Education: For Turks With Talent

Had the capital of Turkey been much larger, the incident might have passed unnoticed, but before long all of Ankara seemed to be talking about Idil Biret, the amazing four-year-old daughter of a local sugar-refinery official. One day in 1946 little Idil sat down at the piano, and without a note of music before her, dashed off a Bach piece she had just heard over the radio. The story gave newspapers and music lovers an idea: Why couldn't the state send Turkey's child prodigies abroad for proper study?

The idea eventually reached the ears of the National Assembly, which in 1948 passed...

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