alone in the first one. In the second, she was flanked on each side by a little girl, each with braided hair. The man's daughters? The thought pierced Nadji like a dagger thrust into his chest. There was an identity card written in Greek and in English, which Nadji had learned to read at the Academy. It identified the dead man as Nikos Stamoulatos, twenty-three, school teacher. Nadji did not make it back to the hole in time. He wept openly and vomited what little remained inside of him. # Shortly before noon next day, Nadji made it to the distant hill where he found a large Turkish force. Nadji told the division commander, a full colonel, what had happened. Just before he collapsed from fatigue, he heard the senior officer order a thousand reinforcements be sent immediately to bring food and water to their compatriots who suffered, half-dead, on the small rise with no name. At sunset, a messenger came riding back to battalion headquarters. "What news?" the colonel asked. "The valley was swarming with Greeks, Sir. We lost half our troops before we got there. The other five hundred fought their way through. We killed fifteen hundred enemy, Sir." By the following evening, the valley was as blood-soaked as the rise had been three days before. Five hundred men retreated from whence they'd come. And five thousand

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didn't move at all. # On September 15, 1921, the following article occupied the entire front page of Isharet. TURKEY IS SAVED! GREEKS RETREAT FROM THE SAKARYA! Polatli, Turkey. The battle of the Sakarya is over. No more will Ankarans go to bed each night to the fearsome sound of artillery pounding in the distance. The trains standing ready to move the government to Sivas have been unpacked. The city's lights have been turned back on. Cars brave the streets again. A month ago, the Greek advance from the west began. For ten days, Greek troops moved forward across the steppe, ever farther from the valleys of the Aegean coast. The drought and the sun's heat were more merciless than the blizzards and frosts of earlier battles. Constantine's army carried no water tanks. His troops suffered from thirst. Their modern truck transport broke down on the rough tracks of the Turkish heartland. They had to depend, as did we, on oxcarts, camels, and pack animals. A Greek captain, who preferred not to be identified, told me his starving troops had begged bread from their Turkish captors. The dust choked them. Malaria thinned their ranks. Nevertheless, when they got to the Sakarya, Greek troops outnumbered Turks by a margin of three to two. Mustafa Kemal set up headquarters at Polatli railway station. Later, he moved to a half-built mud-walled house on Alagz hill. He wore his uniform without badge or rank. He'd been dismissed from the Ottoman army and the Grand National Assembly had given him no official military status. Yet, from the very first, there was no doubt he commanded every square meter of the battlefield.

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Halide Orhan, a young Turkish woman whod been born in France, set up the field hospital behind the lines. Her compassion and coolness under fire was an inspiration and a blessing to our gallant troops. When the fighting came, it lasted twenty-two days and nights without respite. Mustafa Kemal saw he might have to die with the rest if disaster took place. The most

vicious fight was for Chal Dag, the hill that commanded the plain all the way to Ankara. Back in the capital, I heard the cynical comment, "There are other hills between Chal Dag and the city. If we leave five hundred Greeks dead on the summit of each, there won't be no more than fifty left when they arrive here. We'll simply beat them to death with sticks." But there was no such talk at the front. The army knew the battle for Chal Dag would decide Turkey's fate. At Haymana, just west of Chal Dag, the last city before Ankara, Turkish forces resisted with losses of a thousand men a day. In one instance, General Akdemir's son, a newly commissioned lieutenant, found himself in command of what was left of a battalion. An entire artillery division had only seventeen rounds left when the battle ceased. Finally, the two armies fought to a standstill. Each was ready to retreat. But the Turkish line had held. The Greeks, too exhausted to follow up their attack on Haymana, had run out of food and water. At two o'clock in the morning, September 12, they began to retreat. By day's end, no Greek soldier remained east of the Sakarya. Our countrymen have fought in Gelibolu and the Caucasus, in Palestine and at the gates of Istanbul. But in all the years of this century, I believe that at the Battle of the Sakarya the stolid, simple Turkish soldier, outmanned, outmaneuvered, with obsolete artillery, with horses reduced to skin and bone, achieved the greatest glory of all. The

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motherland was saved. by Turhan Trkolu # "What do you think of our illustrious journalist, Halide?" Nadji asked over tea that evening. "I understand several newspapers outside Turkey have picked up Turhans stories." "Do you think that strutting dandy will ever talk to us `lowly folk' again? Did you see him preen when the officers asked him to autograph their copies of Isharet?" "If I know Turhan, that'll last a day. He's probably busy concocting a story that'll infuriate the same `leaders' who are so anxious to get his signature today." "I know," Halide sighed. "He's like a little boy in so many ways. He still lectures me that `truth is an absolute thing, never a relative one.' He'll get himself in trouble one of these days." "And you and I both know we'll be there to help him when he does. Where do you go from here, Halide?" "I'll stay near the front. The war's not even close to being over. Turhan's words notwithstanding, when the bodies are buried, there'll be another battle and after that another." "You sound cynical." "No, my friend. Just a very tired woman who's already seen more battles than I ever wanted to see in my lifetime. One day we'll need to fight a different kind of war." "What do you mean?" "Nadji, the ordinary Turk can't read maps, he can't read orders. He can't read. Our people have given their brains no more exercise than trees in a forest. We need to educate

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our masses, give every man, woman and child a fighting chance to survive in the twentieth century. That's the battle we must fight. Unless we win that war, Turkey will remain a land of illiterate peasants, falling further and further behind the world every year. What will you do now?" "I look forward to boredom. My commanding officer requested I lead a survey party behind the mine sweepers, so we can update the army's battle charts. He said I deserved a few days of safe relaxation." # One week after the battle, Nadji, Sergeant Husseyin and Corporal Firat packed up their survey gear. The last measurements of the day had been made. Autumn had come to the land and a beautiful sunset lit the evening sky. "What do you say, fellows? Do we go all the way back to headquarters tonight or do we camp here?" Nadji asked his companions. "Let's stay out here," the young corporal replied. "We've only got one more day of work. It's a long trek back to headquarters. We'd only have to come back here tomorrow morning." "I disagree, Lieutenant," the sergeant said. "Our orders were clear. We were given our coordinates this morning and we've reached them. I say we return." "We're already beyond the original boundaries we were given to survey," Nadji said. "We're twenty miles beyond the battle zone. I agree we shouldn't take unnecessary chances, but there can't be any harm in camping here and waiting for the mine sweepers to come through. Tell you what. We'll backtrack to that small rise and pitch our tents there overnight. Since the sweepers have covered the area already, it's bound to be safe." The decision made, the three men chatted happily on their way to their campsite.

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When the land mine exploded under their feet, Nadji saw a brilliant flash before everything went dark. The others didn't even know there was a flash. Parts of their bodies were later found over a radius of more than a hundred feet. # "General Izzet? Mustafa Kemal here." It had been remarkably easy to make telephone connections with Istanbul. "Gazi Mustafa Kemal?" Izzet replied, using the honorary title "Conqueror of the Infidels," which the grateful Assembly had conferred on the commander-in-chief a few days before. "Why would my old comrade-in-arms and present `sworn enemy' grace the

`declining' Ottoman empire with a personal call?" "Izzet, this has nothing to do with politics. This call never took place, understand?" "Of course, Mustafa. What's up, my friend?" "Omer Akdemir's boy, Nadji, was very seriously injured by a land mine explosion during the Sakarya mop-up. His leg was shattered, temporary blindness, bad burns. Naturally, we've got the best hospitals right here in Ankara, and all that political garbage, but...." "I'll make sure there's a vehicle ready to take him to University Hospital immediately, Kemal. Doctor Ermenek will supervise the surgery. How'll you get the boy here?" "We'll send a special hospital train. Can you arrange to help once we get to Haydarpasha?" "Certainly." "Thanks, Izzet. You really are a friend."

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"Likewise, Mustafa. Oh, and Kemal Bey?" "Yes?" "You really do deserve the title Gazi-Mushir. Even if you've sworn to bring Sultan Vahideddin's throne toppling down. You're sure you won't reconsider? "Too late, my friend. The die's been cast. Many, many thanks, though." "Allah's'mahrladik!" "Go with God, yourself, Izzet. Gle gle." # Since the Greeks occupied Eskishehir, the trains between Istanbul and Ankara, which had run on a daily basis since the completion of the line in 1892, now operated only irregularly. Neither the sultan's government in Istanbul nor the nationalists in Ankara communicated much with the other these days, so the loss was inconvenient but not critical. Notwithstanding the raging war in Anatolia, both Turks and Greeks respected crossing of battle lines for humanitarian reasons. Thus it was that the small, wood-burning locomotive and its single hospital car left the nationalist capital on the steppe, and headed west, toward the crumbling city of the sultans. Inside the car, Nadji was strapped to a narrow, flat cot to minimize movement. His face, where it hadn't been burned, was deathly pale. What skin was not covered by dressings and bandages was translucent. For greatest part of the journey, he was mercifully unconscious. Only an occasional moan revealed he was still alive. The trip from Ankara to Haydarpasha station, on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorous, took fifteen hours. Turhan and Halide accompanied their friend. They slept fitfully through the first part of the journey, which traversed dry, brown steppe, awakening when Greek

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authorities stopped the train at Eskishehir for a thorough inspection. Even in the midst of war, large pallets, stenciled with foreign destinations, were stacked on the platform, awaiting the next Istanbul-bound train, whenever it would arrive. "Meerschaum," Turhan answered Halide's questioning glance. "The world's supply is mined in Eskishehir. Nowadays, most of it is shipped to Germany, where artisans have developed the carving of intricate pipes into their own art form." West of Eskishehir, the land became progressively greener, more lush, as they approached the Sea of Marmara. Turhan and Halide felt a thrill of nervous excitement as they approached the outskirts of Asiatic Istanbul. Despite Mustafa Kemal's dream of creating a metropolis on the steppe, the decaying Ottoman capital was still the city. Two hours after they passed Izmit, at the head of the Sea of Marmara, the engine pulled into Istanbuls Haydarpasha station, the ornate, gilded terminus of the Anatolian railroad, which still maintained its nineteenth century rococo elegance. They were cleared for immediate transfer by ferry to the European side of the city. Shortly after noon, Nadji was in the operating theater. # The operation on Nadjis shattered leg lasted ten hours. The burn specialists concluded there'd be no need for skin transplants. The medical team would depend on zinc compounds, constant moisturizing coolants, time, and nature to heal their patients burns. The fractured femur was something else. Efforts to regenerate the nerves would take months, and were highly speculative at best. The orthopedic surgeon located most of the bone fragments and, centimeter by arduous centimeter, achieved a reasonably good fit. Pins and metallic devices would be

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necessary to hold the delicate mechanism together. Fortunately, gangrene had not set in, but there were ugly indications the infection had spread and, unless brought under control swiftly, could easily become gangrenous. When they emerged from the theater, the eight doctors and their nurses were exhausted.

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"What's today?" "November first." "Allah, I've been unconscious for a month?" "A little more," Turhan said. "What happened? I remember seeing a bright flash of light." "You really don't want to know the details." "I recall Halide wafting in and out of my dreams." "She's been here to see you at five every afternoon. Doctor Ermenek arranged a teaching position for her at Robert College. The girls adore her. She's staying with the Ermeneks." "What about you?" "Ihsan was very understanding. He attached me to Isharet's Istanbul bureau for however long I want to stay. We've become the third largest newspaper in the country, next only to Hurriyet and Milliyet! Ihsan says thanks to me he's become a very wealthy man. And you, my friend, provided me with a wonderful exclusive story." "What do you mean?" "You're a celebrity. The sultan's ailing government cooperated fully with the

nationalists to give aid to one of the heroes of the Sakarya. Doctors from all over treated you at the university. The first operation took ten hours. Since then, they've done two others to clean you up, or whatever it is doctors do." "I itch dreadfully." "You should. You had serious burns over more than half your body. The doctors tell

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me you're healing nicely and that the worst of the itching is over. Now that you're back in our world, the doctors are looking forward to the beginning of the real work." "How so?" "You're very lucky to have the lower part of your body intact. Even more fortunate to have two legs, although if I were you, I wouldn't bother to look down at one of them. You broke everything possible in the upper half of your right leg." "Mashallah, my leg itches, too." "Let's hope that's genuine feeling, Nadji. Men who've undergone amputations often feel pain where the leg used to be." "Oh, there's no problem. I'll lift my leg to prove it." The sheet didn't move. After a minute of trying, Nadji turned pale. Turhan looked away. He didn't want Nadji to see his own expression. Shortly afterward, Doctor Ermenek made his rounds. Nadji was badly shaken by the realization his leg was not working at all. The doctor appeared to take this in stride. "Young man, you've been semi-conscious for more than a month. You've been lying around here like a piece of pastirma in the spice bazaar. Now you're upset because you can't jump up and run three kilometers the instant you wake up? You've got a lot of work ahead of you, Nadji. You're damned lucky. First, you can see. Second, your skin will most likely return to normal. And third, we've saved your life and your leg. It's up to you to make it work." Then, more gently, he said, "But I'm glad you're with us, boy. Let me try something. Close your eyes, please." Nadji did as he was told. The doctor lifted the blanket off his patient's right leg. "Tell me if you feel anything."

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A nurse brought him a piece of ice, which he applied to the bottom of Nadji's right foot. "Allah! That's cold!" "Good." remarked the doctor. He took out a small hammer and tapped the bottom of the same foot. "Now?" "I feel a tapping on my heel," Nadji replied. "Good." Doctor Ermenek removed a fork shaped instrument from his breast pocket and scratched along his patient's calf. "I feel a very slight irritation on my right lower leg." "Excellent," Doctor Ermenek replied, breathing an audible sigh and covering the leg. "You may open your eyes now. Nadji, I'm greatly relieved. Although our instruments showed there was some regeneration of nerves, we couldn't be sure unless we conducted tests when you were fully awake. I'll report this to my colleagues. I can't promise anything, but what just occurred is a good sign. A very good sign indeed." During the next several weeks, while the "very good signs" increased, Nadji became increasingly impatient, then frustrated. It was three weeks before he could move the covers at all when he tried to lift his right leg. He labored six hours a day in physical therapy, lifting first one pound, then five, finally twenty pound weights with it. The itching abated. Slowly, stiffly, painfully, he was able to put the slightest weight on the leg. The following week, the doctor allowed him to put a bit more on it. Turhan and Halide took turns

wheeling him to the hospital's pool. By year's end, Nadji found it possible to hobble around the ward on crutches. # "I'm glad to see you're making such splendid progress, Lieutenant. It seems all

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Istanbul has been praying for your recovery." "I'm sorry. I don't believe we've met." "Hkmdar, Abbas Hkmdar. Internal Security Police. You probably don't

recognize me out of uniform." Nadji's visitor smiled easily. "We met in winter of 1918 near Sultanahmet." The name and face were vaguely familiar. Then he remembered. My God, he was there the night Halide was raped. He saw my shame. He must know the guilt I bear like a stone weight. As if sensing Nadji's discomfort. the man continued smoothly. "That was long ago, my friend," the man continued. "Times were hard. You've nothing to be ashamed of. You've proved yourself a brave man." "You left a card that night. Osmanli Kardeshlik, the Ottoman Brotherhood," Nadji said. "You've an excellent memory, Lieutenant." Why is he here? Why now? Did Allah send him as a symbol to show He brought me such pain and suffering so I might atone for that night? "I'll get right to the point, Lieutenant Akdemir. You're one of the few genuine, apolitical heroes in this war. We know you graduated from the Nationalist Military

Academy. We're also aware you were discharged from the Ottoman Academy for nothing more than guilt by association. What do you really think of the Greeks, Lieutenant?" the man asked, abruptly switching to another subject. "Excuse me, Hkmdar Effendi. I feel a bit stiff. Would you mind terribly if we walk for a little while. My doctor said I should get as much exercise as possible."

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"But of course." Nadji, using a cane to assist him, hobbled down the hall to the solarium. The man's question troubled him. What did he really think of the Greeks? They were the enemy, at least in this war. But they'd lived in Turkey for as long as he could remember. They paid taxes, accepted their position as a minority. He could not remember any individual Greek who'd wished him ill will. They were human beings. Two photographs jumped into his line of vision. A small, dark-haired woman with a serious face, standing alone. A small, darkhaired woman with a serious face, flanked on each side by a little girl with braided hair. Nikos Stamoulatos, twenty-three, school teacher. Nadji bit down hard on his lower lip as he felt the choking sensation, knew the tears were not far behind. His visitor's words interrupted his thoughts. By concentrating on them, he tried to quiet the insistent echo in his head, Nikos Stamoulatos, twenty-three, school teacher. "Of course, you've only seen the Greek army from afar, so you wouldn't know whether they're like us or not." Nikos Stamoulatos, twenty-three, school teacher. Dear Mrs. Stamoulatos, it is my sad duty to inform you that your husband ... "Take my word for it. They don't think like us. I was raised dirt poor in the Sultanahmet slums. My father slaved for them, got a pittance for his efforts, and died physically and spiritually broken at an early age. A good Turk could never compete with any of them. They'll always be foreigners. They spit on us behind our backs. You can never trust any foreigner. They're only out to undermine our motherland." When they got to the solarium, Nadji sat down and stared out the window. Everything was gray. The Bosphorous, the sky, the snow-and-mud covered hills of Asiatic

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Istanbul. Mostly his spirit. Hkmdar took a seat nearby. "Do you know anything about the Ottoman Brotherhood?" Nadji shook his head. He had no idea where this conversation was leading, but he was becoming impatient. "Very few people do. There are thirty of us. We try to keep out of the public eye." "What does this have to do with me?" "The Brotherhood is a very special, self-perpetuating secret society, pledged to purify the Turkish race by ridding it of foreign elements. You'd be surprised at the power we wield in our homeland. We number among our members the Deputy Secretary to the Grand Vizier and the Assistant Minister of the Interior." Hkmdar mentioned other names. Each man occupied a post of immense power and prestige, either in the Ottoman government or within the Nationalist hierarchy. "They're grooming us to take over in the years ahead." "I don't understand what you're getting at." "I told you we were self-perpetuating. We're looking for a very few younger men of proven leadership capacity. As I said, we've observed you for some time. We think you'd honor yourself and the Brotherhood by joining our number." "You know my loyalties are to the Ankara government." "Your present loyalties do not concern us. The Brotherhood doesn't care who's in nominal power, here or anywhere else in Turkey. We are the power behind the power." "And if the government officials don't believe in your goals?" "It doesn't matter what they believe. They're only in authority so long as we want them to be."

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There was a cold ruthlessness in the man's manner that made Nadji nervous. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "I'm not sure I like what I hear." Hkmdar stood up. His face reddened. "You're a fool, Akdemir! You dare question the opportunity of a lifetime? Go ahead, then, associate with drug dealers and arms smugglers like your journalist friend, Turhan, and see where that gets you!" Impossible. Turhan? Now this fellow's gone too far. "Why not confront your friend?" Hkmdar continued, his voice becoming more strident with each word. "Ask him about the Agha Khorusun, or, better yet, the Agha Nikrat? Then imagine what it would do to your budding career if it became known that you associated with someone of such a questionable past." "I don't believe you!" Nadji rose and started hobbling toward his room as rapidly as he could. "I've known Turhan for ... You're crazy! I'll not listen to such slander!" "Oh, you think it's slander, do you, my fine young lieutenant?" the policeman shouted as he pursued Nadji down the corridor. "Don't forget, Akdemir, it's my job to know such things. I challenge Turhan to deny the charges. Let me fill you in on some of the sordid details of your friend's early life...." # "You know, Turhan, I know precious little about your childhood." "What's to tell, Nadji? Diyarbakir, the caravan, lyce." "And the Agha Nikrat?" Turhan blanched, bit his lower lip, and stared straight ahead. "What about the Agha Nikrat?" "Do you know what it could do to my career if the authorities learned of your past?"

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"What do you mean? What exactly do you mean, Nadji?" Turhan asked hotly. "You were involved with the Agha Nikrat. And the Agha Khorusun before him. Dealing in drugs. Smuggling arms to the Greeks." Turhan rose, went to the window, stared out. When he looked back at Nadji, he said quietly, "I did not `deal in drugs,' and I most certainly never questioned my associates about weapons of any kind." "You deny you paid for your early days in Istanbul from money you made running errands for the caravan master Ibrahim? For the aghas?" "I don't deny it at all. How else do you think I could have stayed alive in the capital?" "Then you did deal in drugs." "I ran errands. I owed loyalties. Without my friends, I'd have been nothing. If you're asking me if I'm ashamed of what I did, the answer's no, Nadji. I did what I had to do to stay alive, to fight a corrupt elite that thought no more of me than a pile of manure in the street!" Their voices were sharp and brittle. "Damn you, Turhan! If the generals found out your background, my career'd be finished before it got started." "Oh, excuse me, my Pasha!" Turhan roared. "How amazingly easy it is for you to find fault with others! You're the son of a general, the grandson of two colonels. When have you ever had to fight for a goddam thing in your life? You've had it all handed to you on a silver spoon. Military academy, commission, the security of a mansion in Shishli at a time when I waited on tables to eat. Just who the hell do you think you are to tell me how to live? I suppose you think I hang around you for the influence I might gain? Or that I'm

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trying to climb the rungs of society on your back, great hero?" "You're not answering my question. Did you or did you not deal in drugs?" "I've answered your question, and if you don't like my answer, you can shove it up your oh-so-clean arse! Yes, I made deliveries to the Agha's friends. And yes, I knew what I was delivering. Don't judge me by your standards, Nadji! What you were or what you've done in the past is none of my concern. I am what I am today, and I'll be damned if you or anyone else is going to question the way I got here!" "I think you'd better go," Nadji said, stonily. "Yes, perhaps I should. # Nadji was still in the hospital in January, 1922, when his family and friends prepared a celebration for his twentieth birthday. Turhan was conspicuously absent. After they'd cut the cake and sang birthday songs, Omer Akdemir hugged his son tightly and handed him two gifts. The first was wrapped in red tissue. "This is from the Gazi, who sent his regrets he couldn't come." Nadji unwrapped the paper carefully and opened what appeared to be a small jewelry case. Inside was a battered chrome watch, its chain still intact. There was a short message, written in Kemal's hand, "Dear Nadji: At the battle of Gelibolu, this watch saved my life. It has been a good friend in war. So have you. M.K." "I've another gift as well." He handed his son a set of captain's insignia, a medal, and two parchment certificates. The first conferred on Nadji Akdemir the rank of Kolagasi, Captain, in the Turkish Republican army. The second awarded Captain Nadji Akdemir the Grand National Assembly's Medal of Valor for service to his nation, above and beyond the call of duty. It was signed by Gazi Mustafa Kemal, President of the Turkish Republic.

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"Now I've got a surprise for all of you," Nadji said. He rose slowly from the bed, pulled himself up until he was propped by the bed railing, and said, "Remember when they said I might never walk again?" He put his cane aside and took one cautious step forward. Then another. The assembly buzzed excitedly as he reached out to take his third step. The spasm came like a thunderbolt, and he collapsed in a heap at their feet, screaming in pain. # "Go away. I don't want to see anybody." His voice was muffled, the covers pulled over his head. He'd turned toward the wall. "Don't you think you're acting childish, Nadji. Sooner or later you'll have to face me or suffocate," Halide insisted. "Maybe that's the best thing," he mumbled miserably. "Suit yourself. Running away from the problem's not going to make it any better. Besides, it's awfully hard to run when you haven't even tried to help your legs. You sat in a wheelchair, then you walked with a cane. Then, when you thought you were ready, you stumbled and fell. And after all that work, just because you fell once, you simply felt sorry for yourself and gave up." "That's a low, cheap thing to say!" he shouted angrily, emerging from under the covers and glaring at her. "You of all people know what it's like...." "Oh I do, do I?" she blazed back. "What do you mean, Nadji Akdemir? What exactly do you mean? Do you mean my hunchback? Or the fact that I was raped? Just which indignity do you think's the greatest, mine or yours? I couldn't do anything about mine. You can, but you won't do anything about yours! What have you suffered that's so

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great you have any right to tell me what I can or cannot say?" "My paralysis is Allah's punishment for taking you to Stamboul that night. For standing by and watching helplessly as you were violated. I knew I'd be punished for it sooner or later. Nothing in life happens without consequence." Halide was thoughtful for several moments. When she spoke, her tone was calm, measured. "That violation was a crime against me, Nadji, not you. As for my punishment, what sin could I have committed before my birth which led to my deformity? If there's nothing any of us can do about what happens, why bother to have doctors or teachers or scientists? "Some things can't be changed. They happen for reasons we can't understand. If you really want to talk about why I was raped I'm not afraid to use that word we must go back to when I fell in love with Metin Ermenek. I would never have come to Turkey but for him. Whom do I blame for his death? The Turks? The Allies? Myself? Did the fact we made love the night before he died cause him to momentarily forget where he was? To take a risk he'd not otherwise have taken? Did you volunteer to take me to Stamboul that night? Or did you go at my insistence? "I've come to grips with things I can't change. Long ago, I forgave Allah for the way I was born. I forgave Allah for taking Metin Ermenek from me. I refuse to accept my rape as punishment for Metin's death. I was raped, Nadji. Plain and simple. You didn't do it, you didn't cause it, and there was nothing you could do to prevent it. My body was violated. My soul remains my own. Put what happened behind you, my friend. I have. "When there's something I can change and I don't try, then I invite Allah's retribution. And when there's something you can change and you don't try, I cannot forgive

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you that. There's nothing wrong with your legs. You've convinced yourself you'll never walk again. Would you have survived Sakarya with such an attitude? The evening I met you, I gave you a gift, do you remember?" "A engraved marble paperweight that said `Nadji Akdemir, Pasha.'" "That's right. I placed my faith in you. I believed in you. I still believe in you. I can forgive you almost anything. But if you let me down and cause me to have wasted the francs I spent on that gift, I will never forgive you!" For the first time in weeks, he smiled. Then, uncontrollably, he started to cry, the emotions of years finally tearing away from his soul. Halide continued to visit him daily. Physically, Nadji improved. Emotionally, he felt a great emptiness. There were times when, inexplicably, he couldn't sleep at night. Abbas Hkmdar came by on two more occasions. Nadji finally convinced Abbas he would not join the Ottoman Brotherhood. The policeman's visits abruptly terminated. One day, Halide was just about leave when, for no reason she could discern, Nadji started shaking uncontrollably. "Are you all right?" "Yes. No. I don't know, Halide." "Would you like me to stay a while?" "Please." She sat in silence for as few moments. "I've spoken recently to Turhan." "I have nothing to say." "He's as badly hurt as you. Remember a couple of months ago when I talked about forgiveness?"

