Turkey: The land a dictator turned into a democracy

He who loves the rose should put tip with its thorns.

—Old Turkish saying

ONE day in 1853, Nicholas I, Czar of all the Russias, peered southward over his aristocratic nose and voiced the opinion that Turkey was indeed "the sick man of Europe." Exactly 100 years later, an astute and wealthy Texan named George McGhee, at the time U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, looked out over the green plains of Anatolia and said: "You know what this country reminds me of? It's got the stuff, the git up and go, and it's rolling. Why,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!