TURKEY: Wild West of the Middle East

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No Pulley to the Outhouse. Americans here are doing their best to help Turkey get the things she wants. This week, in Ankara, an American combat veteran lectured Turkish officers on modern tactics. A Yankee roadbuilder walked among bronzed workmen as they pushed a road with bulldozer and shovel past marveling sheepherders on the eastern plains. An American oil-drilling team tapped the vast sandy reaches of Raman Dag near the Syrian border.

U.S. Ambassador George Wadsworth, a veteran of Middle East diplomacy, sticks to cultured language and flowery compliments which, many Turks feel, would be more appropriate for Bedouin sheikhs than a people who shun Pan-Arab politics and think of themselves as of the West. They prefer General Horace Logan McBride, head of the American Military Mission, who is as tough and realistic as a top sergeant looking over a fresh batch of recruits. American military aid has poured tanks, planes, radios, screwdrivers, bulldozers and shells into the Turkish army and air corps. At closely guarded maneuvers on the Thracian plains last month, six Turkish armored brigades got their first workout. Grunted McBride: "They've improved. Next year they'll look better. There's still a long way to go." Just as earthy and realistic as McBride is handsome, greying Russell Dorr, chief of the ECAmericans here. When Turkish economists talk too ambitiously of mechanizing Turkish farms, ECA's agricultural specialist reminds them: "You don't need a pulley to get you to the outhouse. A Missouri farmer with a brace of mules is a modern farmer, too. You don't have to mechanize to modernize."

Dorr's men are busy everywhere, teaching road-planning and maintenance, unscrambling Turkey's complicated tax system. At the chrome mines in Guleman, an EGA mining expert wandered afield, noted another rich chrome deposit eleven miles away. Nothing had been done about it. "We can't get it out," said a Turkish official. "There's no road." At ECA's insistence the government built a temporary road, and is now mining chrome at the new deposit. A top item on Dorr's agenda: more free air for private enterprise.

Americans in Turkey are convinced that there are potentially enough resources in Turkey's black soil—and in her sturdy people—to make life for ordinary Turks far better than the splendid existence of Hadji Mehmet ever was. But Turkey will need more knowledge and a safer peace; toward both goals, the road is hard.

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