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"How can I forgive him after what he concealed from me?" Halide gazed steadily at him. When she spoke, she chose her words carefully. "He said almost the same thing, Nadji. He feels you betrayed the friendship by failing to accept him for what he is." "He consorted with drug dealers and gun-runners." "Are you such a saint that you've never sinned?" "You said what happened wasn't my fault." "That's not what I asked, Nadji. Let me tell you a little bit about Turhan Trkoglu. The Turhan you think you know. The one you don't know at all." For the next half-hour, Halide told Nadji the story of her friend Turhan. About a small village in southeast Turkey and a boy who tried to save the life of his Armenian teacher in the name of friendship. About a young man who sat watch for hour after sleepless hour to bring a deformed young woman back from the grave after her fianc had been killed, in the name of friendship. About an out-of-work reporter who risked his life to right a wrong being done to two strangers in a dark alley in Sultanahmet on a winter night when Turks were without rights in their own capital. And at the end, when Nadji was openly, unashamedly crying, she squeezed his hand. "Do you think he'll ever forgive me, Halide?" "Why don't you telephone him. Invite him here and see." "What if he refuses to accept my call?" "That's a chance you'll have to take, my friend. When you were just starting on the road to recovery, the first step was the hardest, and took the greatest amount of courage. Try and take another first step, Nadji. I can't think of two other people who'd better deserve the

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happiness that call would bring." # Next day, Nadji redoubled his efforts. If the physical therapist wanted him to work for an hour, he willed himself to work for two. Within six months after his birthday, less than a year after his injury, Nadji walked with only a slight limp. His body had filled out. All hint of boyishness was gone. Other than that slight limp, no one would ever have known that the incident near Polatli had happened. Or that he and Turhan had ever quarreled.

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Nadji returned to Ankara on July 1, 1922, amazed at the changes a year had wrought. New buildings rose everywhere throughout the valley. The capital was now a substantial city. The Gazi, Mustafa Kemal, occupied a spacious pink house on Chankaya hill, overlooking the capital. A community of villas adjoined his home. Nadjis parents were ensconced in one of them. Most of the ladies on Chankaya hill appeared in public unveiled, in the nationalist fashion. One day, Mustafa Kemal invited Nadji to his residence. It was furnished in comfortable, if heavy, Germanic style, with leather armchairs, Turkish carpets on every floor, and a collection of arms on the walls. His father, General Omer Akdemir, was there when Nadji entered Kemal's office. "Captain," the Gazi said. "The time has come for our army to make a final stand and rid our motherland of foreign forces. I'm meeting with officers of every rank. While the ultimate decision must be mine, I solicit your suggestions as to where our final assault should take place." For the next hour, the three men studied a large, three dimensional map of Anatolia spread on a table adjacent to the Gazi's modern desk, which contained red and blue flags showing troop concentrations, garrisons and strongholds. "Well?" the Mustafa Kemal asked. "Gazi," Nadji said. "The Greek forces are stretched over a three hundred mile front from the Sea of Marmara to the Menderes Valley. Their strong points are at Eskishehir in the north and Afyon in the south. If I were the Greek general, I'd expect a Turkish attack to come against Eskishehir, since we have our largest concentration of forces in that area. The Greeks would hardly expect us to attack Afyon, their most heavily fortified position. Afyon

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commands the direct supply line to Izmir. If we could knock out the strongest Greek position, our advance might be limitless." The Gazi stood up, moved around to the map table. He stared down at the map for several minutes, without a word. When he looked up, it was as though the other men in the room had intruded on his private thoughts. "Very well, Captain. Thank you for your thoughts. You may take your leave." Less than a fortnight later, Nadji returned to the pink house. His father, Kemal and a short, mild-looking man with sparse hair and a thin moustache, were present when he arrived at the Gazi's office. "Captain, this is my Chief of Staff, Ismet Pasha, who now calls himself Ismet Inn," Kemal said. "Ismet, Captain Akdemir is the young man I told you about. His ideas were interesting." He turned to the group. "Be seated, gentlemen. Let's have tea." He clapped his hands. A steward brought a silver tray with a sterling teapot, four crystal glasses and a large plate of sweets. "When I was fighting the final battles of the war against the Allies," Kemal said, "I was impressed by Allenby's campaign in Palestine. He recognized surprise was an essential element of a successful battle plan. We are going to attack the main Greek forces at Afyon and astonish them. During the next month, we'll withdraw the necessary troops from the north and move them east of Dumlupinar. We'll make all our movements at night. During daylight, the soldiers will rest in villages and under shade trees. They'll spread out as much as possible, to be invisible to the enemy's air reconnaissance. Those remaining behind will light extra campfires near Eskishehir each night, so it'll look like we're massing to take that city.

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"General Akdemir, you'll be in charge of the northern ruse. Ismet, you'll supervise the movement of troops in place. Captain, you'll act as liaison between the northern and southern commands." "And you, Gazi?" Ismet asked. "I'll be where I belong. Commanding the front." # At 8:00 PM, August 25, 1922, all communications between Anatolia and the outside world suddenly ceased. Telegrams went unanswered. All telephone circuits were inexplicably busy. The last trains of the evening between Istanbul and Ankara had departed and were enroute to their destinations. The railroad station at Ankara had closed for the night. Outside Eskishehir, troops lit more fires than usual. For the first time in months, cannons rumbled as the Turks lobbed a few shells into the Greek lines. The Greek commander, General Hajianestis, was settling in to sleep on his yacht in Smyrna harbor, which the Turks called Izmir, when he learned of the assault. He believed the attack would burn itself out by daybreak, but just in case, he ordered a large contingent of troops to proceed north from Afyon as insurance. That night, Kemal quietly moved his headquarters to a camp just outside Afyon. His troops marched into position on the slopes under cover of darkness. An hour before dawn the Greeks, many of whom were sleeping off the effects of a party in Afyon the night before, were suddenly awakened by the thunderous roar of an artillery barrage. Kemal's orders were short and to the point: "Soldiers, your goal is the sea!" During the next five days Turkish forces mowed down the enemy. They overran

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Hellenic defense positions within twelve hours of the first shot. A week later, Izmit, Afyon, and Eskishehir fell to the nationalist forces. Half the Greek army had been captured or slain. The remaining troops fled in disarray toward the coast. In their frustration, Constantine's surviving soldiers burned and looted villages, raped any female over the age of nine they could find, and trampled the crops. If the Turks could not be beaten, they'd be given cause to remember who'd been here. The government in Athens asked Britain to arrange a truce that would at least preserve Greek rule in Izmir. The Gazi refused to even talk about it. One by one, the Greek bastions fell, Aydin, Balikesir, Bursa. The Greeks razed Manisa, then continued their disorderly retreat toward the Aegean. Constantine's government resigned. By September 7, the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmara were under Turkish control. It was a lightning victory, unparalleled in Turkish history. The war rapidly approached its climax. Thousands of Greek soldiers and peasants flooded into Izmir from all over Anatolia. Fifty thousand Greek soldiers, civil servants, and police boarded a convoy of warships and sailed for Athens, leaving behind a like number of prisoners of war, and uncounted Greek peasants. By September 9, Izmir was in nationalist hands. The following day, Gazi Mustafa Kemal, wearing a plain Turkish uniform with neither insignia nor badges, drove into Izmir at the head of a procession of open cars decked with olive branches. He went directly to konak, the government building on the quay, which had been Greek headquarters. A large Greek flag was spread like a carpet on its steps. Kemal said Greek national pride had suffered enough. He refused to walk on the blue and white banner, and ordered its removal.

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Kemal scheduled a formal dinner celebrating the Turkish entry into Izmir for September 13. The guest list included Hamdi lker, the distinguished Turkish statesman who'd been instrumental in negotiating the recent Turkish-French accords, and his wife. Gazi, lker remarked to Kemal, "might I beg a small favor of you?" "It never hurts to ask, Effendim." "My daughter, Aysheh, is home from the university in Bologna for a month. She's nineteen and has never attended a state social event. Would it be possible for her to attend this one? I assure you the child will not disgrace your table." "Of course, my friend. Not only that, but," his blue eyes sparkled, "I've got a dinner companion in mind for her." Less than five hours before the scheduled event, Mustafa Kemal spoke with his old friend, General Akdemir. "Omer," he said, "I'd like to have Nadji attend the state dinner this evening." "You make it sound more like a command than an invitation. What have you in mind?" "Hamdi lker's daughter has no escort for the event..." Akdemir laughed out loud. "Rest assured the boy will be there." That evening, Nadji entered the Izmir Palas hotel attired in his finest dress whites. The tall, brown-haired young man, with wide shoulders and slender waist, was the picture of what Kemal wished to present to the world as the new face of Turkey. He was

extraordinarily handsome, with close-cropped, stylish moustache, clear green eyes and an engaging, open smile. He wore several military decorations, including the Grand National

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Assembly medallion. More than a few women noticed him as he strode through the hotel's entryway. He thought about the conversation that had brought him here. "Father, why would the Gazi want me at the event? The most important people in Izmir have been invited. I'm a mere captain." "Don't ask me, Nadji. I'm just passing on the invitation." Nadji was discreetly directed to a velvet-lined elevator, which whisked him to the top floor of the hotel. As he walked into the room, looking for his father, he heard the Gazi's voice. "And this is Captain Nadji Akdemir, the young man I told you about." But she was all he saw. Grey-violet eyes. Allah! I've never seen that color. His only conscious impression was of huge, incredibly beautiful eyes. Then she spoke. Her voice was warm and throaty. "The hero of Polatli. The man who forced the old and new governments of Turkey to cooperate, while we prayed for his recovery. I'm glad to meet you, Captain." The apparition smiled. She had even, white teeth. Thick, luxuriant, honey-colored hair fell in soft waves to her shoulders, surrounding the most beautiful face he'd ever seen. And stunning grey-violet eyes. The look on Nadji's face was not lost on Kemal, who impishly said, "I'm afraid, Aysheh Hanim, our hero has momentarily lost his voice. Kolagasi Nadji," he said. "May I present Miss Aysheh lker, daughter of our government's ambassador-designate to the United States of America." Nadji reached out, took Aysheh's hand and bowed. "Miss lker, please pardon my oafishness. I am dazzled."

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The girl was well aware of the effect she had on men. They often tried pompously or dismissively to disguise their feelings in her presence, but the message came through. This young man's candor was certainly an appealing change. And he really was quite handsome. "I'm flattered," she replied, flashing that incredible smile again. The girl wore no makeup and needed none. Her face was oval-shaped with clear, translucent skin,

emphasized by the simple, high-necked black gown she wore. She was a head shorter than Nadji. "Would the captain care to escort me to dinner?" she asked. Again that caressing voice. He offered her his arm. When she took it, he felt dizzy. Somehow, he reached the table without tripping over himself, where footmen held out their chairs. Dinner conversation centered on the great offensive that had brought the army to Izmir. Kemal reminisced, the raki having loosened his tongue. "Indeed," he said, "Omer Pasha on my north flank, Ismet on my south, the gallant young captain racing between them." Nadji blushed deeply. "Twice a hero," his lovely dinner companion said. "I'm impressed." "Believe me, it was nothing, Miss lker," he volunteered clumsily. Stupid boor, he thought, can't you say something with a shred of intelligence? "Why not call me Aysheh?" "It would be my honor Miss, uh, Aysheh." Say something, idiot. Anything.

Anything at all. You don't want to lose her. "I, uh, understand your father is being posted to America." Good, idiot. Now see if you can put two sentences together before she gets up and walks away. "Have you been there as well?" "No, I'm afraid not. The farthest I've been is Italy."

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"Oh." Wonderful, you ass. What a brilliant statement. "What were you doing there, Miss Aysheh?" "I spent last year at the University in Bologna, studying the history of western civilization." Wonderful. You could not know less about anything. "I'm afraid my education is sadly lacking. I've traveled throughout Turkey, but my training has been at the military academy. I've learned much about Turkish history, but I profess my ignorance of the rest of the world." He's like a little boy, she thought. Charming, really. "Tell me about Bologna," he said, conversation becoming a little not much easier. "Except for the university, which goes back seven hundred years, it's not very old by Turkish standards. Bologna's just another big city. But it's not far from Venice, and that's a city like none other. The only two ways to get around are by gondola through the canals, or on foot over the hundreds of bridges. It's such a romantic place. It reminds me a little bit of Istanbul." "Do you miss your family when you're away?" "Yes, but I've learned to live with that. Father will probably have several overseas postings now that it appears the nationalists will govern Turkey, and Mother will undoubtedly go with him. My older sister, Talya, is married with two children and lives in Istanbul. I may not see much of her either. Somehow I'll have to learn to fend for myself." Not if I can help it, Nadji thought. "You know," she continued, "one of my favorite places when I was growing up was

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Ephesus. I haven't been there in years. It's less than a day's journey. Would you think me very forward if I asked you to escort me to the ruins? I'm leaving for Italy in three weeks. I'd so love to see it again." The captain blushed and was about to answer when they heard shouting immediately outside the room. The door burst open and a dark-haired little man said, "Gazi, ladies and gentlemen. I think you need to vacate the hotel. Izmir is on fire!" As he rushed to the window, Nadji saw Gzel Izmir beautiful Izmir burning with an eerie, copper-colored light. "I think," Omer Akdemir said to his son, "we should escort the guests to safety. The elevator's probably jammed with panicked people trying to get out of this building. Look for a stairway." Nadji found the unused exit, went swiftly back to the room, secured his cloak, and sought out Aysheh. "Miss lker," he said. "We must evacuate immediately. Please take my coat with you for protection. It's bound to be chilly in the night air. You can return it when next we meet." He directed the senior lkers toward the staircase. "Please go ahead," he said. "I'll gather the others. I wanted you to go first, so you wouldn't be lost in the crush." Aysheh smiled at him with frank appreciation. After he saw them safely descend, he went into the city to do what he could to help. As it happened, that was precious little indeed. # Although Turks, Greeks and Armenians all blamed one another, no one ever found out how the first blaze started. As the inferno spread, looters and Turkish soldiers, settling old scores, started other fires throughout the city. The fire brigade discovered to its horror that all the city's fire hoses had been cut and the water cisterns emptied. Ismet, who'd left the party and was now in command, declared that the Greeks had planned to burn the city as

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their parting "gift" to the conquering Turkish army. Within two hours, flames spread to the waterfront, driving inhabitants and refugees toward the sea. Immediately after he reported to the Turkish command post, Nadji went to Konak hospital. He directed soldiers to bring the sick and aged down to the safety of the harbor on improvised stretchers, and made over a fifty such trips himself. Bewildered people, their eyes glazed, huddled in the streets. Just after midnight, the entire line of houses along the waterfront caught fire all at once. Crowds surged away from the burning houses in panic. Their screams were louder than the crackling flames. When a rumor spread that Turkish machine gunners were blocking each end of the quay, bedlam erupted. Thousands of people, frightened out of their minds, wandered aimlessly about, many carrying flaming bundles. Nadji shouted that the rumor was false, but his voice was lost among the shrieks of terrified people, and the loud crack of wooden buildings collapsing. Towers of raging flame rose hundreds of feet into the air. Every small craft in the harbor ferried people to ships anchored in the Bay. These vessels could not accommodate even half the terrified crush of humanity. Women threw their children into boats to save them. Men dove into the water. The strongest of them swam out to the warships. There were boats and bodies everywhere. It was impossible for the ships standing offshore to take on the thousands in the bay. Each gave priority to its own nationals. The others would somehow have to fend for themselves. Families crowded onto small fishing boats, pushing, shoving, overloading. Many flimsy vessels capsized. Their inhabitants drowned. Men and women poured out of burning buildings onto Birinji Kordon. A woman in her mid-twenties burst out of a nearby apartment house, screaming hysterically, her dress

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afire. Nadji grabbed a blanket and pushed the woman to the ground, then rolled her in the wool cover, snuffing out the flames. "My baby!" the woman screamed, oblivious to her own pain. "My baby's still upstairs! She'll burn to death! I must go back!" Nadji looked up and saw a young girl, about four years old, in the second story window of a building once removed from the inferno. It was obvious that within minutes, the fire would spread to the residence and consume the child. He ran over and grabbed a bystander. "We can't let that child die!" he shouted. "Help me!" The two raced over to the building. The middle-aged man who'd followed him grasped one end of the large blanket. Nadji seized the other. "Jump!" he shouted to the little girl. "I can't. I'm afraid," she whimpered. "Listen, darling," Nadji spoke calmly. "You won't get hurt. This man and I are holding the blanket. We won't let go. Just jump into it. You'll be all right." "Promise?" she asked. "My word of honor." His voice was strong and confident. The child, reassured, closed her eyes, pinched her nose with her thumb and forefinger and jumped. The youngster bounced lightly as she hit the blanket, then settled into the cover. Nadji hugged the little one and carried her to safety across the street. He turned to thank the man who'd helped him, but the fellow had disappeared. As dawn broke, a new sound added the final touch of surrealism and ghastliness to this night in hell. According to custom, when the British fleet was in port, the flagship's naval band began each morning with a rousing serenade. Faithful to that tradition, musicians on board the British command vessel started playing bright, martial music, which mingled incongruously with the screams of the victims and the roar of the flames.

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The sun rose. The wind abated. The fire died down. In a single night, twenty-five thousand buildings were burned to the ground. The most beautiful Turkish city on the Aegean, Smyrna, was no more. Miraculously, relatively few lives were lost. But the destruction of property was catastrophic. The western press quickly condemned the Turkish military for this final atrocity of the war. A week after Smyrna was razed, Mustafa Kemal declared that a new western-style city a wholly Turkish city would rise from the ashes of Turkey's second metropolis. It would be more beautiful, more cohesive than before. It would truly be Gzel Izmir.

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"Thank you so much for returning my cloak." It was all Nadji could say. He was tongue-tied again. She looked even more appealing by daylight than she had at night. For the past ten days, he'd commanded patrols clearing the harbor of rubble and debris. Though the evening of the thirteenth had ended as a nightmare, it had started with a dream. He couldn't get that dream out of his mind. Now she'd appeared again. Aysheh wore a loose-fitting, tan summer dress that highlighted her every soft curve. Her lustrous hair cascaded over her shoulders. She seemed somehow smaller. As he glanced down, Nadji realized why. In place of the fashionable European high heeled shoes she'd worn that night, she was wearing flat sandals. Her legs were slender, as perfectly proportioned as the rest of her. She caught his admiring stare and teased, "When you've had enough of looking, would you care to listen to what I have to say?" He blushed deeply. "I'm...I'm sorry, Miss lker...uh..." "`Aysheh' will do very well. I seem to recall a dashing young captain who promised to take me to Ephesus. It's been ten days. I'm still waiting." "Well, uh, Miss lker...Aysheh, I've been awfully busy since the fire and I had no idea where you lived, and..." the words came out in a fumbled rush. "And you couldn't have found that information through the Gazi or your father?" she scolded, teasingly. "What if our home had been destroyed by the fire? Would you have tried to rescue me?" "I didn't think. I'm sorry." "Is that all you can say this morning? Nadji Akdemir, do you intend to take me to Ephesus or not?"

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"You still want to go with me?" "Do you think, Captain, that a young lady of my `status'," she pirouetted gaily about, mocking herself, "would have come here simply to return a coat?" "Well, uh, when did you have in mind that we go?" "I'm in no hurry. You may requisition an automobile and pick me up tomorrow morning, promptly at nine," she said, with charming insouciance. "You needn't bother to pack a picnic lunch. I'll have one ready for us. I'll see you then, Mon Capitain." She was gone in the swish of a skirt. Nadji was befuddled, bemused, and more than a little in love. That afternoon, General Omer Akdemir grumbled, "I suppose this is the wave of the future. `Father, can I use the family car, I have an important engagement?' What do you expect the poor old man to say?" "Try `yes,' father?" "Who's this `important engagement' anyway? Someone I might know?" "She was at the dinner party the night of the fire. Aysheh lker." "Hamdi's daughter? Well, you have my permission, not that you'd need it, my blessing and, most important for your purposes, the keys to the car. Drive carefully." "By the way, father. Have you any idea where the lkers live?" # Nadji was up before seven the following morning. He inspected the car to make certain every speck of dust was removed. His father had kept the aging Mercedes in mint condition. Although the odometer showed nearly one hundred ten thousand kilometers, the car's body gleamed as if it had just come from the factory. Nadji showered a long time, soaping often, taking advantage of the wonderful western amenities offered at his father's

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quarters. He applied talcum powder to his body, then shaved, cursing as the razor nicked his neck. Damn! He'd wanted to look absolutely perfect. He pondered for half an hour what he should wear. The military dress outfit looked so well on him. Yet it would be out of place on a picnic. Finally, he selected an open-necked brown shirt with matching western-style trousers. No good. A green shirt would much better bring out the color of his eyes. Wonderful, Nadji, you're as fussy and vain as a woman. In the end, he wore a plaid shirt with olive-colored slacks, and a light, civilian jacket. He arrived at the fashionable suburb of Gztepe at eight forty-five, and sat impatiently in the car. After what seemed an eternity, he looked down at his watch. It must have stopped. Surely more than five minutes had gone by! Finally, it was four minutes to nine. Acceptable. As soon as he got to the front door, it swung open. "I was wondering if you were going to sit in the car the entire morning. Come in, Nadji, we're just finishing breakfast. My, don't you look the sporty one?" His senses were assailed by the delicate, flowery scent, the beauty of the young woman, and her wonderful, musical voice. "Good morning Hamdi Effendim, Madame lker," Nadji said respectfully, bowing slightly. "Good morning, Captain," the diplomat responded. "You'll take good care of our daughter, of course?" A smile crinkled the corners of his mouth. Hamdi lker had studied the young officer's dossier after the dinner party. What he'd seen had pleased him. "Yes, Sir. If you'd like, there's plenty of room for you and Madame lker to come with us. If there's not enough food, I'd certainly be willing to stop enroute." "Never mind, young man," Aysheh's mother answered sharply. "Hamdi has been promising for weeks he was going to sort out what things he intends to take to Washington."

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"Come on, Nadji," Aysheh said. "My parents simply want to be alone." She bent down and kissed her mother, then stood on her tiptoes and bussed her father on the cheek. "We'll be back before nightfall." "Drive carefully. Have a good time, children," Hamdi said, dismissing them. Aysheh wore a summery yellow outfit. She looks more beautiful every time I see her, Nadji thought. In the two weeks since the party, Nadji had read everything he could get his hands on about Ephesus. Still, he relished the sound of her voice on the way down as she talked about the place. "Pompeii was a wealthy holiday town of twenty-five thousand when it was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius eighteen hundred years ago. Ephesus was the third largest city in the Roman Empire, ten times as large as Pompeii. It wasn't destroyed by a sudden catastrophe. It hung on for several hundred years until the Menderes River silted up its harbor. More than two hundred fifty thousand people lived in Ephesus during the time of the prophet Jesus." "And today?" "Less than five percent of the ruins have been uncovered." They drove for three hours over the modern, two lane macadam highway. The hillsides were verdant with tea and tobacco plantations. At one point, they stopped to watch a small caravan, a dozen camels walking by the side of the road, each loaded with an assortment of commodities. "They become scarcer each year," Nadji said. "As more roads are built and Turkey acquires more trucks, we'll see less and less of the old ways in Turkey. It's sad, really. I witnessed `progress' in Ankara, during the past couple of years. When I first saw the place, it was a dusty, thirsty little town. Now, buildings have sprouted like weeds all over the

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place. There are more than a hundred thousand people, but the atmosphere I felt when I first arrived has disappeared." "You mean the captain is a romantic?" she chided. "I thought that kind of thing was left to women." "Not always. My father's a gentle man, but that gentleness comes from strength. When you're strong, confident in yourself, you can appreciate beauty and tenderness." Shortly before noon, they reached Selchuk, from which a narrow road led to the ruins. Less than a mile off the main highway, Nadji stopped the car and pointed wordlessly up and to the right. The crenellated walls of a huge, ancient structure sat atop a large hill, five hundred feet above them. "The Citadel," Aysheh said. "It's one of the best places from which to see Ephesus. Ready for a hike?" Within a quarter hour, they'd scaled the heights of the butte. The view from the summit was worth the walk. The rocky bones of the ancient metropolis spread over a field several miles wide. "Behold, the Acropolis of Selchuk!" Aysheh announced proudly. "This part dates from the fall of the Roman Empire in the west. Successive conquerors built onto it for the next thousand years." As they entered the walls, she pointed out a huge, skeletal building. "Originally, this was the church of Saint John the Evangelist. The Christians say his tomb is somewhere under the building. Eventually, the place became a warehouse. Then, a hundred years ago, it was destroyed in an earthquake." "Behold," Nadji responded, imitating her tone of voice, "the lunch which Nadji Akdemir carried up to the Acropolis of Selchuk!" He unfolded a blanket and they sat, contentedly eating dolma sttuffed grape leaves cold sliced lamb, bread and pickled

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vegetables. Aysheh removed bottles of orange and apple juice from the hamper. Afterward, stretching out on the blanket, they stared up at an azure sky. Puffy clouds drifted lazily above them. Nadji felt a gentle tap on his shoulder. "Hey, my escort, you've dozed off. I thought I was more seductive than that." "You are, Aysheh," he said, blushing. It's just that it's so beautiful up here, the sun's so warm, and I felt so relaxed." "Relaxed, are you? Well, Captain, how does this suit your idea of relaxation?" She leaned over and boldly kissed him on the mouth. The young man, caught with his guard down, responded vigorously. Before long they were stroking one another, kissing hungrily, passionately. They stopped, each breathless, shaken. "Animal!" she said, winking. "Trying to take advantage of a sweet, innocent young maiden. Come on, we'd better see Ephesus before something happens that shouldn't." She grasped his hand and pulled him to his feet. They descended to the valley below. After a short drive to the entrance of Ephesus, they walked along a street of pure, white marble, with columns, statues, and ruins and remnants of shops and houses everywhere. When Nadji pulled out his pocket watch, he was startled to find it was three in the afternoon. "I know it's getting late," Aysheh said, "but I'd so like to stop at the small museum in Selchuk on the way back, if only for half an hour." "Of course," he said, holding her hand and smiling down at her. "This has been the happiest day of my life." She grinned and pressed back. "It certainly hasn't been the worst in mine." The museum was small, but impressive. Each piece had been selected lovingly, by

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an educated hand. "There's something I'd like to show you, Nadji. However," she said, barely suppressing a giggle, "it's for men only." She pointed to a remote corner of the room. There was small, plain case, covered in wood, as if a new exhibit were going to be placed there, and it wasn't quite ready. Nadji approached the case. A small, unobtrusive sign to the right of the exhibit read, "View what's inside the case only if you are not faint of heart." A miniature block and tackle was attached to the wood cover. Nadji pulled the rope. The cover lifted from the case. He looked inside briefly and immediately dropped the cover. There was no bang as the plywood walls dropped into place, coming to rest on a thick, rubber cushion. Whoever had planned the exhibit must have been aware of the shock it would cause. He looked across the room. Aysheh convulsed with laughter. Slowly, hypnotized by what he'd seen, he lifted the wooden casing again and stared. A small, terra cotta statuette, eight inches tall and two thousand years old, grinned back at him. The little fellow's penis, as long as the statue was tall, pointed straight out and up. A sign inside the case, at the foot of the statue read, "The mischievous little god Besh. In the days of the Roman empire, prostitution was a prevalent and socially accepted part of daily life. The small statue you see above `pointed out' the way to where such entertainment could be found." When Nadji lowered the cover a second time and looked back, Aysheh was in animated conversation with a spry gentleman of seventy. He crossed the room to them. "Nadji," Aysheh said, "I'd like you to meet one of my favorite people in the world, Professor Ismail Dora. Uncle Ismail taught anthropology and archaeology at Istanbul University. Professor, this is my friend, Captain Nadji Akdemir. Professor Dora's known me since..."

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"Since before you were born, my dear. We don't speak of that, since it would age me even more. I'm pleased to meet you, Captain. Might I suggest since it's getting quite late to be driving home, you consider spending the night here? My home has several extra rooms. I'll telephone Ambassador lker to make sure it's all right. It'll give me an excuse to talk with Hamdi." Nadji and Aysheh smiled at one another. "Would you mind terribly, Uncle Ismail?" Aysheh asked. "Of course not." He returned some minutes later, a smile lighting up his features. "All arranged," he said. "Tomorrow when you return to Izmir, you'll have a passenger. Hamdi's invited me to spend the week there." Although Professor Dora was a widower, his studies kept him far from lonely. His cook and housekeeper, a woman from Selchuk village, cared for him as if he were a child. After dinner, Dora suggested the three of them sit outside on his porch, to take advantage of the lovely evening breeze. His house was located on a rise above the ruins. Nadji and Aysheh watched as the sun set in the west, lighting the pillars and marble roads with a redgolden fire similar to, but much kinder than, the one they'd experienced in Izmir two weeks before. They sat together on a double swinging couch suspended from the roof. Their host sat on a bentwood rocker. For the next hour, they listened as he told them of his life in the now defunct Empire. Aysheh leaned lightly against Nadji and held his hand in hers. He shivered despite the warmth of the early autumn evening. He felt as though someone were tickling him inside, and found it hard to concentrate on what Professor Dora was saying. At length, the professor stood up, stretched, and said, "It's easy for young people to

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stay up 'til all hours. Not so for an old fellow like me. Each of your rooms is off the dining room. Your beds are turned down and ready. I'll leave a lamp burning in the house to light your way. Don't stay up too late." # Nadji and Aysheh sat in silence for awhile, holding hands and rocking. A full moon had risen in the east. They looked down at the remains of the city, which had turned silvery white. They kissed, tenderly at first, then passionately, taking up where they'd left off that afternoon. Soon kissing would not be enough. Aysheh broke loose and jumped to her feet. "Come on," she said, her voice strained and husky, "let's go see Ephesus by night." It took them ten minutes to find their way down the hill, into the ghost city. Alternating shadows and lustrous bright spots created by moon and marble made the place a magical wonderland. Nadji led the way down a narrow avenue until they came to a wide marble road. The shells of the ancient stores provided a sheltered covering. He turned to speak to his lovely companion. Aysheh was gone. At first, he thought she'd simply stopped to look at one of the pillars or a small building near by. Then he became concerned. "Aysheh," he called softly. There was no reply. He called again, this time with greater force. Still no response. Nadji heard a slight, shuffling noise twenty yards away. He started over to investigate the sound, then stopped dead in his tracks. Aysheh emerged from the shadows wearing a wonderfully inviting smile. And nothing else. Nadji's breath caught in his throat. She was the most heart-stoppingly dazzling creature he'd ever seen. She crooked her finger, signaling him to come to her. He moved stiffly, woodenly, in a trance. Aysheh stood as still as an alabaster statue of Venus. In his

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eyes, the goddess of love would have wept in frustration had she stood in competition with this maiden. "Aysheh?" "Years from now, when our children's children are grown, look at me then, and remember me as I am at this moment." The apparition was gone. Moments later, she was clothed. They walked in loving silence back to Professor Dora's home, amidst the music of a thousand crickets. # On July 24, 1923, after months of the most difficult negotiations, Turkey and the Allies signed the Treaty of Lausanne. Having earned its right to do so, Turkey came to the bargaining table as an equal. The integrity of the Turkish nation was preserved. The war was finally over. That same week, under a canopy of flowers, Nadji Akdemir's dream came true. Aysheh lker, changed her name to his. That night, they did not listen to the sound of crickets, nor the orchestra serenading them beneath their bedroom window. They made exquisite music of their own.

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PART FOUR

HEROES

1928-1937

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1 In spring, 1928, Halides father, Yujel Orhan died in his sleep. The years since the Great War had been good to him. He'd found happiness in his marriage to Franoise, who had died the year before. Due to a series of fortunate investments, Yujel had become a wealthy man. His entire estate went to Halide. Halide's ties to France receded. At Omer Akdemir's suggestion, she purchased a large home, which she jokingly called the Belgrade Palas, in the Belgrade Forest, several miles north of Istanbul. remainder of her funds to Switzerland for security. The Ottoman Empire was now a memory. The last sultan had been deposed and retired to San Remo. The caliph the Islamic religious leader had been banished to Geneva. After putting down a revolt in Kurdistan, and divorcing his wife Latife, who'd grown increasingly bitter during their brief, stormy marriage, Mustafa Kemal was in full control of the new Turkish republic. At the beginning of July, 1928, Halide, Turhan and Nadji were among those summoned to a meeting at the presidential palace in Ankara, now the capital of Turkey. Early that morning, Turhan took Halide to breakfast at the newly completed Tusan Hotel. Over tea, bread, olives, feta cheese and rose-petal jam, the traditional Turkish breakfast, Turhan remarked, "If anyone had told me a year ago that ten thousand houses would be crawling up Chankaya hill, I'd have thought him crazy. Now, Ankara spreads as far as the eye can see." "Kemal's made so many changes, it's hard to keep up with him," she replied. "Three years ago, he outlawed the fez and decreed that every man must wear a hat when he went She transferred the

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outdoors. European hat makers emptied their warehouses and sent every outdated Panama and Homburg they had to Anatolia. We snapped them up as if they were food and we'd not eaten in three days." "The man has salam tashak stone balls. I was with him the day he went to Kastamonu, our most reactionary province. The mountain folk didn't know what to expect. In one village, an artist had drawn a portrait of Kemal, the slayer of infidels, as a warrior with sweeping moustaches and a sword seven feet long! The president showed up cleanshaven, wearing a European summer suit, open-necked sport shirt, and panama hat. Imagine the shock when the villagers saw the Gazi looking like an infidel!" "I certainly approve of his position on women," Halide said. "I don't know," Turhan replied, winking. "I'm not saying they should have to wear the veil in public, but giving them the vote is really too much!" She glared at him. Turhan playfully pulled out the blue "evil eye" pendant on the keychain he carried and held it toward her. When they arrived at the presidential palace, they found a place next to Nadji and sat down. Promptly at the appointed hour, Mustafa Kemal strode in. His commanding blue eyes took in the audience. "Hosh geldiniz, arkadashlar! Welcome my friends! Don't worry. This isn't the Grand National Assembly. No three hour speeches today. I've called each of you here for a particular reason. Look around this room. Teachers, military officers, nurses, journalists. People who make a difference. Women as well as men. Not a politician in the lot." He waited for the laughter to subside before continuing. "The Turkish Republic is entering the twentieth century, nearly thirty years behind the rest of Europe."

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He stopped and looked at his audience with pleasure. "There are as many women as men in Turkey. Progress is impossible when half our nation stays chained to the kitchen, the veil, the home, while the other half reaches for the skies. That's why it's critically important that women as well as men build the new Turkey. For seven hundred years, we've turned our backs on the most basic element of our thought and communication, the Turkish language. We've absorbed Arabic writing and Persian literature. We speak every tongue but the Turkish our fathers brought here so long ago. "This afternoon, I intend to announce to the Grand National Assembly that on December first, six months from now, we are returning to the Turkish language. Arabic writing and the Ottoman language will be abolished. Turkey will have a new alphabet based on Western European script. We'll start rebuilding our Turkish heritage from the ground up." There was a collective gasp in the room. "I will further announce the appointment of a commission for the purification of the language. Their goal will be to research literature Turkish literature from a thousand years ago, and find our heritage, the old words that have meaning. As new inventions come along, we may borrow foreign words, but the basic language will be our own. "What does this have to do with each of you? Every man and woman in this room is young, healthy and vigorous. Each of you has been highly educated, some in European universities, others in Turkish schools. Each of you possesses qualities that have made you succeed beyond your peers. Most important, every one in this room is a human being of warmth, courage and determination, a person who influences others. "Each of you can and I hope each of you will accept a special presidential

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posting. Anyone who does not feel he or she can make this sacrifice is free to turn my request down with no hard feelings and absolutely no recriminations. If you accept this challenge, the greatest in Turkey's history, the government will pay each of you reasonable, if not generous, compensation. We will guarantee that upon completion of your two years in the service of your country, those of you who are employed by others will be restored to your positions at no disadvantage." Not one person who had attended the meeting refused the Gazi's challenge. # The three friends were pleased to find that each of them had been assigned to work in Turkey's southeast quadrant. Halide was to go from village to village, teaching the new alphabet and language, then bringing the best and brightest from each place to Diyarbakir, where she would train them to become teachers. Nadji was promoted to binbashi, Major, on detached duty from the Turkish General Staff, and assigned to Adana to supervise the education of all Turkish soldiers in his sector. Since the army regularly drew thousands of raw, village recruits each year, there would be a large pool whose potential had never been tapped. Turhan's task was to organize the creation and distribution of newspapers among the newly literate citizens of southeast Turkey.

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The muezzin summoned the faithful to prayer, the first of five calls that would take place that day. Munir Hodja, the elderly village imam, went to the small, muddy stream that trickled through the outskirts of the village, a hundred feet from his house, and splashed some tepid, sour-smelling water onto his face and beard. The Prophet admonished complete cleanliness in all things. The Prophet had never lived in Suvarli. The priest felt the knot in his stomach. He'd not moved his bowels in three days. His body felt plugged-up, stale. Thirty yards from the house, he squatted over the compost pile and tried again. Nothing. "Bohk!" he muttered, using the vulgar word for excrement. No, that wasn't the problem. No bohk was the problem, he thought bitterly. He'd tell the old woman later in the day. The one thing other than scolding at which his wife was proficient was knowing what medicinal vegetables and herbs loosened his bowels. Munir bowed toward Mecca and intoned the words of the prayer by rote. Momentarily, he heard the voices of two young shepherds leading their sheep to pasture. Stupid imbeciles, he thought. What do they know of life? They laughed rudely and noisily, with not a care in the world. Wait 'til they were seventy-five, hunched over with arthritis, simply trying to make it from one day to the next with the minimum possible pain and stiffness. Wait 'til their hearing diminished so they could barely hear the whispers, "Smelly old goat. Father says not to say anything, just bow courteously, or he'll turn you into a worm." Wait 'til their teeth rotted away and all they could eat was thin gruel or oatmeal. Ah, youth! Why had he been robbed of a youth he'd never enjoyed? When he was young, the caliph ensured that he enjoyed position and prestige in this pestilential village. Now the caliph was gone. The infidel held the reins of power. Four

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years ago, that Allah-cursed Mustafa Kemal had outlawed the fez and forced men to wear the shapka. The government banned the mevlana, the whirling dervishes in Konya.

Abomination! Abominations all! The imam picked listlessly at the lice in his hair and beard. Now, the worst thing of all! They'd declared the language of the Prophet illegal! Blasphemy! The "government" he laughed bitterly to himself at this euphemism for the pack of Satan-lovers in Angora was actually sending "teachers" to all parts of Anatolia to instruct peasants in the new alphabet. Heresy of heresies, there was even talk of publishing the Koran in the "Turkish" language. If they stayed in power long enough, Kemal and his bunch would bring about the collapse of Islam. The civilization Munir had worked so hard to preserve would die. He'd heard that a so-called "teacher" was coming from Diyarbakir today. His spies had told him she was young, but grotesque looking, bent over. Good. If he could point out her devil-created shortcomings, so much the better. She was a woman, little more than a vessel into which you poured your seed, hoping to bring forth sons to carry on your name. You couldn't trust a woman. What a shame the Anatolians had never adopted the Arabic custom of clipping a girl's clitoris early in her life. That way she'd never be led into debauchery by her accursed sensuality. Munir felt bitter glee as he contemplated the scorn he'd heap on this ugly female. Another thought dampened his ardor. Don't underestimate the enemy. Satan appears in different forms. Not to be on guard would be foolish indeed. And Munir was not a fool. # "Are you certain you don't want protection, Halide? Suvarli's the heart of Muslim reactionary resistance. They still stone people. It would be days before we could reach

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you." "No, thank you, Nadji. If I force learning on these people from the barrel of a gun, it'll soon be rejected. It was good of you to accompany me as far as Pazarjik." As their car pulled into the town square, Halide saw a man of indeterminate middle age waving at them. "I see my host is waiting." As they pulled up beside a well-used buckboard, she said, "Gnaydin, good morning, Muhtar Effendim, peace be with you, she said, using both his title, Muhtar village headman and the honorific Effendim, which had recently replaced the Ottoman Effendi. Many, many thanks for your courtesy in coming for me." "Hosh geldiniz, Halide Hanim, Major Akdemir," the man replied. "Please call me Yakup. I'm sorry our village doesn't have a motorcar nor even a tractor, but it's my privilege to offer you what poor transport we have." "Yakup Effendim," Halide said, "I'm proud and happy to ride with you, provided I can ride on the seat. Some years ago, when I first arrived in Turkey, I traveled an entire night hidden beneath hay and manure in a farm wagon. What you offer is far superior!" "Have you no more baggage than that?" he asked, looking at her single grip. "Only a small box of simple books, which Major Akdemir will load on my behalf. Most Anatolians don't acquire this much in a lifetime. How can I hope to gain the confidence of Suvarli's villagers if I parade myself in finery that surpasses theirs?" "But you have so little." "What I carry is in my head and in my heart. Allah will provide the rest." "Very unlikely you'll be able to depend on Allah, at least as He's perceived in Suvarli. Our imam decreed you're to be shunned." "I'm not surprised. I've heard Munir Hodja is not pleased at my arrival."

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"An understatement, Hanim. If he had his way, you'd be stoned as you entered the village." "We'll have to see what we can do about that," she said, simply. She thanked Nadji once again and climbed onto the seat next to muhtar. As they headed north, Halide sensed the vast loneliness of this barren land. Dried hills with little life. Dusty, often muddy, cart tracks, which could never be negotiated by an automobile. Except the man sitting beside her, not another living soul as far as the eye could see. They approached the village, a small group of mud huts gathered about a rounded hill, at sunset. Weed-covered paths radiating from the village center served as streets. "There are three hundred people in Suvarli," the muhtar said. "No electricity, no piped water, no gas, no firewood. Each family saves sheep dung all year and burns it for warmth during the winter. Our standards are primitive, but we survive." They came to a low, stone building. Outside, a Turkish flag hung limply from a wooden pole. "My home and the village meeting house," he said. "There's an extra room for guests. It's yours for as long as you're here. There is no toilet in the house. There's a shed out back. Most villagers use the open area behind their homes." Next morning, Halide was just finishing breakfast when she heard the muffled noise of a crowd gathering outside the muhtar's home. There was a sharp pounding on the front door. "Yakup bey, open up! We hear you've a new visitor. We'd like to extend a proper greeting." "Fikret, the imam's nasty errand boy," Yakup said. "I can just imagine the nature of his `proper' greeting. He's been waiting twenty years for the old man to die so he might become imam. Meanwhile, he toadies up to Munir as if he were the favorite son."

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The muhtar went to the door. "Peace be with you, Fikret Effendi," he said politely. "We're pleased you honor our unworthy home with your presence. Might we beg, in Allah's name, your indulgence in allowing us to finish our meager morning meal?" "Oh, Muhtar," Fikret replied, his voice making the honorific sound like an insult, "we're so sorry to have distressed you so early in the day. Perhaps because we've been at prayer since dawn the day somehow seems much longer. Ah, I see your guest has risen from the table," he said, as Halide came to the door. "Good morning to you, Hanim Effendi," he said, bowing low. As he did so, he passed wind noisily. The men behind him burst into raucous laughter. "Why Fikret bey," Halide said, as unruffled as though she were a stone, "I'd not expected to be greeted with music as well as words." There was sharp laughter of a different kind, this time directed against the imam's assistant. He glared angrily about. All fell silent as a tall, grim-looking old man with unkempt beard approached the door stiffly. "Allah is great, Muhtar," he said. "I see you submitted to the pack of infidels in Angora and housed their harlot. Caution! If you go to bed with dogs, you wake up with fleas." "Well said, hodja," Yakup retorted. "By the way, are you still having problems with lice in your beard?" There was an audible gasp from the assembly. They knew there was no love lost between the priest and the headman, but such a riposte was unseemly, deliberately meant to fuel the fires of anger. "Gentlemen, gentlemen," Halide interjected. "The Prophet says, `Let not the sun of day be blotted by the storm clouds of anger.' Welcome, Hodja Effendi. It was good of you to come greet me."

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"Greet you?" the old man sneered. "Welcome the devil to my home? Not in my lifetime, woman. I came to see if you were as ugly as they said. Indeed you are. Satan has given up trying to lure mankind with comeliness. He is now revealed for what he is." "I see, Hodja Effendi, that you seem to have forgotten the admonition `Extend kindness to the stranger in your house'" she replied. "Aren't you supposed to teach the Prophet's ways by word and deed?" "Government harlot!" the priest spat contemptuously. "Don't tell me what the Prophet says. I know exactly how a guest is to be treated. Hospitality does not extend to the devil's agent. Such a one is to be cast out with evil spirits and excrement!" By now, word had spread throughout the village of the confrontation. The meeting created more excitement than the villagers had seen in several years. Halide walked onto the porch. More than a hundred men crowded the area immediately around the flag pole. Women stayed discreetly in the background, their faces partially hidden by coarse cloth veils. The imam seized the opportunity. "My villagers, look upon the ugliness the devil sets before you with the aid of the thieves and cutthroats in Angora! Would Allah have sanctioned the creation of such a deformed monstrosity? Had this girl been born in Suvarli, would she have been allowed to live? Of course not. She'd have been carrion for the wolves. Allah cast the mark of Satan upon her with his own hand. From someone so grotesque and misshapen, one can only hear lies. Let us throw her out of the village now. Now! Now! Now!" he exhorted, his voice rising. Several of the hodja's followers took up the chant, but not everyone in the crowd was moved. Many owed allegiance to the muhtar. Most, who had no feelings one way or the other, felt embarrassed at the imam's want of good manners. As he sensed this, the hodja

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changed his approach, raising his arms to calm the crowd. "My children," he said, in a conciliatory tone. "Do not think I disobey the Word of the Prophet. As one who has brought that Word to you, who has interpreted the Word for you these many years, I would defer, even give this devil her due. Perhaps she might grace us with her `wisdom.'" There was snickering in the crowd. "Halide Hanim," he nodded in her direction. "Please address us simple, backward villagers. Speak as my guest, if you will." Halide controlled her anger. If she were to rise to the old man's bait, she'd only fall into his trap. She came forward, dwarfed by his size, repulsed by the sour odor that emanated from him. "Gnaydin, villagers of Suvarli," she began. Her voice was soft. The crowd moved closer to hear her better. "I thank you all, the imam included, for allowing me the honor to come to your village and spread what little knowledge I can. The imam told you I am ugly and misshapen. That is true," she said. There was a gasp from the crowd. "But he is mistaken when he implies that nothing good can come from the lips of someone less attractive than he." For the first time that morning the hodja felt the sting of derisive laughter. "Once there was a king who'd stored his fine yogurt in earthenware containers from time out of mind. One day, his vizier told him it was unseemly for a ruler of his stature to store such precious stuff in plain vessels. It would be far more appropriate to use gold amphoras. The king did as he advised and threw out the ugly clay pottery. Seven-timesseven days later, he held a great banquet. He invited kings, princes and nobles from all corners of the earth. When he attempted to serve the yogurt, he found it tasted sour and metallic. He hauled the cellar master before him and bellowed angrily, `You have but one

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minute to tell me why I should not have you beheaded forthwith for shaming the greatest celebration in the history of my kingdom!' The old servant, who knew that death would come when Allah decreed, said, `Your majesty, everything the All-Wise put on earth serves its own purpose. Even the sultan of sultans cannot change the laws of nature. Yogurt and gold do not mix. If you try to force marriage between them, only enmity will result. No matter how ugly the earthenware vessel, it serves as the best protection for the yogurts delicate flavor.' The servant was spared and the sultan humbled. From that time forward, the king stored his yogurt as he had in the past, and thereafter he lived a long and happy life, honoring 'til his dying day the plain, clay amphoras which so well nurtured his precious treasure. "I am as plain and ugly as the meanest earthenware vessel. But I am filled with knowledge that may help you better your own lives. What have you got to lose by tasting what I have to offer? Judge for yourselves whether or not what I bring is sour and metallic, or sweet and worthy." The imam was beside himself with rage. How could he possibly have walked into this she-devil's trap? Yet that is just what he'd done. He rudely pushed in front of her and said, "My people, the Evil One's serpent spins stories of gossamer to lure you into her web of lies! For more than fifty years, I, and I alone, have brought you the Prophet's Holy Word." "Is that so, Hodja Effendi?" Halide said, in a voice sharp enough to be heard above his oration. "If you are so steeped in learning, why haven't you set up schools so your people can read the Prophet's Word for themselves?" "Silence!" he shouted "How dare you, a lowly woman, a stranger, tell me, the imam,

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what our people want and need? How dare you say you bring the Prophet's Word to our people, when the very devils who sent you decreed we can no longer read the Koran in His own tongue?" "How dare you," Halide said with equal force, "deprive men and women of the right to read the Prophet's Words in language they can understand, and interpret for themselves what those Words mean?" "My people don't need book knowledge. They have the wisdom of a thousand years. They use that wisdom to survive. Allah placed me on earth to succor their spiritual needs, to guide them through difficult times." "And just who told you that Allah placed you here for that purpose? Did the Lord come waving a great wand and say, `Munir, I, Allah, appoint you to interpret the Koran to the village of Suvarli?'" She hesitated for an instant as she saw the villagers' frightened looks. She realized she'd challenged the unchallengeable, and undoubtedly had gone too far by insulting one of their own. The crowd started to turn away. "Good villagers," she said. "I apologize publicly to your honorable imam if my words have offended him. I do not mean to insult him. But I believe with all my heart that knowledge will open the door to a better life for all of you." She stepped off the porch and into the midst of the crowd. She gave them time to realize no earthquake was going to knock them from their feet. The sun remained shining as before. "My friends," she continued, "Many of you believe what I said was an affront to the All Merciful. Yet, here we stand, you and I, unharmed. The day is beautiful, the gentle breeze pleasant. What a wonderful day for a new beginning, one that would make Allah Himself smile down with approval. There is so much I want to learn from you how to weave, how to sew, how to plant and how to

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reap. I have much to share with you as well. When you learn to read, you will unlock Koran's secrets and bring them into your own souls. You'll find out what goes on in the world beyond Suvarli, even beyond Marash and Gaziantep. You can take control of your own destiny. You need not be held prisoner of the old ways. Many things must not be abandoned, but others can and should be changed. Let's begin a wonderful adventure together, you and I. Let us be friends." By cockcrow next morning, Halide was fully dressed. "Do you think I was too forward yesterday, Yakup Effendim?" she asked her host at breakfast. "It's hard for me to say, Halide. This is a very traditional village. Our ways have been established for a long, long time." "And yet, you welcomed me into your home, knowing who I was and what I was about. Why, Yakup?" The muhtar put his glass on the wooden table and cupped his chin in his left palm for a few moments before he answered. Halide gazed steadily at the man. He dressed no differently from his neighbors. Black pants, white shirt, dark cap. His calloused hands gave evidence of a lifetime of hard work. He could have been anywhere from forty years of age to past sixty. There was something special about him. Something that had motivated the villagers to elevate him to headman. He drummed his left index finger against his cheek, seemingly lost in thought. When he finally answered, he spoke in slow cadence, without hesitation. "As I said, ours is a very traditional village. Hospitality to the stranger is the most sacred of our customs, as it is throughout the Muslim world." "I appreciate that, but you knew you were hosting an agent of change and I sense much of that change is unwelcome."

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"True, Halide." "So why put yourself at risk?" "Because some things must change. Many years ago, I learned to read not well, but enough for my purposes at the government school. Sometimes not often, for this is not a wealthy village an outsider happens by. Someone's relative, a trader far from the normal routes, a cast-off from another village. He spends a night, perhaps two, in my home. After all, where else would he stay in this village? We talk. Occasionally very

occasionally he will leave some memento behind. A book, perhaps, or a month-old news journal he believes is good for nothing more than wrapping food. "When that happens, I find some way to hide the journal. Allah has graced me with regular movement, and each morning when I go to the out-building I take a portion of the paper with me. I read very slowly. Sometimes I spell out the word sounds. I learn slowly, but I learn. By the time I've read the paper a few times, the better part of a year has gone by. I see pictures of motor cars. I read there are new machines that can do as much work in an hour as ten men perform in a day. I think, `With machines such as these, we needn't permanently bow our backs bending in the field. Things would be easier for my people.' I start to believe that maybe all change is not bad. "I see our best boys grow up and move from the village. They say they're looking for a better life. Do they find it? I don't know. But I do know that our village shrinks a little each year, and these fine young men aren't replaced." "Then, Yakup Effendim, you dont see what I'm doing as a further threat to the survival of the village?" "No," the muhtar said thoughtfully. "I don't. You see, one carries his character on his

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back wherever he goes, just like a turtle. Our young people flee to the cities and towns because there's no future for them in the village. Many become disappointed, but by then there's no return for them, since they'd only be coming back to boredom and the old ways they fled in the first place. If, somehow, they see they can gain satisfaction within their own village, that their lives make a difference here, perhaps a few more will stay. It is only by openness to the ideas of the young that we have a chance to keep them in the village." "And you see my teaching as accomplishing that?" The muhtar smiled. "I didn't say that, Hanim Effendi. I said, `It is only by opening our minds to the ideas of our young people that we may hope to keep them in the village.' One must try many ideas and see which ones work." "I'll know within the hour whether this one will," Halide said. "Do you think it was a good idea to schedule the meeting for outdoors? It looks like it will be a lovely day. Most work in the fields should be done by noon." "One would hope. I think you may have offended their sensibilities by inviting women as well as men to the lessons. Such a thing would have been unthinkable in the old days." "There's only one way to tell. Wish me luck, Yakup Bey." "I do, Hanim Effendim. I fear you'll need it." Shortly after midmorning, Halide walked to a small, square field, a few hundred yards from the muhtar's house. Earlier, she'd cleared a level area of ground and found small sticks, so that anyone who wanted to do so could write letters in the clean earth. Yakup had constructed a rectangular wooden board for her, and had set up several benches around the board. Halide attached several sheets of white paper to the board, and put some books and

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writing implements on the ground beside her. She did not expect an overwhelming turnout. Perhaps ten percent of the population, thirty people, would appear for the first lesson, if only for curiosity. Her disappointment grew with each step she took. There were two people sitting on the benches, a young woman in her early twenties, and an old man who might have been anywhere between seventy and the grave. Halide went up to the board. "Good morning," she began. "My name is Halide. We're here today to begin a new adventure. Although I expected more people, I'm thankful you two are here. What's your name, Baba Effendi?" she asked, using the honorific for father as courtesy demanded. "Ehh?" he asked. "I said, `What's your name, Baba Effendi?'" "I'm sorry, Hanim. I'm mostly deaf. Come right up to grandpa. Don't be afraid." Halide saw out of the corner of her eye that the young woman was suppressing laughter. When Halide was close enough to be heard clearly, she shouted in the old man's ear, "What's your name, Baba Effendi?" "Nasrullah." "Do you know why you're here, Nasrullah?" "Of course. Because Allah placed a bench here and I'm tired. Why are you here, Hanim?" The young woman could no longer stifle her laughter. Halide kept her composure. "I'm here to teach you a new language." "Why, Hanim? I've survived seventy-four summers. The old language suits me just fine, thank you."

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"Will you stay and listen to what I have to say?" "It doesn't matter to me. I can't hear you anyway." "Very well, Nasrullah Effendi. Let me show you something." She walked over to where she'd placed a pile of sticks. She wrote the name Nasrullah in the dirt by his feet. "Can you draw the same thing I did, Effendi?" "I can't see very well, but I'll try." Stiffly, slowly, imprecisely, Nasrullah drew in the earth with his stick. The resemblance to what Halide had drawn was slight. "Nasrullah Effendi, please may I help you?" "You may, daughter." She guided the man's hand. The result was much better. They tried two more times. Then Halide said, "Now try it yourself." He did. This time there was a definite resemblance to what Halide had drawn. "Are you able to write, baba?" "No. No one in the village except the imam and the muhtar can read or write." "And now there's you, Nasrullah. The marks you've made in the dirt spell your name." The man looked incredulous. "On Allah's mercy, it's true, Baba." She turned to the young woman. "What is your name, Hanim Effendi?" "I am not a hanim effendi, an honored woman. I am Sezer the orphan." She had an alert, intelligent look, and was quite pretty in spite of the mean clothing she wore. "Sezer, you may not be hanim effendi in your eyes, but you are in mine. Everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah, man or woman, young or old, rich or poor. We all suffer from the

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same disease. We are human beings. Why did you come?" "I want to leave this village, Halide Hanim. Yesterday, you said learning was the way to escape the chains that bind us. I want to do that." "Very well. Let's begin by writing your name in the earth." The next day, five people attended lessons. Nasrullah brought two more old men, to show them he'd learned to write his name. They were eager to prove they could do the same thing. As soon as they'd learned to do so, the three of them wandered off, quite proud of their accomplishment. That left Sezer and a young man of sixteen, Yurtash, who apologized to Halide for not having come the previous day. He told her he'd worked in the fields with his father until sundown, gathering in the last of the harvest. By week's end, Halide's class had swelled to ten, less than she'd hoped for, but a start. She knew the earliest lessons would be frustrating, and that if any of her students were discouraged they would not return. She gave individual attention and assistance to everyone who attended, no matter what the hour. She used simple language and whatever materials were available. A month after Halide arrived, she had thirty students, a tenth of the population. "It started slowly, Yakup Bey," Halide remarked one evening. "But I think the people really want to learn, after all." "It looks that way," the muhtar said. "You must remember though, the villagers are like children with a new toy. It's easy for them to write their names in the earth with sticks. It's something else to learn to read and write." "That will come, Effendim." "For a few of them, yes. But these people work in the fields or sit in the chay house

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and gossip all day. They're not inclined to do anything more than they must to stay alive. You're asking them to change a lifetime of habits, and you add insult to injury by asking them to do extra work to bring about that change. Soon they may tire of the toy." At first the imam refused to acknowledge Halide's presence. When word leaked out to him that her efforts were apparently successful, he employed more active means of fighting her. One morning she opened the front door and found a large pile of fresh dung barring her exit. Another day she found huge holes dug in her writing field, with hay and manure tamped into the depressions. One of the hodja's followers was always in the immediate area to note her reaction. Invariably, she simply stepped around the feces, or patiently created a new field in which her students could write. The day's lesson was delayed a couple hours at most. A few days later, the hodja walked to the village outskirts, where she was conducting class, and glared balefully at her. Next day, he appeared again, but said nothing. That night, when she returned to her room, she found blood splattered over the walls and floors. The following day, she continued teaching as though nothing had happened. The old man was there again, an evil smirk on his face. Halide smiled in his direction, but otherwise did not acknowledge his existence. By the end of the second month, it looked as if the muhtar's dire prediction was coming true. Half the students had stopped coming to her classes altogether. Of the fifteen remaining, a third showed unmistakable signs of boredom. Sezer and Yurtash still came each day. Their progress was by far the most promising. Halide consoled herself that even if only five learned to read and write, that would be a beginning. #

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But there was still more crushing news to follow. Yurtash did not come to lessons for three days. On the fourth day, he came late in the afternoon. His eyes were red, as though he'd been crying. He waited until Halide was alone, then approached her. "What is it, Yurtash?" Halide asked. "Is something wrong?" "Hanim Effendi, I must stop lessons. I cannot come any more." "What?" She was stunned. "But you're doing so well, Yurtash. You could become a natural teacher." "I'm sorry," he said. "My father says the new ways are not good and they'll lead our people away from the true path." "But Yurtash, you know better. You've been here every day. Do you fear what you're learning?" "My father tells me I'm too young to know what's good for me. He says I've become lazy since I started school, that I don't work well during the day because I'm too tired from studying at night." "That's not so, is it?" "I can't say, Hanim Effendi. He's my father. I have no choice but to obey him. Thank you for trying to open the gate for me. Perhaps some day in the future." He bowed his head and walked quickly away. That night, Halide cried herself to sleep. She remained in her room next day. When she returned to her field the following morning, she was surprised to find twenty children between the ages of five and ten in attendance. She soon learned the reason for this. The muhtar and his wife had used their influence to exhort every young mother in the village to send their child to lessons. They had used a wonderful combination of guilt

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and envy, asking the women how they would bear the shame of being rude to a guest, then asking them how they would feel if there child was the only one in the village who hadnt learned how to read and write. Sezer volunteered to work with the new young students. Time passed swiftly. All too soon it was time for Halide to leave Suvarli and return to Diyarbakir. She'd experienced the sobering frustration of trying to overturn age-old traditions. Of three hundred villagers who'd been illiterate when she'd come to Suvarli, only Sezer could read the government primers. Another eight, mostly children, could follow simple words with their fingers. Twenty more could read and write their names, but that was the extent of their literacy. She'd brought the joy of reading to less than three percent of the population. At that rate, it would take the Gazi a hundred years to achieve his goals. She felt dismal. Nonetheless, courtesy demanded she attend the village celebration to bid her farewell that evening. The men slaughtered five sheep. On the afternoon before the festivities, Halide learned from the muhtar's wife how to make shepherd's salad. "It's easy. For each few persons, you take a small onion, a few tomatoes, a green pepper or two, a cucumber and a handful of parsley. Chop them up. Sprinkle some sugar and squeeze lemon juice over the whole thing, mix it together and there it is. Since time beyond reckoning, shepherds have taken it with them to the fields. When you taste some, you'll see why." Just before they left to go to the feast, Halide asked the headman, "Yakup Effendim, where did I go wrong? Why did I fail in Suvarli?" "I dont believe you failed at all, Halide Hanim. Only your expectations may have

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been a little bit too high. Our villagers don't take quickly to change. I'm not a man of the world, but I think most people don't accept a major change in their lives easily. When a man or woman gets used to wearing a shirt or veil, these things become comfortable. People hesitate to part with them. It's the same with anything new. Take the imam. Despite what you may think, he's not a bad man, but he's an unhappy one. It's no secret that he and his wife are hardly even friends. Yet they've stayed together and fought one another for more than fifty years. If one of them dies, the other won't be far behind, if only to make sure heaven is not that perfect for the other. Picture life as a large circle. Men and women go around within that circle, but they rarely leave it. Perhaps you asked too many to depart that circle, too soon." "Kemal asked me to help bring Turkey into the modern century so it can take its place among the advanced nations of the world." "That's fine for Kemal and for Ankara. Things don't move so fast in Suvarli. Blood does not move from the heart to the toes in an instant. Change takes time. It won't come at all if you push people out of their accustomed circle. Rather, let them enlarge their circle slowly. Then change will come." "I was so certain they wanted to learn." "Halide, it is the province of the young to transform the world and to try to move heaven and earth to force older folk to accept the new order. When it doesn't work as quickly as they want, they feel they've failed. That's not so. One out of every ten people in the village is better off because you came here. How many people would that be in a city the size of Istanbul?" Halide smiled for the first time in days. "Thank you for your wisdom, Muhtar

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Effendim. It seems I can learn from the old ways as well." Halide's mood lifted. She thought about the villagers who'd helped her get to Metin years ago in Chandarla. They were no different from those in Suvarli. While they might not accept what the outlander had to say, it never diminished their courtesy. They would move into the future much more slowly than the government or she would have wished. But sooner or later, they would move forward at their own pace. She uttered a small prayer, "Allah, don't ever let them part with the values they possess. Don't let them be ruined. Don't let them be trampled by those who consider themselves more progressive. Grant them peace." Just before dawn next morning, Halide heard a soft, rasping noise outside her window. She opened the latch. "Sezer? What are you doing up at this hour?" "I'm going with you, Hanim Effendim." "But you've got a home here in the village." "No, Halide Hanim, I don't. I'm an orphan. I've no dowry. No man will marry me. There's nothing to hold me here." "Aren't you frightened? It's a whole new life." "That's just why I want to go with you. I want to become a teacher like you, so I can give others the gift you've given me. Then, perhaps, two more teachers will come from the next village. People won't change overnight, but someday they'll see that books open many doors. Then they'll want to learn. When that day arrives, our country will need many more teachers than we have. Let me be among the first, Halide Hanim." Halide smiled. Wasn't this exactly why she'd come to these villages, to find the teachers who would one day bring Anatolia into the twentieth century? This intelligent,

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attractive young woman was eager, dedicated, everything the gazi had told her to look for. "Sezer Hanim," she said. "If that's what you want, you are truly the hero I knew youd be. Have you any things to take?" "My clothes, my mind and my heart." "In that case, what are we waiting for? We've got centuries of work to do in a very few years. Two can bear that load better than one. Hanim Effendim and indeed you deserve that title, Sezer bring your heart, your mind, and your clothes. Let's get an early start. You and I are going to help change the face of Anatolia!"

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Within a week after he went to Diyarbakir, Turhan stopped in the village where he'd been born. He was disappointed to find that his grandmother had died. In the Muslim tradition, she was buried next to Grandfather, in a small cemetery at the edge of the village. Turhan visited their graves and bowed his head. "Baba, I've returned for a little while. I did what you said. I learned to read and write. You were right, Grandpa. Education unlocked many doors for me. So much has happened in this land. Many changes you fought for have come to pass. There's a new law that everyone is equal to everyone else. Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Turks, it doesn't matter. We live in a new Turkey, Baba. I think you'd like the changes. You'd be proud to know I'm helping to bring them about. I don't know when I'll come this way again, Grandpa. I needed to tell you these things, even if, wherever you are, you can see them yourself. Thank you, Grandfather, for everything. I love you." Turhan knelt to where he felt Grandfather's heart would be and kissed the earth. Then he went to a nearby field, where the last of the year's wildflowers were growing. He picked a handful and placed them where he thought Grandpa's feet would be. He had closed the circle. The following week, he searched out Jelal the butcher. He was delighted to find that Jelal was not only very much among the living, but in the same robust health as when Turhan had last seen him twenty years ago. Now seventy-one, he'd retired five years ago, and was one of Diyarbakir's wealthier citizens. His elegant mansion did little to conceal that Jelal had remained the practical, down-to-earth, happy man he'd been when Turhan was twelve. "How in the world did you manage to find me? For all you know, I'd have been long dead by now."

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"Blind luck, Jelal Effendim." Turhan smiled. The retired butcher, as beefy as ever, looked no closer to the grave than he had the day Turhan had told him he was leaving on the caravan with Ibrahim. "I've become involved with Kemal's government." "So I'd heard, little stripling," Jelal said. "I'd wondered when the world famous Turhan Trkolu would finally come to see an old friend." Turhan blushed, embarrassed. "I did try to contact you in ...." "Nineteen eighteen. Ten years ago, lad. Never mind excuses. I've followed your emerging career with great interest, and I must say, with great pride. You'll have dinner with us, of course?" Jelal asked. "By all means. But would you allow me to purchase a lamb loin for you, Effendim?" The old man doubled over with laughter. "So you remembered, my little thief," he said, grabbing Turhan around the waist and hugging him. "Cheyhan," he called, "come see our third son, the prodigal returned at last!" The woman who trundled out was an even larger version of the burly butcher, with a smile as oversized as the rest of her. Turhan recognized her as a somewhat older, substantially better-fed version of the woman who'd occupied the egg stall three down from Jelal's. Turhan felt like a boy again. Over dinner that night, Turhan recalled the happy memories of his life with Jelal. How quickly bad times had been forgotten. The butcher and his wife were eager to hear of Turhan's adventures since he'd left Diyarbakir seventeen years ago. After their meal, the old man took Turhan into his capacious library, where talk became more intimate and confidential. "Gnl's fine, fat, and living in Iskenderun," Jelal began. Turhan blushed. "No need to feel embarrassed," he continued. "Did you think I didn't know about you

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two?" "But Erturul?" "Hes probably the only one who never knew about it, may his soul rest in peace. She made a good second marriage with a man far nearer her own age. She telephones occasionally and visits once every couple of years." "What about Alkimi?" "She died eight years ago. Rumor has it she was over a hundred years old. I'm over seventy and she was an old woman when I first met her. In a way, it's a good thing she passed on before things had changed too much. Each year the caravans were becoming fewer and fewer. It was the only life she'd ever known and when the Angel came to claim her, she was right where she'd always wanted to be." Another circle closed. "What about you, sprout?" Jelal asked genially. "I'd have thought you'd have a wife and three or four sons by now. You're more than thirty years old, aren't you?" "Thirty-two. I've been much too busy to find the right woman." "Nonsense, Turhan. You're out in the villages. You meet people from all over this country. Granted, you probably wouldn't feel comfortable with a high-born lady from Istanbul, but there are millions of good, strong village girls who'd give anything to make you a perfect life's companion. You should go out and find one." "It's not nearly so easy as you make it sound, Jelal Effendim." Turhan shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "Nonsense! I've had the happiest of lives because I've shared it with more than one good woman. Mark my words, boy, without a female to balance things out, all the

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success in the world is meaningless. What about the friend you mentioned, Halide?" "The thought never crossed my mind. In her heart, she's had two lovers, one who died at Gelibolu and one, Turkey, that's struggling to stay alive in the Twentieth Century. Besides, she's a graduate of the Sorbonne, a Parisienne ...." "And someone you could never hope to aspire to?" The butcher looked at Turhan without blinking. "You'll pardon me if I sound brutally direct, but I've always been honest with you. There's an old saying, `You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.' Are you saying you'd be afraid to compete with Halide in a day-to-day relationship?" "Perhaps, Effendim." Why had Jelal always been able to touch the raw nerves beneath the surface? "I don't know. We're such good friends, and we've been through so much together. I could never think of her as a lover. I'm certain she feels the same way." "Not to worry. I'm sure when the time is right, you'll find someone." Jelal, sensing Turhan's discomfort, moved on to another subject. "Tell me all about this grand program you and our esteemed gazi are bringing to Turkey." Turhan, relieved at being spared Jelal's deeper exploration of feelings he didn't want to contend with, spent the next hour telling his host of Mustafa Kemal's plans to modernize Anatolia and to spread knowledge from frontier to frontier. "In fact, Effendim, I need your advice. I've received a request to travel far to the east, to a place so small it exists on none but the largest maps of Turkey. It's certainly not something I've done in the past, but ...." # East of Lake Van, the land was wild and starkly beautiful. For the past four days,

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Turhan had not lost sight of Agri Dag, Turkey's highest peak. He'd read that the ancients had called it Mount Ararat. There were few farms. Villages were more than fifty miles apart. From Van to the Iranian frontier, the government post road turned from macadam to gravel, then to rutted dirt. This land of goats and sheep, high grass and horsemen, went on for countless miles. A few thousand Turks shared the land with a dozen other peoples. Turkey's eastern borders were indefinite. The government maintained military garrisons at Kars in the north and Hakkari in the south. There was a landing strip at each place. It took only a day to fly the five hundred miles between these outposts. To a surface traveler, these provincial forts may as well have been separated by oceans. The April sun had not melted the snow, which still blanketed the highlands. Turhan's destination was the village of Dorutay, perhaps twenty-five miles from the border. The operative word was "perhaps," for the muddy path built by the government ended at the village. Not even dirt tracks stretched beyond. News of the dramatic events reshaping Anatolia had spread to these highlands. Six months ago, the village had sent a delegation to Van entreating the regional administrator to send a teacher. Turhan heard of the group's five day pilgrimage while he was in Diyarbakir. Moved by the remarkable strength of character it had taken for these proud people to ask for help, he determined to go to the frontier village himself. "We should be there in another hour," the muhtar said. Despite the noonday sun and the heavy, fleece-lined coat he'd borrowed in Van, Turhan shivered as icy wind whipped down off the mountains ahead. It had been years since he'd ridden a horse. Only today had the saddle sores begun to abate. The compact bay gelding reminded him of another steed he'd ridden so long ago. What ever happened to Yildiz, he wondered? He'd given

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the little mare to Zari ben David as a parting gift, just before he left for Istanbul. She'd been overwhelmed, and had hugged him ecstatically. What ever happened to Zari? He felt guilty for not having stayed in touch. Before they came in sight of the village, Turhan heard excited shouting that seemed to move from left to right, and back again. As they breasted a rise, Turhan saw a large, flat, snow covered field in the midst of several hills. A hundred men stood at the edge of the field, cheering noisily as two teams of five horsemen each rode their small ponies toward and away from one another. The horses made impossibly tight turns, their tails bobbed, their manes flowing. Occasionally, one of the horsemen let fly with a long, thin, wooden lance. While Turhan watched, one rider hit another with an accurate throw of his javelin, and a thunderous cheer broke out among the onlookers. "Jirit," the head man remarked. "The favorite winter sport in eastern Anatolia for nine hundred years. Warriors brought it when they came west from Mangalistan, beyond the Indus River. This will be the last game this year. Our growing season starts in a fortnight. There are ten horsemen on each team. Riders throw wooden sticks at one another. Each hit is worth one point. The game lasts several hours. Every time a pole is thrown, a rider must return to his own side for another. That's why you hardly ever see an entire team attack at one time." "No one is wearing a protective helmet of any kind. Cant they be hurt pretty badly?" "Oh, yes. Four or five players are seriously injured each year. As soon as they heal, they're in the saddle again, clamoring for more. Bravo, Ahmet!" the headman called out, as a rider and his white horse whirled one-hundred-eighty degrees and the horseman

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let fly his lance in a single fluid motion. "My son," the muhtar said, proudly. "The skill is not so much in throwing the rod, but in maneuvering the horse." "One day, I'd like to try my hand at jirit," Turhan said. "Help this village learn to read and write, and I promise we'll teach you." "That's a bargain," said Turhan. During the next months, Turhan succeeded beyond his most optimistic expectations. The hardy villagers thirsted for knowledge. Unlike their suppressed sisters farther to the west, Dorutay's women eagerly attended lessons alongside their menfolk. Turhan taught from sunup to sundown. The villagers worked in shifts, so Turhan was surrounded by at least ten students every waking hour of his day. At the end of two months, thirty-five out of a population of two hundred could read and write simple, direct sentences. Ten were already reading primers. "What do you do in Ankara, Effendim?" the headman asked one day. "I'm a newspaper writer." "What is a news-paper?" "Just what it sounds like. We write about whatever's interesting. Sometimes it may be news about a village. Other times, we may want to know what's going on in the rest of Turkey, even the rest of the world. Once we decide what we want to write, we print the same words on different sheets of paper so that many people can read what is going on." "How can you print so many copies?" "The old fashioned way is to write several pieces of paper by hand." "Vakh! We're just learning to write. It would take us a hundred days to write out

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ten newspapers. By that time, the news would be so old no one would be interested." "There are other ways. Is there a typewriter in Dorutay?" "One," the muhtar replied. "But it's old and rusted. No one ever uses it." "How do you communicate with other towns?" "Whenever a scribe happens by, he writes letters by hand. It would take a scribe forever to write out these news-papers you talk about. Is there no easier way?" "Yes, Muhtar Bey, there is. In big cities, and even in some of the larger towns, they have presses that can print the same thing hundreds of times in an hour. In Diyarbakir, they print thousands of news-papers every day." "Yasik! What a shame we have no funds to purchase such a machine. This newspaper you talk about sounds almost like a letter addressed to the whole world from Dorutay." "I never thought of it that way, but it's even more than that. It's a letter to and from the whole world to one another. It lets people know what others are doing. Suppose Ozalp and Saray," he said, mentioning two neighboring villages, "have games of jirit where a team from one village competes against a team from another. Not everyone can travel from Dorutay to Saray, but if there's a news-paper distributed to the people, the results of the match are known in all three villages." "Vakh!" the muhtar growled. "We don't need a news-paper for that. There's nothing in these hills we don't know about within a few hours after it's happened." "That was not such a good example, Effendim, but surely you could think of a use for such a journal?" The muhtar thought for a moment. Then his eyes brightened, "Suppose there's a

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comely girl from Erchek whose father wants to marry her off. He could print an article in the paper and the news might spread to many villages. We could charge the man a few kurush to print the article since he would benefit. With enough paid articles, we could pay for what it costs to print the paper. If we ask readers to pay money to buy the paper, one day we could even buy a printing press." "Muhtar Effendim, you have the heart of a businessman and the mind of an editor!" Six men, the muhtar among them, became very excited about the news-paper project. To prepare for the journal, which would one day come into being, newsgatherers went from door to door, seeking gossip, family histories, special events to which a family looked forward. Under Turhan's guidance, the staff practiced writing stories in simple language, using basic sentence structure. The only thing holding them back was how to get the first copies printed. They decided if the six of them could copy the letters Turhan wrote for them on a model paper, they could each produce three newspapers a day. In two weeks, that would mean two hundred fifty copies. It would be hard, tedious work, but it could be done. "How long would it take us to buy a printing press, Turhan Effendim?" one of the men asked as they sat around a table, each writing his own story. "Let's calculate and see." Turhan started to write numbers on the paper. This was a concept the men understood, but it was the first time they'd seen the Arabic numerals. "Suppose we print two hundred fifty copies of our paper, once every month. We sell the paper to the villagers for one kurush each. That is two hundred fifty kurush, two-and-ahalf lira. If we sell five printed announcements at ten kurush each, that's another half

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lira. We must pay you, our writers, some money, and we'd have to buy paper and pens from Van. That means we could expect to make a profit of one hundred kurush, one lira, each time the paper comes out. We could probably find a very old, but useable, printing press for one hundred fifty lira." "Vakh!" the man remarked in disgust. "It would take twelve years to pay for such a press. We'd be too old to use it when we got it. Even then, what guarantee would we have that such an old press wouldn't break down?" The group sadly contemplated this cruel fate, when Turhan said, "My friends, are we here to say what can't be done, or are we here to make it happen? If our work results in an easier life for our sons, isn't it worth doing?" By the hostile glares he received, Turhan concluded it was not the most diplomatic thing he could have said at that moment. # "I've done it! I've done it!" Turhan shouted with glee two weeks later. Early that morning, he'd gone to the home of each of his associates, roused them out of bed, and insisted they go to the village meeting hall immediately. He had unbelievable news for them. An hour later, the men shuffled into the large room. "Turhan Effendim, you look like a cat that found a mountain of mice," the muhtar said. "What's your news?" "Last week, I went to Van to report back to my superiors. While I was there, I found a fifty-year-old screw-down hand press. The print shop there had just purchased a new electric platen press. The owner was willing to sell his old one for a hundred lira. I bargained him down to sixty."

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"So?" the muhtar responded. "It'll still be five years before we can afford it. How is that good news?" "Ankara directed me to start news-papers. I telegraphed the ministry of information in the capital and told them of our plight. Their response came by wire this morning. I won't read it to you. I want to see who among you can read the best." A man of twenty-five stepped forward. Turhan handed the tissue-thin paper to him. Pointing to each word, the man read slowly, but clearly, "Turhan Trkolu, stop. Van, stop. The Ministry of Interior is happy to announce that it hereby grants the village of Dorutay fifty lira for a printing press, stop. The government is proud of the people of Dorutay, stop. We are also loaning an additional fifty lira to the village to make sure the news-paper is a success, stop. The village may repay this fifty lira at the rate of five lira each year, stop. May Allah bring your news-paper great success, stop." The man never finished reading the telegram. With a joyous whoop, six men applauded wildly, and ran through the village shouting, "A news-paper, a news-paper! Get ready for a news-paper!" When the hand press was delivered to Dorutay ten days later, the entire village celebrated the event with an all-night party. Many got drunk on raki and nursed severe headaches the following morning. Turhan taught three of the brighter men how to set type. The first proof came off the hand press. Turhan looked at it critically. "Men," he said, "this is a wonderful start. It is almost ready to go. But we must always make sure words are spelled correctly, sentences make sense, and stories are interesting." They went back to work again. Fatma's baby was almost due. If they waited a few days, they could announce the grand news. Finally, Turhan pronounced the galley

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proof acceptable. The result was a single page that made history as the first news-paper ever published east of Van. The lead article was, itself, a masterpiece of direct news reporting and absolute simplicity: "HAMDI AND FATMA HAVE A BABY GIRL! There is joy in farmer Hamdi's house. Fatma has a new baby girl. Her name is Nesheli. Mashallah!" The news-paper even boasted a single advertisement. "Abdul the tailor sends his greetings. He does good work." In all, two hundred fifty copies were printed, one for every man, woman and child in the village, and several more in case anyone in the surrounding areas might want to know what was going on in Dorutay. At that time, Turhan Trkoglu was already a nationally known journalist and had every reason to expect his success would continue to grow in years to come. Yet, he would never be prouder than the moment he saw his name as first editor on the masthead of a single page newspaper in an insignificant village somewhere near the frontier of Turkey and Iran, "Dorutay Dnya" the self-proclaimed Dorutay World.

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"Now, Muhtar Bey, about the jirit lessons you promised?" "Jirit is a winter game. If you want to wait until the new snows fall, we'll gladly teach you. Now that the harvest is in, we play a much more exciting sport, buz kashi! In jirit, you can be pursued by as many as ten horsemen at any time. In buz kashi, it's you against two hundred!" During the following weeks, Turhan watched practice rounds and learned the rudiments of this mayhem-disguised-as-a-game, brought to Anatolia by Timur Leng's warriors eight centuries before. The game seemed very simple. Two posts were set in the ground, two miles apart. Halfway between them was a marked-off area, ten yards wide by five yards long. The carcass of a dead goat, its head removed, was placed in the "pit," the area in the center. The object of the game was for a rider to come into the "pit," grab the goat carcass, ride to one post, circle it, ride down field to the other post, circle it, and return to the pit, where he then dropped the carcass and scored a point. Two hundred mounted horsemen could be on the field at any given time. Since Dorutay had a population of only two hundred fifty, men from several villages often rode in for a match. The following Sunday afternoon, Turhan and his news-paper staff, now ten strong, went to the playing field together. They took a lunch of meat, mixed vegetables, bread, and, of course, raki. Everyone from the village was there. The game could be played in one of two ways, single man or team. In the single man game, whoever had possession of the carcass was the target of every man on the field. In the team contest, two equal teams were chosen. A man would have a hundred allies to assist him in bringing the carcass to the pit.

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Buz kashi season lasted from July until the first snows fell. The muhtar decreed that the first game of the year would be a team effort. There were two teams of a hundred men to a side, each man riding a small pony. The teams took their places on opposite sides of the field. The muhtar placed the goat's carcass in the center of the field, went over to the sidelines and raised a large, old-fashioned muzzle-loading firearm. He pulled the trigger. Two hundred ponies, spurred on by their riders, charged to the center of the field, amidst the spectators' wild cheers. For the first few minutes, there was little more than a blur of action. Horses milled, collided, and separated again. A single horse and rider broke loose from the crowd, making several sharp feints, and headed toward the post a mile to Turhan's left. The rider was within fifty yards of the post, when a sturdy white horse smashed directly into the right flank of his pony. As the rider steadied himself, a second attacker grabbed the carcass and headed toward the opposite post. The first rider hesitated for an instant, then whirled his steed about and pursued the thief who'd deprived him of the point. After the first hour, half the players retired from the game. Another hour elapsed. Twenty men and their steeds remained on the field. At sunset, the muhtar discharged his firearm a second time, signaling the end of the match. The team on which Turhan had bet a single lira lost five-to-three. By that time he and his friends were so high on raki they didn't care. That evening, the village held a community fte. Most players sported bruises all over their faces and arms. They appeared not to notice their "souvenirs," and spoke of heroics each promised to show in games to come. The following afternoon, Turhan approached the village headman. Months in the

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bracing mountain air had hardened his body. He was more eager than ever to learn the game. The muhtar called to his son, Ahmet, who was in the next room. When the broadshouldered young man, ten years Turhan's junior appeared, the muhtar said, proudly, "Ahmet is the best buz kashi player in the entire district. I can't think of a better instructor." "Good afternoon, Effendim," Ahmet said. "I'm pleased you want to learn buz kashi and honored my father chose me to help you. First, and most important, we must get you a suitable horse." One of Ahmet's closest friends maintained four particularly tough ponies, veterans of both buz kashi and jirit matches. The friend was happy to allow Turhan his choice of the small horses. Turhan picked a small, gray-white stallion, Savashchi Warrior which looked particularly strong. "A good selection," Ahmet said. "He's the youngest of them all, and will take well to training." For the next several days, Turhan worked three hours each afternoon with Ahmet and Warrior. Ahmet's instructions were sharp, direct, constructive. "The horse is a complete extension of you. You must be the master of that single unit. Warrior must anticipate exactly what you want. Don't ever disappoint him. He'll obey you without question, no matter how many horses and riders surround him. He'll charge another horse at full speed. If you don't turn him away at the last moment, he'll ram the other, even if it means his own death. He can reverse direction in two of his own lengths, while he's at full run. He depends entirely on your command." By the end of the second week, Turhan felt he and Warrior were operating as a team. He asked his trainer whether he was ready. "Not nearly, Effendim. First you must

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engage in one-on-one practice rounds, then two-on-one, finally ten against you." "But Ahmet, it'll be jirit season before you think I'm ready." "Perhaps, but buz kashi is very dangerous. You have absolutely no protection. You'll be amidst charging horses on every side. The object is not simply to play the game well, but to come out of it alive." Turhan practiced four hours every day of the week. His body compacted further. He felt as hard as a block of iron. At the beginning of October, the weather turned frosty. This coming Sunday would be the last match of the season. It was tradition in Dorutay that the last game be an "individual" effort. On Wednesday, the muhtar approached him. "Teacher Effendim, Ahmet says you're ready. On behalf of our village, I invite you to participate in this Sunday's final buz kashi match." Turhan could barely conceal his excitement. He was the only yabanji, the only foreigner in recent memory, to be invited to play. # "Remember, no unnecessary chances," Ahmet advised. "You are hero enough, simply for being invited to play the game. If you survive with only a few bruises, you'll be a still greater celebrity. Stay well back in the pack. No matter how capable you think you are, don't try for a goal. Take it easy. Defend. Use this match to learn." "I will, Ahmet," the journalist said, with every intention of obeying his instructor. He heard a loud outburst, followed by a steady chant, "Turhan! Turhan! Turhan!" He looked over and grinned when he saw his newspaper staff and their families throwing hats in the air, stamping their feet, and eagerly spurring him to action. The muhtar fired his gun. The match began. Turhan kept Warrior well back of

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the center group. During the first thirty minutes, his mount did little more than gallop up and down the field, trailing all but a few of the other riders. He felt more at ease as the tourney progressed. Several horses and players dropped out. Warrior was not even breathing heavily. Thus far, the buz kashi game had been nothing more than a brisk ride in the country. Ahmet was the only man on the field who'd scored a goal. An angry blue welt over his right eye showed that nothing was gained in this contest without sacrifice. Turhan loped along toward the rear of the pack. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, the carcass was hurtled in his direction and struck him in the right shoulder. He reached out involuntarily to stop its fall, and brought it close to his saddle. There was an explosive roar from the crowd, cries of "Turhan! Turhan! Turhan!" The nearest post was less than forty yards away. He couldn't let this opportunity pass him by. He'd practiced the twists and turns Ahmet had taught him. Now, he and Warrior used them. Miraculously, the distance widened between himself and the riders nearest him. Warrior felt the electric excitement and pounded toward the first stake, moving without the need of command. Turhan no longer heard the cheers. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. He circled the stake. Warrior, sensing the open field ahead, broke into a full run. The second post was half a mile away, a quarter mile away. Pandemonium erupted on both sides of the field. He and Warrior were a hundred yards from the goalpost, fifty, twenty-five. For just an instant, he had the sensation of being hit by an express train. That was his last conscious thought.

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"Perhaps they could have saved time and simply agreed at the beginning of the game to sever your head and use it as the buz kashi carcass." The voice came from deep down a well. "Nadji?" "None other, my friend. Several years ago, you and Halide arranged for my transportation to a hospital. I've just returned the favor." "Where am I?" "Third District Military Hospital. Diyarbakir." Turhan struggled to full consciousness. His left arm was in a cast. "What happened?" "What did your friend Ahmet tell you? Don't try to make a goal in your first game? Make sure you leave the field in one piece?" "I remember now," Turhan replied. "The carcass was there. I couldn't help myself. By the way, did I ever make it to the goal?" "No. The carcass spun out just before you were clobbered from both sides." "Allah! What about Warrior?" "He fell on top of you. Broke both your legs, but fortunately not his. The muhtar arranged for a relay team of horses to go to the frontier guard post at Saray, where they had access to the telegraph. The army took care of getting you to Van, where the provincial hospital determined you had a severe concussion, a broken arm and two broken legs. I was in Mardin at the time, and asked that the military fly you here so I could see if you really were as indestructible as they said."

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Shortly afterward, Halide strode determinedly into Turhan's room, accompanied by a young woman in her mid-twenties with a pleasant, open face, brown eyes, and midlength dark hair. "What's this all about?" Halide berated him. "Are we wagering among ourselves who'll be the first to depart this Earth? Who do you think you are, Ghengiz Khan?" Turhan grinned sheepishly and nodded in the direction of Halide's companion. "Forgive me, Turhan," Halide continued without pause, as though she'd not even noticed his look. "As I grow older, I forget my once fine, French manners. May I introduce you to Sezer, my second-in-command. Like you, she's a villager who came to the city to make something of her life." "I'm pleased to meet you, Sezer Hanim. I'd reach over and shake your hand, but I'm indisposed." What an attractive young woman, he thought. Could this be one of those thousands of Turkish village women emerging into the Twentieth Century that Jelal had talked about? During the next week, Halide, Nadji, and Sezer returned daily to visit Turhan. On Friday, his two friends told him they were convinced he'd survive and they intended to go about their business elsewhere. Sezer would be staying in Diyarbakir, preparing for the next influx of teacher candidates. The following day she returned to the hospital alone, and brought flowers to cheer up Turhan's room. "Do you need anything from the outside world?" she asked. "I wonder if you could find a copy of the new novel by the American author Ernest Hemingway?" "The Sun Also Rises?" she replied. "I'll certainly try."

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"You've read the book?" he asked, pleasantly surprised at her astuteness. "No." She looked at the floor, then said, "I teach at a basic level. I'm still very much a student. I'm learning more each day. Would it be too much if I asked you to read it aloud to me?" "Only if you hold the book for me." When Turhan left the hospital, he continued to help Sezer with her lessons. Within a month, she could read most of the currently available books by herself. When their afternoons together abated, he found to his surprise that he missed her. One day, she arrived with a package wrapped in red and white paper. "I bought this for you with my own money," she said, proudly. "It's not a novel, but a new play, from America. I thought you'd like it." He unwrapped the gift. His eyes widened with pleasure as he read the title, "The Front Page," by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. "Halide told me you're a newspaper-man. I thought you'd like to read about newspaper-men in other countries." "Thank you, Sezer Hanim," he said, deeply touched. "You seem to know my tastes better than anyone. Yet, I know nothing about you." "There's not much to tell. I never knew my parents. As long as I can remember, I washed clothes, threshed wheat, and swept out huts, in order to eat. I learned to exist on rice and vegetables, sometimes overripe, nearly rotting fruit. If you cut around the bad parts, it tastes as sweet as the best quality. When Halide came to our village, I saw a chance to escape. I had no dowry. No man was willing to claim me as his wife. Some boys wanted to fool around with me behind village hill. When they found out I wasn't

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that kind, no one really cared whether I lived or died. "I don't earn a great deal working for Halide five lira a month but it's so much more than I've ever earned in my life it's a fortune to me. I don't need much. Food is cheap in Diyarbakir if you're willing to wait 'til the end of the day to buy. I pay so little for my room I'm able to save one lira a month. Eventually, I'll have enough for my own dowry. If I'm too old to marry by then, I'll always be able to support myself and not burden any man." Turhan looked at the book she'd purchased for him. The price was two lira two months toward her dowry gone. The next day, they walked around the city together. He talked about his own background. Sezer was interested in everything he had to say. "I've had such a wonderful day," she said to him. "I wish it would never end." She smiled at him. He realized, not for the first time, how attractive she was. "Listen," she said. "Would you like to come to dinner tonight? It'll be a very simple meal. The room where I'm staying is not much to look at, but you're certainly welcome." The invitation caused Turhan to realize how lonely for a woman's companionship indeed for anyone's evening company hed been these last few weeks. While he enjoyed reading and sometimes prowled the city's streets, it had become boring. He looked eagerly forward to the time when the doctors would pronounce him fit to travel again. "I'd be delighted to come," he replied, "but only if you allow me to bring some kebabs." She blushed. "Is something the matter?" he asked.

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"I've not had any meat since I've been in Diyarbakir. I'd never presume to ask such a thing of you." "Don't presume, my lady. Tonight you shall dine on the best lamb you've ever eaten!" During dinner, they were unusually polite, more subdued than they'd been with one another in the past. They were also beginning to appreciate things about the other they'd not observed before. Turhan took his leave much later than his normal bedtime, walking home slowly, thoughtfully. After he left, Sezer retired to her small bed chamber. She took out a rarely used mirror. She'd never been a vain girl. Now, peering into its depths, she saw that her face had high color. Was this pretty young woman really Sezer, the orphan from Suvarli? She undressed slowly, taking careful stock of herself. She had fine, firm, upstanding breasts. Given the opportunity, they would feed many sons someday, Inshallah. Unconsciously, her hands wandered over her smooth body. As she lay back in her bed, her thoughts went directly to Turhan. Repeating his name over and over, she soon fell into a deep, blissful sleep. # During the following week, they saw each other every day. Dinners became a habit, sometimes at his apartment or a restaurant, most often in her small room. They spoke of everything except what each was beginning to feel inside. When Turhan told Sezer he'd be traveling on government business for the next month, she said she understood perfectly. She herself needed to meet Halide in Urfa to discuss recruitment strategies for the coming year.

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Turhan ran across Halide three weeks later, when their paths crossed at Siverek. "I've spent the last two weeks with Sezer," she said. "I know, Turhan replied. She told me she was going to meet with you." "She's in love with you, you know." "She's what?" "You heard me." Turhan was taken aback by Halide's directness. "We're quite friendly and all, but..." "Listen, Turhan. You're thirty-two, same as me. You're not getting any younger. A girl like Sezer doesn't come along every day. It's time for you to marry, my friend." "Marry? Did I hear you say marry?" "That's exactly the word I used. Do you think you'll do any better than Sezer? A girl who'll be the best helpmate you could ever hope to have? I've worked with her day and night for a year-and-a-half. I know." "But...?" "Do what you want, my friend. If you have a shred of intelligence in that thick head of yours, I'll soon be attending a wedding. If not, that's your problem." # There was only one person in whom he could confide. As he and Jelal walked along the banks of the Tigris, outside Diyarbakir, he thought back to a time so many years ago when his mentor had patiently listened, then given sound advice. In the gathering autumn, the river was little more than a sluggish stream. From here, Diyarbakir looked no different than it had the first time he'd seen it. The timeless basalt walls, surrounded

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by scrub steppe, hid the modern city inside. The old man was still able to outpace Turhan during the first fifteen minutes of the walk. Turhan broke the silence more quickly than during their first foray. "I give up, Jelal effendi. If you keep going, you'll have solved my problem readily. I'll simply fall over and die from exhaustion." "A good, spirited walk clears the cobwebs from the mind, boy. Gives you a chance to organize your thoughts. Besides, the old tea house is still where it's been when last we walked this path." Half an hour later, each nursed a glass of tea while looking out over the dry plain. "All right, Turhan. Who's the young lady? And you don't have to look down at the ground. That was fine when you were thirteen." "Your gentle, understanding ways are overwhelming." "That's never been our relationship, and you know it." "Her name is Sezer. She's Halide's assistant, a girl from Suvarli village. She's quite a bit younger than me. Halide says she's in love with me." "How do you feel toward her?" "Compassion. She's an orphan and was an outcast in her village." "Aha! The Turhan of Suvarli, in shawl and shalvar." The old man chuckled. "It's not funny, Jelal Effendim." "I'm not laughing at you, Turhan. It's the situation." "What do you mean?" "Tell me a little more about this girl." "She never really had a chance in her village. Scullery maid, field laborer. She's known nothing but work all her life. The boys thought she was good for only one thing, but she tells me she refused all their advances. Her life would have been nothing, the

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smallest mote on the meanest, least consequential dot of earth ever created by Allah. One day, Halide came to her village and she started to learn. She never compromised her morals to enable her to get ahead." "Are you in love with her?" "What does it mean to love?" "Are you serious?" "Never more so in my life." "Very well. Let's take a look at your experiences with women. Take Gnl, for one. Don't look embarrassed, you asked me what love is. I'm trying to help you find the answer you seek. When you met Gnl, she was older and married. You enjoyed the sexual connection, but you obviously knew she was using you as much as you were using her. She dazzled you by her wealth and her apparent experience. Have you been with other women since?" Nothing I'd call significant, Effendim." "What does Halide think about this?" "She'd want me to marry to Sezer tomorrow." Jelal rose, paid the tea house bill, and beckoned Turhan follow him. They forded the stream and sat in the shade of a sparse growth of trees on the other side. "It's nearly impossible to explain love," Jelal continued, "You can't talk about it with the same detachment you'd reserve for cutting a lamb carcass into component parts, Turhan. You want me to answer a question that has baffled men and women since the world began. I will make some observations. Don't interrupt me until I'm finished, all right." "As you say, Effendim."

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"I believe you're attracted to Sezer, else why would you even have asked my advice. Sezer apparently had a background remarkably similar to that of your mother. However, instead of walking the street of shame, she's taken a noble path. She's suffered much the same as you when you were young, and she's risen above her humble beginnings, just like you. Sezer offers you respectability in your own eyes. Unquestionably `society' would like to see you marred. It's time you were fathering sons. It's clear you admire the girl. Do you need respectability because you associated in the past with those you thought may have been less than respectable?" Turhan glanced sharply at the old man. Jelal continued, as if the look had been nothing more than a fly buzzing about his head. "I'm seventy-two years old, Turhan. I've been married twice, had several casual liaisons in between, and, more important, I do not consider myself nave. Ibrahim smuggled drugs and weapons, just as did the Agha Khorusun and the Agha Nikrat. You are not tainted by your association with them, even though you might believe otherwise." Turhan thought back to that desperately unhappy time when Nadji had brought up the specter of his past. "It's clear that all your previous experiences with women have not prepared you for love, else you would never have needed my counsel. The only positive relationships you've had with women are those where it was not necessary to give of yourself emotionally. So now you're faced with something new, something different, and you don't know quite how to deal with it. Sezer, I take it, is physically attractive to you?" "Yes." "She comes from the same humble beginnings as you. She is `safe' in that she'll never compete with you intellectually. She inhabits your world but won't inhibit you.

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And Halide, whose approval you seek more than any other person, is urging you to marry her." "Yes. You've told me all the positive reasons to marry Sezer." "But that may not be enough." "What do you mean, Effendim?" "Most human beings never stop to analyze love. That's why, for centuries, parents have arranged marriages for their children. Love is an imponderable, probably the worst reason in the world to marry, although it's worked pretty well for me. You don't have parents to arrange a marriage for you. Neither does Sezer, so the two of you are left to your own devices. Still, whether you admit it or not, you want the approval of those closest to you. "Maybe you're the kind who needs to marry for that very reason. But you'd better realize some of the dangers when someone of your character embarks on such a journey. You are an intensely ambitious man, Turhan. You've shown that by the successes you've achieved in such a limited time. You don't really care about worldly honors or wealth, although they seem to have come to you early. Rather, you need to affect the world you live in. "Several months ago, you told me Halide might as well be married to Turkey. You're really no different. As long as I've known you, you've been bound to the neverending search for truth, the all-abiding desire to see that the little man achieves justice. That's admirable, Turhan. But I question whether you will ever allow yourself fully to give your heart to another human being. Turhan stared straight at his earliest mentor.

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"On the surface, everything about marriage to Sezer is objectively `correct.' You are more than old enough to marry. You're intelligent enough to realize that Sezer can help you achieve greater maturity than you could ever attain without her. She's a `good' girl and a `safe' one, perhaps the first for whom you've ever sensed an attraction. On that level, Turhan, you may well be `in love' with this girl. But before you commit yourself one way or the other, look inside yourself. Are being fair to her? If not, you'll be undermining the very essence of your being." # That night, and for many thereafter, Turhan thought about the old man's words. Love? How could he explain the concept? Yet he'd seen how intensely Halide had loved Metin. Nadji was married to a stunningly beautiful woman. Who wouldn't be in love with Aysheh? They were the perfect match for one another. Both had the good looks, breeding, background, class, and flawless ease which assured success in everything they undertook, and they obviously adored one another. Sezer was a pretty woman. She possessed everything he'd ever really wanted in a mate. Sensibility and sensitivity. Thoughtfulness and goodness. Courage and a safe harbor for his emotions. Jelal was both right and wrong. He was right in causing Turhan to think more deeply about the concept of love. But, Turhan convinced himself, Jelal was wrong when he said Turhan could not give love to another human being. # Several nights later, Turhan invited Sezer to an extravagant meal he'd prepared himself. Afterward, they gazed with frank longing at one another. Neither knew who ventured the first gentle kiss. Shortly afterward, their kisses turned more passionate.

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Turhan turned off the lights. They continued kissing. Then, their explorations became more direct. That night, Sezer did not sleep in her room on Kurtalan Street. Sezer had had no previous experience in lovemaking, but she was strong, healthy, eager to give pleasure and take it. Before long, she was as adept at this wonderful new game as any who'd ever played it. When, at dawn, their bodies were sated with one another, they collapsed into happily exhausted slumber. They did not awake until late in the afternoon. It was time to make love again. Halide had predicted that they'd marry by late spring, but they wed earlier. In February, 1930, Turhan and Sezer were united in a civil ceremony conducted by the mayor of Diyarbakir. The announcement of their marriage was duly reported in two newspapers. Turhan kept both of them. The first, of course, was Isharet. The second didn't reach him until many months later. But the story was given much more prominence in the second paper. In fact, it was the leading article on the front and only page of the Dorutay World. # During the first six months of their marriage, Sezer and Turhan worked successfully together in a number of villages. Their achievements propelled them to greater heights. They had little opportunity for undisturbed time with one another, for by day's end they were exhausted and each tomorrow presented a new challenge. Sezer was proud of her man's accomplishments and never tired of telling him so. Her greatest strength lay in her simple country background. Sezer was a hungry, demanding lover, but all too soon Turhan's ardor seemed to cool. In the past, he'd always been excited by the forbidden aspects of sex, the ability to conquer the unattainable. Now, he was involved in

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a committed relationship with a woman who was not only readily available, but who viewed lovemaking as only one part of their life. As eager to satisfy as she was, Sezer was not the stuff of which fantasies were made. Sezer sensed that Turhan was distancing himself from the very intimacy she hungered for most. At first, she simply accepted Turhan's behavior as typical of a man. She respected Turhan too much to voice her anger. With the exception of Halide, she'd known rejection all of her life. It was the way of the world that people never really got what they wanted. A little more than a year after they'd been married, Turhan realized that Jelal had spoken the truth when he'd said it might well be impossible for him fully to love another human being. He felt guilty, for he knew Sezer was giving him much more love than he deserved. But it was not within him to reach out, to say the accepting word, to touch her with the magic combination of gentleness and desire. Their marriage settled into a life of two compatible friends occupying the same bed but different worlds. While they provided periodic sexual satisfaction to one another, it was dutiful, a pleasurable if somewhat mechanical act. They determined this would not be the right time for children. Each had so much to accomplish. Turhan extended his trips in the east. Sezer found herself working more and more with Halide. Turhan and Sezer frequently invited Halide to dine with them. Neither Turhan nor Sezer ever mentioned dissatisfaction with the marriage to Halide. They never spoke with one another about it. Each simply assumed, silently, that this was the way marriage was supposed to be. When it was time for Turhan to return to Ankara, Turhan and Sezer had settled down to what they'd accepted as reasonable contentment with their lot.

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6 So youre leaving Diyarbakir, too? Turhan asked Nadji. Theyd met in a tea house the afternoon before the journalist and his wife were to leave for Ankara. I am. I thought Id finished my obligation to the Gazi, but I guess not. Hes sending me out to Doubayezit to bring more young boys into todays world. If its anything like the past year, itll be enlightening. I swear, the way these young soldiers drive trucks youd think they were almost ready for the wheel. Theyre doing a little better when I insist they eat with forks and knives. Nadji chuckled. So youre going to be the next Noah? Turhan chided. Not quite. Doubayezit army base is a good hundred and fifty kilometers from the base of Agri Da, Mout Ararat. They say the wind never stops blowing off the mountain. What does Aysheh say about all this? No, thank you. Shes not happy that Ill be gone, but its only a three month assignment, and then weve been promised Izmir. I suggested she might use the time Im gone to visit her sister in Istanbul, and she thought that was a good idea. What about her parents? Theyre still in Washington. Theyve extended his tour of duty as the ambassador. He wrote us that he doesnt think Mr. Hoover will run for another term as President and theres a lot of talk about a fellow named Franklin Roosevelt. The name means nothing to me. They finished their tea and Turhan ordered to more glasses. Hows the general?

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They both knew he was talking about Nadjis father, not the Gazi. He retired two months ago, three years after he got his second star. So he really did become a pasha, Turhan mused. I havent heard that honorific title since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire eight years ago. Mama was so proud of him, but now that hes sixty-one she complains hes underfoot all the time. They could travel the world. Yes, but they did a lot of that during his thirty years in the Army. So what does he do with his spare time, now that theres lots of it? He probably spends half his time polishing that big old Mercedes. Would you believe the Gazi was at his retirement and actually gave him his choice of the Mercedes or a gold watch? They couldnt have thought of a better gift, Turhan said. I imagine his pension keeps him in petrol. Turhan paid the tab, and the two men walked into Diyarbakirs main square. Whatll you be doing in Izmir, Nadji? Theyre assigning me to the Armys diplomatic school, after which time I pin on the silver leaves of a yarbay a lieutenant colonel and theyll dispatch me to duty as a military attach at one of our embassies. Quite an early promotion, my friend. With Aysheh being a diplomats daughter as well as being beautiful and socially adept, it looks like youve got the perfect future ahead. Inshallah. What about you, Turhan? Back to Isharets Ankara bureau? Probably. But whatever happens, I look forward to big city life again. Have you

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heard anything about our Halide? Her two years of service are coming to an end, too. As a matter of fact, I have. Shes made not-so-subtle suggestions to our glorious leader that he could carry his ambitious programs much farther, much faster, if there was a Turkish college to train teachers. Shes spoken with the administrators of Robert College, the American institution in Istanbul, and theyve got some excess land theyd sell her at a very good price. My guess is that the Gazi will find a way to fund the teachers college. It seems hes been particularly generous to those who took him up on his challenge to bring Turkey into the twentieth century. Which is why I asked what you think is in store for you. # When Turhan returned to the capital, he was amazed at the changes he saw. His two years in the southeast had hardly prepared him for the sight of a large number of unveiled young women, wearing clothing of the type he saw in the European magazines now openly diplayed on newsstands. Women were strolling leisurely on the wide sidewalks of Ankara's main thoroughfare, often unacoompanied by men. . When he overheard casual conversations in the several new cafes dotting

Yenishehir, Ankara's "new city," he learned just how profound Kemal's revolution had been. When he'd left the capital in 1928, Mustafa Kemal had instituted the previously unheard-of concept of competing political parties. Now, it seemed, the Gazi had concluded Turkey was not ready for responsible opposition, and had ordered the Free Republican Party to disband. If Kemal was not yet a god, he was certainly a monument. But the leader's consolidation of power did not stifle angry voices of dissent. While the entrenched clergy dared not appear in the Allah-damned nationalist capital, its

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reactionary voice was reflected in furtive glances, whispers, and embarrassed silences of those recently arrived from the villages, who brought their traditions on their backs. Those men made certain their women wore shawls and shalvar. They continued to carry small prayer rugs with them and made obeisance by bowing toward Mecca five times each day, despite snickers and derisive comments made by "sophisticates." Early in 1931, Mustafa Kemal summoned Turhan to the presidential office for a private talk. "Turhan, the government recently erected a radio broadcasting unit in Ankara. We're having difficulties getting started. We've no way of knowing what the people in the towns and villages want to hear. You've spent the last two years traveling all over the eastern part of the country. Could you put together a series of programs that might appeal to the Turkish people?" "Another `assignment', Excellency?" "Consider it more of an opportunity, my friend. Of course, if you're not interested, I could ask Refik, Milliyets popular columnist." "As usual, Gazi, you make a compelling argument." # "Akshamlariniz hayirli olsun! Good evening, my friends! This is Turhan Trkoglu calling on Radio Ankara, the Voice of Turkey. I hope you have had a wonderful day. May Allah bless your rest. It's time for the news! Turhan's gruff, instantly recognizable voice, appealed to Turks in every walk of life. Within a month, his evening program of current events, candid observations, music, and advice, which ran from six to ten each night, was Turkeys most popular radio show. By the end of 1932, two years after his return to the capital, he was one of

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Turkey's best known personalities. Some of this was due to Isharet's growth, but his greatest popularity came because more people listened to Turhan than listened to Kemal himself. The president stopped in at least once a week, and usually stayed late. One night, at the beginning of 1933, the Gazi was in a mellow mood when he entered the studio, having already quaffed half a bottle of Chivas Regal scotch. "Turhan," he said. "Your influence in Turkey is almost as great as mine. I feel fortunate indeed that you've spoken favorably of my plans on your evening programs." "Gazi, no one respects you more than I. But you know I'll always speak my mind, no matter the consequence. If I don't agree with your ideas, I'll say so." "What if I don't approve of your views?" "You have three choices. You order me to resign, you fire me, or you choke on what I say and listen respectfully." "Bravo, Turhan! You're one of the few who's ever disagreed with me and still kept your job." "Not to mention my head, Gazi!" The two men laughed. Kemal poured Turhan a drink from the open bottle. The evening broadcast had concluded half an hour before. Kemal felt like playing poker. Turhan roused three press colleagues, one English, one American, one German, from the nearby Ankara Palas Hotel. As the night wore on, drinks flowed and tongues loosened considerably. It was tacitly agreed that what they said that night would not go outside the studio. "Grundig, what in holy Hell is going to happen to Europe, now that you've put

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that postcard painter in office?" "God only knows, Mister President," the German responded affably. "Hitler did get elected by popular democratic vote." "Don't give me that crap, Otto!" the American interrupted him with a loud belch. "That Nazi's got some strange ideas. Have you read Mein Kampf?" "Natrlich, Mike, that's required reading now." "Do you buy into those ideas?" "Politicians spout whatever they think will get them elected. No offense, Mr. President." "None taken, Otto. Your fhrer wants me to accredit a reporter from Vlkischer Beobachter to Ankara." "I say, Kemal, surely you wouldn't allow that rag here?" "No, Percy, you don't have to worry about that, but I'm afraid you'll soon have a lot to worry about up in your part of the continent." "We've got treaties with the buggers," the Englishman replied. "That's one thing the Jerries understand." "You think so?" the President asked. "After the Great War ended, the Allies tried to impose their will on Turkey. Turhan and I were in Istanbul at the time. It was a pretty grim place. I remember saying, back in 1919, that if Turkey were pushed to the wall, we'd throw all foreigners out. That's exactly what happened. You Allies forced a pretty harsh peace on Germany. The economic depression hasn't made anyone particularly friendly toward one another. They say that until recently inflation was so rampant in Germany you brought a wheelbarrow full of money into a bakery to buy a loaf of bread."

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"I remember those days," the German replied. "At one time, the mark was two trillion to the dollar. You did better to wipe your arse with banknotes than use them for anything else." "I'd watch Germany very closely were I in your shoes," Kemal said. "That crazy man who's come to power may well pull the trigger that blows the head off Europe." "Easy, fellows," the American rejoined. "Here we are, watching our friend Kemal drag a country from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century in the span of ten years. I propose a toast! Sherefinize! Good health and long life to you, Mr. President!" "Hear, hear!" the four comrades agreed. As dawn broke over the capital, the foreigners left the studio. Kemal and Turhan stayed on, talking quietly in a small, private office. "You've been married how long, Turhan, three years next month, I believe?" Although the president had consumed copious quantities of Scotch whisky during the night, and had undoubtedly been awake nearly twenty-four hours, Turhan was amazed at Kemal's recall of the slightest details. "Precisely, Gazi. Why do you ask?" "One would have thought you'd have had two sons by now." He chuckled gently as he saw Turhan's discomfiture. "Never mind, my friend. I know how it is. Since Halide started Yujel Orhan Teacher's College last year, Sezer's probably been in Istanbul more than she's been home. The Germans used to have a saying with regard to their women, `kirche, kche, kinder' church, kitchen and children.' Maybe I've gone too far with this women's rights thing?" "Whether you have or haven't is not for me to judge. The clock's moved forward."

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"Indeed. How are things between you and Sezer, by the way?" "Fine. Why shouldn't they be? Her work's as important as mine. We're both fulfilled...." "And children?" the president asked again. "When the time's right, there'll be sons, Gazi. We both knew there'd be work to do first." "And you're obviously enjoying yours?" "You'd know I was lying if I said I didn't. Who'd have thought a thirty-six-yearold bumpkin from a little village in southeastern Turkey would be rubbing elbows with the president of his country, poking fun at international politicians, and getting paid well for it?" "Who, indeed? Turhan, how would you like an opportunity to do even more than that?" "What do you mean, Gazi?" As the president unfolded his plan to Turhan, the reporter's eyes widened. What Kemal proposed would change his life. But the situation was fraught with danger. Further, it meant putting his career ahead of his wife's, and he wondered how they'd both be able to deal with that. Sezer was an intelligent, keen woman, with a basic education in language skills. At heart, she was still a simple country girl from Suvarli, whose life work was to bring elementary skills to villagers. Had Turhan himself ever shaken the image of his humble beginnings? "A year, Turhan, that's all I'm asking of you." "I'd have to ask Sezer. Why me? To use your own phrase, `Of course you could

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ask Refik at Milliyet.'" "I'm serious, Turhan. There's talk I've thrown all my old friends out of Turkey and turned into a crusty dictator just like the rest. I'm not banishing you, arkadash. You're one of the few truthful observers I've got left on my side." "But just last evening you said..." "That Hitler may start a war if the western powers and the Russians don't stop them. Turhan, they say Berlin is one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Before the last war, it was the capital of European culture. I think you'll find it a unique experience." "And Sezer?" "She must go with you, of course. It always looks more respectable. That will stop them from thinking there's a `terrible Turk' coming to kidnap one of their Aryan fruleins." "I'd need time to convince her, Gazi. I doubt if she'll be pleased." "Turhan, remember, you're the man in the relationship. The one in charge." Now it was Turhan's turn to laugh. "Am I hearing what I think I'm hearing from the champion of rights for all Turks? The man who publicly said, `Progress is impossible when half our nation stays chained to the kitchen, the veil, the home, while the other half reaches for the skies?'" "Yes, ahem, well, what we say publicly is one thing...." "Easy for you to say, Gazi. You're not married. The whole nation is your bride." "As it is yours, Turhan, whether you know it or not. And I'm asking you to love that bride as much as you love your own."

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"How fast could you get me out of Berlin if there were trouble?" "What makes you think there'll be trouble?" "Call it `newsman's intuition.' From what I've heard, I don't think anyone will be able to give an honest opinion of anything in Germany and get away with it."

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Although Ankara had grown by leaps and bounds, Istanbul, the decaying Ottoman capital, was still "the City," and would always be. At Kemal's insistence, Turhan and Sezer were ensconced, at government expense, in a suite on the fifth floor of the Pera Palas hotel, in the heart of the European district. Turhan had visited the Pera's elegant oak-and-gilt public rooms before, but he'd never actually stayed there. The opulence, so foreign to anything Sezer had ever known, overwhelmed her. "We can't possibly stay in such a place when Turkish villagers are starving. Why can't we simply take lodging in one of the dormitories at the college and tell Mustafa Kemal to use the money for better purpose?" "And insult the president? Don't worry, darling, the Gazi knows what he's doing. I'm certain the hotel management is contributing most of what it would ordinarily charge, for the good of the nation." "Actually, I'm proud our country can produce something as elegant as this." "That's not entirely true." "What do you mean?" The founder of Wagons-Lits, George Nagelmackers, built it because fifty years ago he didnt think there was a place luxurious enough for his Grand European Express. Its housed kings and prime ministers, actors and even whores since that time," Turhan laughed. "Turhan!" Sezer said in mock indignation. She relented, then expressed surprise as she saw her husband pour two flutes of champagne, which had been provided compliments of the management. She felt a warm glow. Perhaps there was still life in

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the marriage after all. "To us!" he toasted. "To us!" she repeated. After she'd taken two small sips, she said, "All right, husband. What's this all about? The president wouldn't have sent you here just for being his star broadcast personality. Kemal wants something." "You're right, Sezer." He looked at his wife, trying to picture in his mind how she'd appear to the Aryans in Berlin. A pretty country woman. Certainly not their idea of Germanic perfection. Sezer was almost as tall as Turhan, with tawny skin, gentle, alert brown-black eyes, and dark hair knotted in back. Her figure was becoming matronly although she did her best to conceal it. Kirche, kche, kinder. "Kemal wants us to go to Berlin for a year." "Berlin, Germany?" "Yes." Sezer said nothing for several moments. She bit down hard on her thumb. Finally, she asked, "Must you go?" "Weren't you listening, Sezer? Kemal wants us to go." "I heard you, husband," she said, quietly. Do we have a choice?" "What do you mean, `choice'?" he said, raising his voice slightly. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime. We've never been out of Turkey. This is our chance to see something more than a poor, struggling country. Berlin's the cultural center of the world." "Turkey's a world of its own," she rejoined with equal fervor. "We are building something here, not tearing things down like Hitler wants to do. There's a place for

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everyone. We need every man and woman to make it happen. Why do we need to go to a place like that?" "Because the Gazi demands it." "I'm your wife, Turhan. I'm entitled to demands of my own. Like a secure, comfortable life right here at home." Although he spoke quietly, Turhan spoke with a barely concealed threat he'd never dared voice in the past. "Sezer, I would like to have a secure, comfortable life for us right here in Turkey. I would like to have a wife waiting for me each night when I come home. I would like to have sons, although we promised each other it would be a while. But that isn't the life we lead. You're away more than you're in Ankara. When you're not in some dormitory in Istanbul, it seems the whole country is your home. When I'm not writing for Isharet, I'm on the air. For better or worse, that's the way our life is at the moment. The Gazi has virtually ordered me to go to Berlin as his private emissary. He didn't give me any choice in the matter. Nor can I give you one." "And if I choose not to go?" Silence hung between them like a thick, black cloud. The mood of gaiety had been shattered. Finally, Turhan broke the tense silence. "Leys go have dinner, shall we? Istiklal Caddesi's not far from here." She nodded, but said nothing. Istiklal Caddesi was European Istanbul's main artery. Although Turhan's friends from the international press had told him it could never hope to compete with Unter den Linden, the Champs Elysee, or Piccadilly Circus, Turhan had no basis for comparison. High-fashion European shops competed with pushcart peddlers who sold barbecued

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lamb's intestines, pistachio nuts, shish kebabs and fried fish. Within a three block stroll, one could find an Armenian church, an Italian basilica, a Spanish chapel, the Palace of France, and a Chinese restaurant. When Turhan had been a bachelor, he'd loved the rowdy nightclubs and restaurants near Cicek Passaj the Flower Passage where, for a very few lira, he could sample mezerler Turkish hors d'oeuvres guzzle beer, enjoy an evening of fellowship with the international press corps, and, should one be so inclined, sample other, more exotic entertainments. Tonight his mood was somber. He chose the Yeni Rejans, a Russian restaurant at the end of a dark, dingy passageway off Lower Istiklal. He'd been there several times before. After the Russian revolution, several ladies, one who'd been a ballerina in Kiev, pooled what little funds they'd had and started the restaurant. Displaced Russian nobles had made it a popular place for Europeans, but the prices were steep for most Istanbulus. Over borscht and breaded veal cutlets, Turhan changed his tone. "I'm sorry I raised my voice earlier, darling," he began. "The Gazi says this is critically important to Turkey. And he promises it's only for a year." "Then why couldn't you go alone? We've been separated for weeks at a time already. I'm sure he'd let you come back to Istanbul any time you wanted. Deutsche Lufthansa's had air service between Berlin and Istanbul since last year. It would take you no time at all to travel between cities." "Kemal wants us to go as a couple. He says the Germans are very rigid when it comes to propriety. They believe a man should have a wife, and that married couples should function as a unit." "You mean they don't want a Turk touching their precious Aryan women? Don't

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look so shocked, I'm just teasing you." "It's not a joke, Sezer. Kemal said much the same thing to me." "And for this, you ask me to turn my life upside down with no warning and you expect me to follow you happily to a strange country. I'm not as sophisticated as you. I never will be. But I have learned to read newspapers. I even listen to `The Voice of Turkey' every night. Somehow I don't believe Berlin is paradise on earth for any but blond-haired Germans." Turhan's patina of civility was rapidly dissolving. When he spoke, it was in measured tones. "Perhaps you've been listening too much to the modern ideas everyone seems to be spouting. You are my wife, Sezer. Do you forget where you'd have been without me?" "Without you?" She glared at him. "Without you?" she repeated. "I'd be exactly where I am now, doing exactly what I'm doing today. Building Turkey. Helping the best friend you've ever had. The best friend our nation's ever had, and I include your Gazi when I say that. "Halide Orhan doesn't go around making fancy speeches. She doesn't rub elbows with kings, ministers and presidents, or actors or whores for that matter. Was it you who plucked me from the village, Turhan? Or was it Halide who gave me a life beyond the starvation and misery of Suvarli? You are my husband, my man, and I owe you a wifely duty because of it. But don't talk to me about debt. I owe Halide no lesser loyalty than I owe you. The Ankara Radio may be your sacred trust, your first child. Yujel Orhan Teacher's College is mine. Am I any less than you because I'm a mere woman? Well? Am I?" She closed her eyes. When she opened them, they were bright with unshed tears, but they were tears of defiance, not tenderness.

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Turhan quickly paid the tab. They said nothing to one another on the walk home. Despite their plush accommodations and the deliberately cultured romantic atmosphere of the Pera Palas, they slept in separate beds that night, their feelings as flat as the champagne they'd never bothered to drink. # When he awoke next morning, Sezer was gone. She'd left a brief note. "I'm going to the school. I need to talk to Halide." Turhan looked out the window. It was gray and sleety. A light patina of slushy snow covered Istanbul's hills. Normally, Turhan would have ridden the Tnel, Istanbul's ancient, one-stop subway, down the hill from the Pera Palas to the Galata Bridge, walked across the dual level span to Eminn landing, and taken the ferry up the Bosphorous. Today, reacting from anger and injured pride, he hired a taxicab to take him up the narrow Bosphorous coast road. It took two hours for the cab to reach Ortaky, ten miles north of the city. The village was situated in a wooded area that hid both the noise and the bustle of Istanbul. The cab dropped him at the foot of a muddy path just beyond the village center. He trudged half a mile up the trail through scrub forest until he came to an opening a few hundred feet above Ortaky, where the school was located. Yujel Orhan Teachers' College, named for Halides late father, consisted of three single-story, earth-brown buildings, each more than fifty meters in length, situated on a broad field overlooking the Bosphorous. The center structure appeared to be finished. The other two were half-completed, their roofs open to the elements. Halide greeted him at the front door, dressed in slacks and a heavy woolen sweater. Her hair was cut very

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short. He noticed she was starting to go gray at the temples. Halide smiled broadly. "Hosh geldiniz! Welcome my friend. Although I don't know if I'd call someone who's known about this place for months and hasn't even visited `a friend,'" she joked. "Even Lieutenant Colonel Akdemir graced me with his presence a few weeks ago. Now that you've finally arrived, allow me to give you the grand tour." Halide wore a carpenter's belt, from which a number of tools were suspended. She walked with a determined gait that reminded him of the girl who'd fought her way through every obstacle to come to Gelibolu over seventeen years ago. Allah, they'd both been children back then. Down the hall, he heard the pounding of hammers, and goodnatured, purposeful shouting. The noise was magnified because there was no carpeting to muffle its sound. They entered a large room, where Turhan saw six burly fellows putting up large sheets of wallboard. The bright lighting stood in stark contrast to the gray outdoors. In an adjacent office, four young women were busily engaged sewing drapes and wall hangings. They looked up, nodded in greeting, and smiled as Halide introduced them to Turhan. While they were cordial, they were not about to be deterred from their work. "It's not much to look at, yet," Halide shouted over the din. "But give it a year or so and you'll see something really special." Farther down the hall, there were four classrooms and, beyond that, a men's dormitory and a women's dormitory, each containing twenty iron cots, an equal number of portable wooden closets, nightstands, chairs and desks. There were communal washrooms at the far end of each dormitory. "We've got thirty-four students and six teachers," Halide said proudly. "Twenty men, twenty women. All of the men, students

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and teachers, sleep in one bedroom, all the women in the other. We eat together, we study together, and we're building together." "And if we don't work together a little harder, Hanim Effendim, we'll never be able to house the fifty additional students and eight new teachers who're supposed to be here in September." The strong, bass voice belonged to a tall, ruddy-complexioned man in his mid-twenties. "You must be Turhan Trkoglu," the young man said, smiling and holding out his hand, western style. Turhan shook it, impressed. "I'm afraid we haven't met." "Im Nurettin Shihan. I feel I've known you for months. Sezer's made me listen to `The Voice of Turkey' every night. I wouldn't be surprised if every Turk within sound of your voice feels you're a member of his family." "Thank you," Turhan said. "This brash young fellow seems to think he owns the place," Halide said, smiling up at the large man. "I found him just before we started building," she continued. "Much as I'd like to believe Mustafa Kemal's posturing about how all men and women are created equal, anyone who believes that would as soon build a bridge over the Bosphorous. I simply couldn't function without Nurettin. He's the best contractor, negotiator, and administrator I've ever known. And to think I found him in my very own back yard. Praise Allah for our wonderful American friends who sent him over here from Robert College." "Turhan Effendim, I'd love to stay and talk to you, Nurettin said, but Ive got work to do in the next building. We're trying to make it rival the Pera Palas," he said, grinning.

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"But it's freezing out there," Turhan said. "A little cold never hurt anyone. You don't sweat as much on a day like today." Three other men, of similar size and build, wearing sweaters, heavy coats, gloves and hats, joined him. After brief introductions, the work party departed. Turhan followed Halide to her office, which was small but elegant. "Have a seat while I fix us some tea," she said, as she turned on the Victrola, and selected a Mozart sonata. "The college is less than a year old," she continued, "but it's a beginning. Sezer and two others teach the beginners. I'm the professor and dean. That means I get to work eighteen hours a day instead of the normal twelve. Occasionally, we all go up to my house, which I rather pretentiously call Belgrade Palas, for a weekend. I always was a better cook than a carpenter," she chuckled, then turned serious. "Now, my dear Turhan, what brings you to my humble abode on such a beautiful, warm day, as if I didn't know?" "Sezer's told you?" "Of course. I congratulate you on a rare opportunity to advance your career, my friend. Even if your wife's not pleased." "Kemal wants us both to go to Berlin." "Does that mean that Sezer has no choice in the matter?" Halide's tone was not challenging. If she was disturbed, she gave no sign of it. "This is something more important than either of us. How can I turn down the Gazi?" "You'd sacrifice your wife's happiness for your own career?" "I don't follow you," he said. "Why must she go?"

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"It's an opportunity for both of us, far beyond anything ever offered before." "It's an opportunity for you, my friend." She gazed at him steadily, her elbows spread on her desk, her hands cupping her chin. "What makes you think it would be an opportunity for Sezer?" "Sezer's a village girl from Suvarli. Five years ago, she'd never have hoped to travel beyond her village, let alone go to a major European capital. How can she not see this is a dream come true?" "It may be your dream, my friend. That doesn't mean it's hers." "But I'm her husband!" he spluttered, exasperated at Halide's studied calm. Now she raised her voice, ever so slightly. "Turhan, I'm surprised at you. We've known each other nearly eighteen years. Whatever happened to the caring friend who held my hand when Metin died? Have you become a slave to your own ambition that you'd say such a thing? Is what you're doing any more important than Sezer's work?" "You simply don't understand," he rejoined. "No woman could." "I see." She colored. "Is that because we mere women don't possess your keen intelligence? Or have you fallen victim to the old saying, `No one is so blind as he who will not see?'" "You can't see my point at all." "That's rather a cheap way of avoiding a direct answer." He'd gotten no further with his dearest friend than he had with his wife. "Is there no solution, then?" "I don't know, Turhan," she said. "Sezer's torn between conflicting choices. She loves her work here. She honestly feels she is making a difference and she's right. She's

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miserable at the thought of betraying you, and she's frightened to death by what she's heard of Germany. You're right when you say perhaps we women don't entirely understand. After all, it's a man who's in power there. The things we read in newspapers and hear on the radio don't give us `mere women' great comfort." "Where is Sezer?" Turhan asked. "I sent her to Bebek to try and sort out her thoughts. She said it would be too difficult to confront you in her present state. What about your thoughts?" "The Gazi promised me a maximum of a year. Could the college survive her loss for that period?" Halide opened her desk drawer, drew out a piece of paper and a pencil, and marked figures on the paper. "At present, we have thirty-four students and six teachers. How soon does Kemal want you there?" "Two weeks from now. The beginning of February," Turhan said. "Spring is our recruiting time. Normally, I'd have Sezer traverse the country, looking for likely candidates. We've already got a full complement for next year. Robert College can loan me a teacher to take Sezer's place. I don't see that as the significant problem." "Well, then, it's settled. You should be able to convince her to go." "Turhan, you listen but you don't hear. Why should I impose your will on another human being?" "But you just said it wouldn't be a problem for you." "What do you know about Germany, Turhan?" "You mean about the Nazis?"

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"No. The German character." "What's to know?" "I was raised in France. We were taught to mistrust the Germans. I'm sure they were taught that we French were a perfidious race. Still, both the Germans and French are Western Europeans. Christian, western Europeans, who look on Turks as Muslim scum, the defilers of babies, the murderers of millions of Christian Armenians. Add to that a very unique German character trait. They believe themselves to be the sons and daughters of the gods. It lives in everything they do. Do you know their national anthem?" "Deutschland, Deutschland ber alles." "Yes. Germany over all, over everyone. That's how they feel. They're not sorry about the last war. They're sorry they lost it. They've spent the last ten years searching for the betrayers in their midst. The politicians who signed the shameful Versailles Treaty, those who caused inflation to escalate until their proud nation was bankrupt. The one thing their character would never allow them to admit is that they were somehow at fault. It couldn't be Germans. They were too perfect. It had to be someone else." "We were Germany's ally in the last war." "And so were Germany's Jews, who gave their blood, their energy and their money, Halide continued. But the Jews were part of a losing effort and the Turks were part of a losing effort. The very presence of non-Aryan outsiders inside their holy borders serves as a constant reminder that Germany was humiliated by children of a lesser god. Sezer's frightened. She has a right to be. If I were in her position, I'd resist too." "But I'd be under the Gazi's protection," Turhan sputtered.

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"How effective do you think that would be? Do you think the president would truly go to war over one Turk?" "Are you saying we shouldn't go?" "I'm not saying anything," Halide said. "The decision is not mine to make. There are other considerations. Turkish men have always been drawn to Germany like moths to a candle. I'm told Berlin is a decadent city, and there are sophisticated attractions to snare and hold any man. Certainly you're not a bloodless saint." "Perhaps that's a reason she should accompany me. To protect her territory." Halide scowled. "Is that the depth of your feeling for your wife, Turhan? That another human being is someone's possession, someone's `territory?' Perhaps there are some important lessons you've yet to learn, my friend." "I can see I'm getting nowhere," he responded. "I thought you'd be more help to me." "Perhaps I am. Think about what I've said, Turhan. Maybe it's time you determined what your priorities were." Turhan left a short while later. It was a tense parting for the two friends. In the end, the matter was never quite resolved. Turhan Trkolu, the self-styled "Voice of Turkey," delivered his last broadcast from Radio House in Ankara on February 18, 1933. The following day, he left the Turkish capital to serve as Kemal's eyes and ears in the German capital. Despite her doubts and fears, Sezer accompanied her husband to the heart of the Third Reich. Not happily. Although they never said anything to one another about it, there was a polite unease between them. For it was clear that they had very different ideas about how best to serve their country.

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When Kerem, his mentor, died in 1928, Abbas was relieved and secretly jubilant. The old man had become crippled with arthritis, then senile. The younger man continued to take care of him, insisting that the Brotherhood's weekly meetings be held in Kerem's home because of the elder's inability to travel. During the last five years, the man who'd lifted Abbas from the gutters of the bazaar had become an increasingly unbearable burden. He was incontinent much of the time. Abbas gagged at the foul odors that emanated from him. Sexual congress between them had ceased years ago, and Abbas had taken on a lover, a young army lieutenant who'd been inducted into the Brotherhood several months before. Abbas was pleased, but not surprised, that he'd been appointed the old man's executor, and that Kerem had left him the bulk of his estate. After all, it had been Abbas who'd befriended the shady avukat and secured proper witnesses to Kerem's will. By that time, the old man could not see well enough to read and was lucid barely half the time. When Kerem's family protested the five percent of the estate they'd been left, the witnesses swore by Allah that the testator had been fully competent, indeed eager, to leave everything to his protg, and that it had only been at Abbas' insistence that the family had gotten anything at all. Now that Kerem was gone, Abbas suggested the Brotherhood meet at various locations. If it was to remain a secret organization, it would hardly do for prying eyes to wonder why thirty men congregated at the same place each Wednesday evening. "One could hardly imagine so many men came together to play tavla," he joked. Abbas had secured regular promotions in the police department. At thirty-five, he

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was a captain. It was hinted that his promotions had come because of his extraordinary ability to ferret out crimes committed by those in positions of wealth and power, and because police coffers always swelled after an arrest by Hkmdar's units. Oddly, even though few of those arrested by Abbas were convicted, he gained a reputation as one of the toughest, most dedicated officers on the force. A few officers under him hinted that he was a sadistic bastard. When word reached him, these officers found themselves transferred to details so demeaning that shortly afterward they left the force. One evening, half a year after Kerem's death, the host of that evening's Brotherhood meeting asked Abbas to stay on after the rest left. The young captain was flattered. The man was the third highest ranking officer in the Interior Ministry. At his invitation, Abbas joined the deputy in his private study. "Cognac?" the older man, Zihat lmay, offered. "Thank you, yes." "Good. I appreciate a man who has cultured tastes. Captain Hkmdar, I asked you to stay because I've been impressed by your achievements." "I didn't know you've been following them, Sir." "You're a policeman. Your job is to know everything in your district. Mine is to know what's going on throughout the nation. We learn many things about all sorts of people." Abbas sipped his brandy slowly. He'd learned when an older person was in an expansive mood, it was best to listen. The deputy continued. "Let me be frank with you, Abbas. You're a captain in the police force and you are ambitious are you not?" "Yes, Sir."

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"No one minds a dalliance here and there. Don't be surprised. I know about the lieutenant and I've known about Kerem for a long time. Men of the world don't bandy such things about. But if you're thinking about rising to the highest echelons, it becomes necessary to have the proper, ahem, trappings." "What do you mean, Mister Minister?" Abbas said, elevating the man a couple of notches in rank. "A wife to attend social functions. A child, perhaps two, to complete the family picture." "Why would this be of concern to you, Sir?" "Abbas, a father wants the best for his children. My daughter Mina is thirty-three and unmarried. She's not unattractive. I dont believe she'll ever set the world afire intellectually...." "Are you suggesting an arranged marriage, Mister Minister?" "There are worse things, Captain. There would be advantages to each side, of course." "Of course." "I'm not a pauper by any means, although I understand you've succeeded to an adequate estate of your own. There would be other benefits as well. I suggest you consider a lateral transfer from Internal Security Police to the Interior Ministry. Should you desire to exercise your other needs I trust you'd use discretion. There'd be ample opportunity for travel throughout Turkey and beyond." Abbas mulled the suggestion over in his mind. The advantages far outweighed the disadvantages. Lately, his lover, the lieutenant had become tiresomely demanding. A

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son to carry on his name would not be a bad idea. Besides, a woman was only a vessel to bear his seed anyway. Did it matter who or how? He thought back to something a friend in the Brotherhood had told him once. Your eyes are closed when you do it. You can imagine your partner to be whomever you choose. "Mister Minister, this comes as a surprise, albeit not an unpleasant one. I'll need some time to digest it. May I respond to your proposal within the week?" "Certainly." # His father-in-law was right. Mina was neither a fount of intelligence, nor an exciting or accomplished lover. But within a year of the marriage, Abbas had moved several rungs up the ladder in the Interior Ministry. In May, 1930, his wife gave birth to a son. Abbas became the brightest new star in the galaxy of deputy secretaries in the Interior Ministry. # "I think it's time to expand your horizons a bit." "What do you mean, Papa?" Deputy Minister lmay enjoyed when his son-inlaw professed familial feelings. Even though his daughter was no great prize, the younger man had more than made good on his promise and Abbas harbored genuine affection for him. "One of the best ways to enhance professionalism is to observe and emulate those who do it better than anyone else. I admire the strategies employed by the National Socialists in Germany. Their entire philosophy is to purify the race. Germany for Germans."

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Abbas grinned broadly. "Hasn't that been the Brotherhood's goal since its inception? To rid our own land of foreign elements?" "Indeed." lmay smiled knowingly at the younger man. "The new German Chancellor surrounds himself with good men. Hitler's well aware that he who rules by fear is most in control. He's clever enough to use the Strmabteilung to soften up his enemies while he plans greater long-range goals. There's talk he's planning to replace Department IA of the Prussian Political Police." "So I've heard. You think he might be ready to dump Roehm?" "Not yet, Abbas. After all, Roehm's one of his inner circle of five." "But Hitler felt abandoned in 1925 when Roehm went to Bolivia as a lieutenant colonel." "You've done your homework. Roehm's earned his way back into the Fhrer's good graces. The S.A., the National Socialists private militia, was out of hand when Hitler asked him to come back and take over. But we're not here to discuss German politics. This is the Turkish Interior Ministry. I'd like you to go to Germany unofficially, of course and meet with a few of my acquaintances. Find out what they're up to." "How long would I be there?" "A few months." "Would Mina and the boy be going with me?" "I think not. She's pregnant again. Your son's two a horrible age, is it not? We'll be pleased to take care of her. I've heard Berlin is a very cosmopolitan city, one that could be a great deal of fun. No need to take a day-old sandwich to a banquet, eh?" He

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winked conspiratorially. "Who am I supposed to see?" "Two men in particular. Heinrich Himmler, who's a real manipulator, and a fellow more your own age who I think you'll enjoy immensely, Reinhard Heydrich. Never mind the arrogant Aryan face he shows the world. He'll show you a very good time."

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Turhan and Sezer flew from Istanbul to Bucharest, thence directly to Berlin on the Deutsche Lufthansa international flight. When they arrived at Tempelhof, they were struck by the efficiency and spotless cleanliness of the flughafen, and by a large cadre of brown-shirted toughs, ostensibly "keeping order," who appeared to be roughing up several older people. "S.A., Hitlers private militia," Turhan whispered to Sezer. "I expect before long, we'll see several more of these brown-shirt toughs." They were met by the Turkish ambassador, who showed them to their apartment in the Mnchenerstrasse. "On President Kemal's orders, the Turkish government will provide your apartment. You have direct contact by telephone with the embassy. If you need anything, day or night," he said, handing Turhan a small piece of paper, "telephone this number and identify yourself." "Thank you, Your Excellency. I'm surprised. I was told I was not an official with the embassy." "You're not." He dropped the formality and smiled. "Let's say the Gazi would be most upset if he thought any harm could come to you. Oh, by the way, Turhan Effendim?" "Yes?" "Would you mind terribly signing your autograph for my wife, of course. We always listened to you on Radio Ankara." "It would be my pleasure, Excellency." "Chok teshekkr ederim, many thanks. We're having a grand party to celebrate

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Sheker Bayram in six days, on February 27, at the embassy. Herr Hitler sent his regrets, but we expect a most pleasant gathering of our international community. I'd feel honored if you and your wife could attend. It would give you a fine introduction to life in Berlin." # Even before sunset, replicas of ancient Turkish lanterns lit the half-circular driveway in front of the embassy. As Mercedes, Bugattis, and Daimlers arrived, white haired, bewhiskered doormen, outfitted in flowing robes and turbans, presented each alighting passenger with a souvenir of Turkey, a hand carved meerschaum pipe for each man, a single rose in a small alabaster vase for his lady. Formally dressed guests murmured appreciatively as they were escorted over the finest Hereke, Bnyan and Kayseri carpets, into the cavernous ballroom. A white canvas tent, extending from floor to ceiling, draped the entire room. A huge ball, with hundreds of mirrored glass squares embedded in its surface, hung from the ceiling. Spotlights on either side of the room were aimed at the ball. As the huge fixture rotated, a thousand bursts of light created an ever-changing kaleidoscope of artificial stars. Three hundred guests sat on low cushions, placed atop an even greater array of Turkish carpets than they'd seen at the door. They were treated to a scene befitting a deliciously scandalous and decadent land of sultans and harems. Veiled women in diaphanous gowns, with long, black hair wafted by the low tables, leaving behind a mild scent of incense and spices. In each corner of the room a fierce looking Turk, his head shaved, his mammoth chest bared, removed a razor-sharp scimitar from a sash tied around his midriff, and commenced slicing meat that was roasting on a vertical, rotating spit. The veiled women approached each of the monstrous Turks, carrying large dinner

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plates, covered with flat bread. The swordsmen placed generous portions of the meat on the plates, after which the women returned, serving each guest. At each table, there were jezves, small, long-handled brass pots with pouring spouts, filled with freshly melted garlic-butter, or an aromatic sauce of mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic to pour over the meat. The women served heaping bowls of rice, crisp, fresh salads, and bottles of Chankaya, a light, delicate white wine, and Doluja, a full bodied red, both varieties grown, harvested and bottled in Turkey. "By jove, you Turks must lead a splendid life under President Kemal," a floridfaced, monocled Englishman said to Turhan. "You'd think so to look at this," Turhan muttered. "The average Turk never lived like this. Even the wealthiest haven't seen such splendor in the past hundred years." "Yes, but this is Berlin. A little show never hurt anyone, eh?" "I disagree. The whole world is in the middle of the worst depression in the past half-century. The money spent to entertain these overfed dilettantes could feed and house three thousand Turks for a year! The Gazi would not tolerate this display for a moment." "The huns seem to be putting on their own show now that Adolf is in power," the Englishman said. "Another diversion. Keep the masses busy. Give them circuses so they won't know there's no bread." "Well, er, yes. Excuse me, if you will. I didn't catch your name. I'm sure I shall as the night progresses." The man departed. "My husband makes his debut as society's most brilliant light," Sezer remarked.

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"People like him will be the first to cave in when Hitler starts making demands." "What do you mean, darling?" "What I see going on, even in the few days I've been here, distresses me greatly. The diplomats toady up to the fhrer as though he's the next Caesar. Beneath it all, there's an undercurrent of fear. In Turkey, everyone speaks his mind, sometimes too much so. Here, in this `civilized' land, I sense terror just below the glittering surface. People are so cautious when they speak." "You're absolutely right, Trkolu," an American-accented voice behind him said. "In medieval times, they say scholars argued for hours about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. These fools are those very angels, dancing on the edge of the abyss. Its amazing that so few of them see that." Turhan turned and found himself looking into the clear, brown eyes of a man in his thirties, with thinning hair and thick spectacles. The man smiled and pumped Turhan's hand. "Im Ed Baumueller, New York World. I happened to be in Berlin and your ambassador kindly invited me to fill a vacant space." "Mr. Baumueller of the Baumuellers? The ones who founded the World?" "Don't tell anyone," he said in a stage whisper. "We're a Jewish-owned outfit. That wouldn't go down well with His Holiness, the next Frederick Barbarossa." As the two men became involved in the camaraderie shared by newspapermen everywhere, the ambassador's wife drew Sezer into a circle of Turkish women. Turhan and Baumueller had been talking for five minutes, when a man approached and greeted the American in heavily accented English. "Herr Baumueller, I was asked by an old friend, Paul Gottlober, to convey his greetings."

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"Gottlober? His father and mine went to school together, many years ago. You seem awfully young to be one of his associates." "He gave me my first job in sales. I am Bernhard Friedmann. Ten years ago, I traveled to New York and observed how Jews have done so well in your country. Macy, Gimbel, Levi Strauss, and, of course, your own family." "What do you do, Herr Friedmann?" "I took a lesson from you American Jews. I started my own dry goods store. I was lucky the Yiddish word is `Mazeldicke' and it prospered. Then I built another, and another. So now I am fortunate that the name `Friedmann' is known from Berlin to Vienna." "Friedmann's Department Store. Of course!" Turhan said, brightening. "I saw the three-story building in Unter den Linden. That was the first place the ambassador's wife took us to shop." "You must be Turhan Trkolu, the newspaper journalist and radio personality." "I'm flattered you would know such things." "Herr Trkolu, I'm a merchant. It's my job to know every potential customer." He laughed easily. "Seriously, the ambassador told me you'd arrived. He gave me instructions to treat you with great courtesy. It seems you have friends in very high places in the Turkish Republic." After a few minutes of pleasantries, Turhan asked, "Mr. Friedmann, can you give me your candid opinion about what will happen to the Jews with the fhrer in power?" "Of course. I believe his anti-Jewish talk will blow over. Storm clouds have always hovered over the house of Israel. We Jews have kept the mercantile life of

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Germany going since the Middle Ages. Where would the universities, the law courts, the great orchestras be without us? The fhrer may rant and rave about Juden this and Juden that, and how Jews have polluted the master race. That's nothing more than a device to obtain votes. Why, I've donated several thousand Reichshmarks to his campaign as I have to the campaigns of all the major candidates. In the end, I've always found these politicians know where their bread is buttered and who pays for their tirades." "You don't think all this anti-semitic talk will last?" Baumueller asked. "Hardly," Friedmann responded. "The brown shirts will carry on for a while. The Reichskanzler may let them throw a few stones or tease our poorer landsmen. Give Hitler a couple years to consolidate his power and he'll be like all the rest. Fat, content with what he has, squirreling away as much as he can in a numbered Swiss bank account for the day he leaves office." "My husband talks a brave game. I'm not sure I agree. I believe Hitler is a dangerous madman. Anyone who attempts to predict what he'll do is a fool." Turhan found himself staring into the largest, deepest eyes he'd ever seen, green with pale yellow flecks. The woman's oval-shaped, freckled face was framed by shoulder-length auburn hair. Turhan felt an electric shock, followed by a fleeting wave of guilt as he glanced over to where Sezer had been standing a few moments ago. "Gentlemen, I don't know how outspoken women are in your countries, but it's certainly not Jewish tradition to silence our wives. Rachela, may I introduce you to Herr Edwin Baumueller of the New York World and Herr Turhan Trkolu of the Turkish radio and the newspaper Isharet." "I'm pleased to meet you both." Her voice was warm. She was barely five feet

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tall, slender, and most attractive. She came up to Turhan's shoulders. She wore a black sheath gown that accentuated her slight, but definite, feminine curves. Rachela Friedmann wore no scent. Turhan noticed a clean, light aroma when he stood near her. He wondered what she looked like beneath the dress. Would her whole body be as freckled as her face? He felt a hot flush suffuse his neck. The woman appeared not to notice. "Do you find Berlin much different from Ankara, Herr Trkolu?" she asked. "It's a little early to make a judgment, Frau Friedmann," he replied. His voice sounded natural, despite the trip-hammer pounding he felt in his chest. "I'm impressed by your neatly kept, green parks and your shops filled with so many things we don't have in Turkey." "Yes," she murmured. "The Germans have always been very meticulous. They work together like cogs in a well-oiled machine. Why shouldn't they? They are the sons and daughters of the gods." Turhan said nothing. He was dumbfounded. Halide had spoken those precise words less than a month before. Rachela Friedmann continued, "They give minute attention to detail. Every rose in our municipal gardens must be perfect. Every tree must be just so. They say the Fhrer wishes to purify the German race along the same lines." "What do you think of all this, Frau Friedmann? You appear to be an informed German citizen." "You are wrong, Mister Trkolu. I'm a Jewish German citizen. That makes a rather significant difference." "Darling, sshhh," her husband interjected. "You never know who might be

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listening." She continued, caustically mimicking her husband. "Sssh. You never know who might be listening. It doesn't matter who hears, Bernhard. We are doomed if we stay in Germany. And it won't only be us. There are gypsies and Catholics, communists, slavs, Turks for that matter ..." Turhan looked directly at this beautiful, sophisticated woman. "You heard me correctly, Mister Trkolu. Turks, Russians, Frenchmen, it doesn't really matter. Have you ever been an outsider, Mister Trkoglu? I mean a real outsider? Do you have any sense of what it means to be an outcast simply because of an accident of birth? Have you ever known what it is to be completely helpless? To foresee your future in a cracked mirror, knowing you are tied to that future because you haven't the courage to make the right decision?" He looked deeply into the woman's green, yellow-flecked eyes, and saw something there he didn't want to see. A combination of danger, vivacity and hopelessness that touched the core of his soul. This was neither a spoiled child-woman nor a brittle socialite. This one understood, and saw the future. This one knew. At that moment, Turhan was assaulted by a series of uncomfortable and conflicting feelings. Unquestionably he felt a bold stab of lust for this beautiful woman, who was a world apart from his own Sezer a world apart even from someone as attractive and sophisticated as Aysheh Akdemir. But there was more to his feelings than that. He saw a deeply troubled future for the tiny woman. He wanted to hold her, to comfort her, to assure her that everything would be all right. But he was deeply uncertain if things would work out for this Jewess, who was as much an outsider as he had felt

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himself to be in his youth. Turhan was troubled. Deeply troubled. # A few nights later, Turhan and Sezer received an invitation to dine at the Friedmanns. The Turkish ambassador provided an embassy limousine and chauffeur for the evening. When they arrived at the elegant estate, they were surprised to see a pair of uniformed officers wearing Swastika arm bands, standing just outside the electric gate. "It's a good thing we don't have a car of our own," Turhan remarked, feeling the guards' sinister look. "I'm certain they'd have marked our arrival." "Don't be too sure they haven't," Sezer remarked uneasily. Once inside the gates, there was no hint of anything amiss. The large Mercedes crunched over the circular driveway. As they stopped in front of the entryway to the twostory, classic structure with its pseudo-Greek columns, a footman promptly opened the limousines door. Turhan did not miss the tiny red, white and black Nazi flag pinned to the footman's lapel. As Turhan and Sezer uentered the heavy oak double doors, they found themselves in a rich, tastefully furnished hallway. A butler led them directly to the formal dining room, where a teakwood table was set with Bohemian crystal, English bone china, and German silverware, all in the best of taste. A crystal chandelier, which matched the glassware, hung suspended from a high, marbled ceiling. "Good evening Herr und Frau Trkolu. I'm so pleased you could come on such short notice." Bernhard Friedmann was dressed in an elegant, black tuxedo with maroon bow tie and matching cummerbund. "It is indeed our pleasure," Turhan answered, nodding his head formally. "In fact,

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it's our first invitation other than the `command performance' at the embassy the other night." "My wife will be down momentarily," Friedmann continued. "Since the night of the Reichstag fire, the Fhrer's decided to post sentries about the homes of Berlin's wealthier Jews. Rachela's quite nervous about it, although I've tried to convince her it's simply another ploy to show the extent of the Reich Chancellor's control." "I can well understand her fear, Herr Friedmann," Sezer said. "The specter of such guards frightens me as well." "As I'm certain it's meant to do, Frau Trkolu. The display of power has always been a German characteristic." "And we women are expected to sit by and watch as our brave men play their catand-mouse games." Rachela Friedmann entered the room, looking exquisite in a pale peach evening gown. Her words jarred Turhan as he recalled another night in a village in Anatolia so many years ago. The night the Turks decided to show the Armenians who was in power. "Enough of such matters," their host said genially. "We've invited our newest friends for a pleasant social evening, and I refuse to spoil it just because a couple of ruffians want to brave the chill night air outside our gates." The servant who'd greeted them in the entry hall, held out the ladies' chairs. He was a dignified old man, bewhiskered in the courtly manner of the old Germany. "Ludwig's been a family retainer for ... how long?" Bernhard asked, glancing up. "Forty-one years, Herr Friedmann. Before that, I served your father, Sir." "Tell me, Ludwig," their host said expansively. "What do you think of all this

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National Socialist buildup?" "I'm not political, Sir. I'm surprised that von Hindenburg seems to have entered into an alliance with them." "The old man's mostly senile, Ludwig." "Still, Herr Friedmann, he does have a following in Germany." "There, Bernhard," Rachela interrupted. "Does that show you that these people are serious?" Her smile was bleak. Turhan felt the tension in the room. "Achh, it's nothing," her husband said. "A consolidation of his power, nothing more." The servant turned and discreetly left the room. Immediately Rachela became more composed. "I'm sorry if I've upset you both," she said, turning her gaze to Turhan. "But I felt that you, as a reporter, should try to get an objective view of what's going on so you might let others know." "Herr Friedmann," Turhan spoke up. "I don't say I doubt your word, but just in case there's some validity to what your wife says, have you arranged for any options?" "There's no need for them," the merchant said smoothly. "Even should the Chancellor extend his Jew-baiting games, the German people would never go along with it. They know that we're as loyal as they to the fatherland and that the loss of the merchant class would cripple their already weak economy." "But what if things truly did get worse? Could you envision a time when Hitler might close the borders?" Rachela was looking directly at him. He felt an alliance between them, but more than that, he felt a renewal of the lightning jolt he'd felt the night of the Embassy party.

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Her eyes were dazzling, but it was her presence that moved him most. "Close the borders, Trkolu? I should think he'd open them and help them be on their way if he truly wanted to dispose of Jews," Friedmann said. "Would you leave the Reich, darling?" Rachela asked. "You have several department stores. How easily could you give up the stores, this estate, our navely spoiled way of life?" Friedmann sat in silence for awhile, chewing a bit of the perfectly prepared roast brisket. He did not seem the least upset by his wife's outburst. When he spoke, his tone was quiet, thoughtful. "I would think it very hard to leave such a life, Rachela. Praise God it will never happen during our lifetimes." "Herr Friedmann," Sezer said. "I don't mean to be impolite, but it seems you don't want to be burdened with these questions. Women have a stronger intuition than you might realize. I share your wife's concern. Nothing good can come of this." "That's not necessarily so, Frau Trkolu. Our unemployment lines shrink each day. There's food in circulation, and some money. Even I have to admit that things seem better now than they did a few months ago. There's a sense of dedication I've not experienced before." "Ah, but dedication to what, Herr Friedmann?" Turhan asked. "And at whose expense? It seems this economy is fueled on terror, on compliant silence. I'm not saying Turkey's a great beacon of enlightenment, but we're free to say what we please, and most Turks certainly do just that. There is a strong Jewish community in Istanbul that's been there for hundreds of years. You should consider visiting our country. There's no telling when you might need a safe harbor, and Turkey could well provide it."

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For the first time that evening, Rachela's eyes took on a hopeful light. She gazed at Turhan in frank appreciation. The room suddenly felt very warm. "Perhaps one day we shall do just that, Herr Trkolu," Friedmann said. "But for the present, we are too taken up with our businesses. We've just introduced the spring line, and in another month it'll be time to consider our autumn selection of ladies' clothes." After dinner, Bernhard invited his guests to sit on the veranda and enjoy a bracing Berlin spring evening. They'd been outside a quarter of an hour when the sky clouded over. A swift thunderstorm drove them inside, but within the hour it had cleared and a bright crescent moon appeared. "A good omen, my friends," Bernhard remarked. "Just as the storm has passed us by leaving the beautiful silver light of the moon, so will the problems we discussed earlier pass as well." "I would hope so," Turhan murmured. "But I've learned over the years that to stay aware is to stay alive." # "The Friedmann woman's very beautiful, isn't she?" Sezer said as they were preparing for bed. "Perhaps, but she couldn't hold a candle to you, darling," he said dutifully, although his thoughts hadn't left Rachela for a moment since they'd left the Friedmann's sumptuous home. "You know," he said, changing the subject, "I'm beginning to think you might have been right. Perhaps this is not the time to be in Berlin." She smiled at him and squeezed his hand. When Turhan looked at Sezer's lovely, placid face, he saw trust and innocence there. This was his wife, his helpmate, a woman

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who'd traveled a thousand miles to be by his side. His comfort and support. Still, he felt disquieted, disturbed. And only he knew why. Their lovemaking that night was tender, satisfying. Turhan vowed he'd remain faithful to their marriage bed, thankful that Allah had given him a signal to return with a full heart to the safety and security of his chosen mate. But as Sezer moaned with passion, he saw another face, experienced another body. When it was over, he lay wide awake while his wife slept peacefully. His thoughts never left Rachela. For no reason he could ever hope to explain, he felt an incredible bond with her, unlike anything he'd ever felt before. And he trembled.

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My Gazi: You asked me to be your eyes and ears in this place for a year, but you gave me leave to write articles for Isharet describing my feeling about what I see. I ask your permission to express those opinions truthfully. I fear if I do so, I will not last out the year in this place. The Germans were our allies in the Great War, but the Germany we knew is no more, perhaps because the peace treaty imposed upon Germany was so cruel it enabled Hitler to come to power. Or perhaps it is something deep within the German character. The aftermath of the Reichstag fire was bizarre. Hindenburg signed an emergency decree that cancelled every personal liberty. The government now has the legal right to open all telegrams and letters, and to intercept telephone communications. Hitler's National Socialist Party, which calls itself the government, can confiscate property at will. It's hard to believe the "civilized" Germans accepted it. Police can arrest anyone and extend the period of detention indefinitely. They can deny an arrestee the right to see a lawyer. They don't even have to tell his relatives anything about the reason for the arrest, or the fate of the person arrested. These arbitrary abuses never get into the court record. The German people walk about in a daze. Ten thousand have been arrested in Prussia since the indefinite "emergency" decree. On the eve of the March 5 election, I

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was in Knigsberg and witnessed one of Hitler's grand theatrical shows. A hundred thousand people attended. At the end of his speech, church bells pealed all over the city. The man is a spellbinder, but no good can come of his policies. The Nazi dreamers expected to gain nearly a hundred percent of the vote in the March 5 election. Between Hitler's inflammatory rhetoric and the intense pressures put on the man in the street, how could anyone vote otherwise and live to tell about it? Yet, the National Socialists only got forty-four percent of the popular vote, and had to rely on Hindenburg to form a coalition government. Even then, their majority was less than fifty-two percent. Yesterday, in the strange alchemy that allows Hitler to spin gold from straw, the chancellor proclaimed the election had been a "revolution," and ordered the Nazi flag, the Swastika, run up on all public buildings. Gazi, I urge extraordinary caution in dealing with this "government." Hitler's henchmen are dangerous and unpredictable. Take care. Sincerely, Turhan # In April, there was a spring thaw in the German capital. The linden trees burst into full bloom. The sun shown brightly through the windows of the Turkish ambassador's office. Although radiators kept the embassy fifteen degrees warmer than outdoors, the atmosphere in the room was chilly. "Doctor von Papen," the ambassador began, "I'm always pleased to speak with someone from the foreign ministry. You are welcome in my residence." "Thank you, Mister Ambassador. The pleasure is mine. Unfortunately, I must be blunt with you."

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"Is something amiss?" "Mister Ambassador, you're aware of the, ahem, very special relationship that has always existed between the peoples of Turkey and Germany." "Yes, of course." "You know the Fhrer wants nothing to impede that precious affiliation." Get on with it, man, the ambassador thought. Sometimes he got tired of Papen's constant, long-winded posturing. "Yes," he said. "Herr Gebbels has been reading the foreign press of late. You are no doubt aware of the scandalous lies being spread about the Reich Chancellor?" The ambassador said nothing. Papen continued. "We expect, of course, that it is in the interests of the French and English to poison the world's opinion against us. The Reich is prepared to deal with enemy propaganda. We certainly do not expect such treatment from our loyal friends and allies." "What do you mean?" The minister extracted a series of neatly clipped articles. Each bore the by-line of Turhan Trkolu. "Read them for yourself." The ambassador thumbed through the clippings. The headlines told the story. "ON THE WAY TO A FHRER STATE!" "MINORITIES BEWARE, YOU COULD BE NEXT!" "GERMAN CONSTITUTION DIES BY THE FHRER'S HAND!" "Excellency, you've been to Turkey many times. You know we have a free press. What this man says does not necessarily reflect our government's views." "But he's in Germany, under the protection of your embassy. Our people are well aware that Trkolu is Kemal's spy."

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"Herr von Papen," the ambassador said stiffly, "Turhan Trkolu is accredited to the foreign press corps by your own government. He is a private I repeat, a private Turkish citizen. His views are his own. As a Turk, he is entitled to whatever protection our embassy can afford its nationals." "You've not answered my question. Is he or is he not under your president's personal protection?" "I have nothing official to say, Herr von Papen. Are you telling me your government wants us to muzzle him?" "I'm only saying he'd better watch what he says." # A few nights later, Turhan and Sezer were walking home from the American Press Club. They'd enjoyed Grand Hotel, one of the few American films being shown in Germany these days. As they approached the intersection of Unter den Linden and Museumstrasse, they were attracted by a large crowd outside Friedmann's Department Store. Fifty brown-shirted SA troops had cordoned off the area around the store. They bore signs that read "Deutsche! Wehrt Gut! Kauft nicht bei Juden!" Several other toughs were plastering garishly colored signs all over the front walls, printed in German, which exhorted, "Germans! Arm yourselves against Jewish atrocity propaganda! Buy only at German shops!" The doors to the department store were locked. Iron bars covered the windows. Half a dozen brown shirts smashed at the protective coverings with sledge hammers. Turhan shuddered. He recalled a burning church in a small village in southeastern Turkey. "Turhan, I'm frightened. I want to go home."

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"I agree, darling. It's only a few blocks from here." "No, Turhan, I mean home. To Turkey. How much longer can we pretend we don't see what's going on? I refuse to have someone spit in my face and force me to say, `It must be rain.'" "I promised the Gazi we'd stay a year." "You heard what the ambassador said about his visit from Papen. Do you think you'll survive a year in this place?" "If people like me aren't around, there'll be no one to tell the truth. I've got to risk the danger." "You may have to do it without me, then. Much as it is my duty to be by your side, I can't sit idly by and watch you risk your life every time you pick up your pen." "Come, darling. You're distressed by what we've seen tonight. I'll speak to the ambassador tomorrow morning about greater precautions for us." As they rounded the corner to their block, a black car pulled up beside them. Four huge men, armed with clubs, climbed out. "There's the Turk scheissdreck!" one of them snarled. They grabbed Turhan roughly and threw him to the ground. Sezer screamed. The sound was cut short as one of the men smacked her across the face. She fell to the ground, her mouth bleeding. While she lay moaning, the other three clubbed and kicked Turhan in his stomach, his ribs, his face, and the back of his neck. Turhan's eyes were tearing. Within a few minutes at most, they'd be swollen shut. "Verkackte drecksau!" he heard a rough voice. "Shitfaced pig! I'll teach you to insult the Fhrer, you barbarian Turk!" "Enough, Horst!" another voice said. "Our orders were to teach him a lesson, not

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to kill him. His apartment's just up the street." The four men stopped beating Turhan and Sezer and headed toward the reporter's residence. # Thursday, May 25, 1933 Personal and Confidential My Dear Papa: You were absolutely right. Heydrich's showed me a very good time. I need not go into details. As you and I have often discussed, you're a man of the world and understand such things. Even I was surprised at how jaded some of the nightclubs are. You can get anything, and I mean anything here. In my last letter, I told you Roehm's brown shirt toughs are having a wonderful time at the expense of the Jews something we might think about when we realize they still control our Covered Bazaar. A lot of hooliganism and head-bashing, but their actions are boring and common, without any finesse. I think Hitler realizes this. A month ago, Gring established a replacement for Department IA. At first, he'd intended to designate it merely as the Geheimes Polizei Amt, the Secret Police Office, but the German initials GPA resembled the Soviet GPU which has bad connotations here. Himmler told me a postal employee came up with the name Geheime Staatspolizei, the Secret State Police, GESTAPO for short. Gring seems to be using it to arrest and dispose of opponents of the regime. Heydrich tells me the real future of state security will rest not so much with the GESTAPO, but with a group within the SS he and Himmler are planning, the

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Sicherheitsdienst. He thinks it'll take them a year or two at least to convince der fhrer of the need for yet another police organization. I'm impressed that both these men view law enforcement both as a science and an art. We can learn from the sophistication of their methods. Our own ambassador's quite two-faced. On the one hand, he enjoys being the social lion in the eyes of the foreign community. On the other, he's made no secret of his contempt for the German regime. I've made it a point to steer clear of him. The old buzzard'll get in trouble for his views one day, and you've advised me how important it is to keep all my options open. I wish he were more like the fhrer's foreign minister, von Papen. Now there's a real diplomat, erudite, confident, not about to take any garbage from anyone. I look forward to coming home in the next month. I've seen what I want to see and the joys have been immense. But family and duty calls. Auf wiedersehen. Abbas # The Turkish ambassador climbed the marble steps of the German Foreign Ministry in cold fury. As he opened the heavy door and walked down the high-ceilinged entry hall, he tried to calm himself. His outrage increased when the foreign minister left him cooling his heels in an outer office for nearly an hour. "I must protest in the strongest terms imaginable," he said angrily to von Papen. "A Turkish national, returning to his legal residence, supposedly under the protection of your police force and the Turkish government, was brutally savaged, his apartment vandalized. Every bit of furniture and clothing was thrown out into the street

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and burned. I demand your government bring these felons to justice immediately!" "Mister Ambassador," the minister replied. "Calm yourself. The Reich is a sovereign state, made up of free German citizens who have the right to express their opinions, just as your Herr Trkolu has the right to express his. Occasionally, these things get out of hand. Are you certain Herr Trkolu did nothing to provoke what occurred?" "Herr Reichminister," the ambassador said, barely concealing his disgust, "you say all the right words in diplomatically suave tones. You know as well as I that what you are saying is kuhmist! This was an unprovoked, scurrilous, vicious attack on innocent human beings. Rest assured Kemal has heard of it. I am here at his personal demand." "Herr Botschafter, please convey to your president that the Reich Chancellor will do whatever he can to protect any foreign visitor to Deutschland. Not even Kemal can expect more than that." "Listen, you smooth-talking hypocrite, if it happens again ..." "Then what, Mr. Ambassador? You'll take your diplomatic mission home? Let's not forget who's paying the bill for your stay in our fair city. Or what proud, but very poor nation has, at this very moment, several thousand workers in our capital, sending home reichsmarks to keep your country afloat. You're not a stupid man, Effendim," the foreign minister spoke condescendingly. "You understand the way the real world works. I said we will do what we can to apprehend the men who allegedly attacked your libelous reporter. Do I need to make myself any clearer, Herr Botschafter?" The ambassador flushed scarlet, turned on his heel, and slammed the ministry

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door on his way out. Less than two weeks later, a black-uniformed factotum arrived at the Turkish embassy and presented a letter bearing the official seal of the foreign ministry. When the ambassador opened it and read the cryptic words, his hands trembled. "To the Turkish Ambassador, Greeting: "During the past six months, we have watched the continued libel of the German nation by the Turkish national Turhan Trkolu. The Reichskanzler, speaking through the Minister of Information and Propaganda, has concluded that amicable relations between our two independent states ought not be embarrassed by small elements of unnecessary friction. "Accordingly, the Reich Foreign Ministry, acting upon the order of Reichskanzler and Fhrer Adolf Hitler, declares Turhan Trkolu persona non grata within the Third Reich. All credentials issued to him are revoked forthwith. Herr Trkolu is expelled. You are requested to remove him from Germany within the next twenty-four hours." When he was confronted with the curt order, Turhan could only murmur, "Allah be praised. We are free at last. Mister Ambassador, you must remain here. You have our deepest sympathies."

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"Was it that bad, Turhan?" "Gazi, you'd have to be there to experience it. They've started shipping `undesirables' to a new kind of institution, a `concentration camp.'" "Not so new, Turhan. Our American friends pretty much sent their native tribes to what they termed territories." "Kemal effendim, these are not the same kinds of places." "You weren't any more popular with them than they were with you. Did you ever think you might be a bit too outspoken for your own good?" "A veiled hint, Mr. President?" "An observation." "Do you believe truth to be a relative thing, Gazi?" "Do you, Turhan?" "No. I believe truth is an absolute." "Truth, my friend, depends on the point from which you're viewing it. What do you plan to do now?" "I thought I'd apply for my old job on the Ankara radio." "Even if some of your subject matter was censored?" "Such as?" "Although you may not feel warmth toward the Third Reich, Turkey must walk a path of strictest neutrality. The radio is a government organ." "What about what I write for Isharet?" "I can't stop what Selimiye wants to print. Turkey has a free press."

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"Allah be thanked." Turhan became Isharet's Istanbul bureau chief. During the next two years, he printed two versions of every article he wrote. The first, written for Isharet, was fitting for a metropolitan daily journal of international repute. The second, for which he never received payment, was written in a much simpler style, and was distributed to Turkey's small villages, for inclusion in their news-papers. From time to time, several thousand people read his Isharet articles. But Turhan was proudest of the second group of stories which entertained, informed, and educated the fifteen million villagers, who spent time sounding out each word in a hundred word article, then reread the article a dozen times to their wives and children. This was a time of vast change in Turkey. Turkish women were given the right to vote in national elections. In November, 1934, every Turk was required to adopt a surname. If there had been twenty Mehmets in a village, they might have been identified in the past as "Mehmet the short," "Mehmet the vain," "Mehmet the water-carrier," and so forth. Now, last names became formalized. Sons would carry their fathers' surnames forward into untold generations. Within a moment of his decision, "Mehmet-the-Ugly" shed the despised name chirkin, and henceforth was known as Mehmet Shanli, "Mehmet the Glorious." People chose names as widely scattered as the human mind could imagine. The only exception to unlimited choice was that no one could choose the name the gazi conferred upon himself, Atatrk, Father Turk. Turhan's articles appealed to the villagers' superstitions, prejudices, and their ribald sense of humor, for the journalist, whose name was known to more Turks than the

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president of the republic, had been a village boy himself. A typical Trkoglu admonition was, "Beware, lest a man cavalierly pick the name `Bykkamish,' to describe his nether parts and disappointed women discover that his self-advertised size does not fulfill the promise." Turhan's subject matter was universal. One week he wrote about new, inexpensive medicines. Another time, he might give advice to lovelorn young people. If the spirit moved him, he would write out the lyrics of a popular song, so an aspiring vocalist could read, as well as hear, the words to the tune. Turhan fulfilled his promise to bring the world to the Dorutays of Turkey. Through his articles, Turks became aware that a small, quiet woman had organized the Yujel Orhan Teachers' College on the shores of the Bosphorous, and that because of Halide's efforts, four hundred teachers now traversed every part of Anatolia, instructing everyone who wanted to learn, and recruiting trainees who would teach in years to come. # In November, 1933, retired General Omer Akdemir collapsed while attending a gala banquet at the Presidential Palace in Chankaya, Ankaras most affluent suburb. He was immediately rushed by one of the Gazis personal limousines to the Army Hospital on the western outskirts of the capital. The diagnosis was a massive heart attack. The gallant erstwhile warrior hung onto life for two days, but the damage was too great, and on the morning of the third day he died. Three thousand people attended General Akdemirs funeral when his remains were buried in Ankaras national cemetery with full military honors, including a seventeen gun salute, the traditional sign of departure for a senior general. The Gazi himself delivered the funeral oration. It was evident from his words that Omer Akdemir

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had had a profound influence on the Leader. He described the late General Akdemir as a leader, a progenitor of future leaders, and a man responsible for bringing together the finest generation of leaders to come. Omer Akdemir never wore his courage or his eminence like a badge of honor, said the Gazi. His was a quiet, persuasive force. He never claimed the high ground for himself, yet when it came to being everything that exemplifies a good man, a truly moral man, he occupied that high ground all alone. That evening, Turhan and Sezer, Halide, Nadji and Aysheh, and Nadjis mother spent a quiet evening in the senior Akdemirs home. It was the first time in months that Turhan, Halide, and Nadji had been together. Each had a very special memory of Omer Akdemir, each seemingly more poignant than the last. On one thing they agreed: the three of them would never have come together but for the Generals intervention in each of their lives. His efforts were like a pebble dropped in a pool, said Sezer. The rings keep spreading. Who knows where Id be today if Halide had not come to Suvarli, or if Turhan had not been sent East? I am a happily married woman, she said, squeezing Turhans hand, and I feel that Im doing something important to carry on what he would have wanted by my work at Yujel Orhan Teachers College. I remember the story he often told about how he and the Gazi connived to get Nadji to come to that party, Aysheh said. The striking woman didnt need to say more. And because of him, I got to see Metin, Halide said, and I realized that even though Metin will be the only man Ill ever love, my heart can accommodate an entire country. At that moment, Omers widow, whod been silently listening and reflecting on

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her own past life, her long and eventful marriage, and the pride she felt in the five young people seated around the room, spoke up. The Gazi was right, Omer set an example that others should follow. He was so proud he would be so proud and I am so proud of what each of you has made of your lives. You five are truly helping to bring Turkey into the Twentieth Century. This is a night for memories. Allah knows I have a lifetime of memories. Those memories and you young people will help me get through the rest of my life. Would you feel I was meddling if I asked what each of you plans to do the next few years? I know that my Nadji and his beautiful Aysheh are being assigned to Vienna with our diplomatic corps. Ive been there and I can only say its one of the most captivating places Ive ever seen. Turhan stood up and walked over to the large bay window that overlooked the entire city, its lights forming a mosaic of miniature stars. Thats more exciting than whats facing Sezer and me. Weve had our own experience in a German state and its been enough for a lifetime. But Viennas not a German state, Aysheh responded. Its an independent state and its Catholic, not Protestant. That has always been a very important line of demarcation. Maybe so, Aysheh, Turhan said. But we mustnt forget that Hitler was born in Austria, that he claims Austrian citizenship, and Im certain hed love nothing better than to return as a conqueror to the city where he lived as a vagrant. I agree with my husband, Sezer said. I dont think any of you know the lengths to which that mans government will go to exert control. Why even now, the words Today we own Germany, tomorrow the world! give my chills.

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One things certain. For the time being, my wife has convinced me that what she is doing is every bit as important as what Im doing. She had the courage and the loyalty to accompany me to the Reich. Now that were back, I want Sezer to do everything she can to teach those who would teach others, so that everyone in Turkey can read my important articles and we can grow wealthy! Turhans statement brought the first genuine laughter that theyd share all day. So that means youll be staying in Turkey for a while? the widow Akdemir asked. As long as the Gazi lets me, Turhan replied. And this time if he wants to send Refik, or Ali, or Semra or Sayra to some exotic place, let him do it with my blessings. Turhan Trkolu has traveled enough outside Turkey for awhile. I agree with that, Halide said. Turkeys a big enough world for an entire lifetime. If Im looked at as nothing more than a teacher with a vision thats limited to Turkey, thats all I need. How long is your assignment, Nadji? Hard to say, the lieutenant colonel remarked. As military attach, I serve at the pleasure of my Commander-in-Chief, my ambassador, the Army, And your wife, Aysheh broke in. Besides, darling, isnt it time we were thinking of bringing some future leaders of our own into the world? The laughter was infectious, and as the evening wound down to an end, Madame Akdemir, Halide, Nadji and Aysheh, Turhan and Sezer found themselves looking forward to whatever the world had in store for them, wherever their footsteps into the future would take them. - The End of Volume One-