Talking TurkeyIssue: Fall 2000
The earthquake of August 1999 struck Turkey very hard, and did so at a time that could not have been worse-at three o'clock in the morning during a summer holiday, when homes were crowded with visiting relatives. But it also struck at a desperately unfortunate moment for Turkey as a whole: the point at which it was at last becoming a First World country. This fact occurred to some of the international teams who came in to help sift through the rubble: with some surprise, they acknowledged on television that Turkey actually did have earth-moving equipment and life-saving devices on hand. The earthquake set the economy back some way, of course, but as economic modernity these days is really a matter of knowledge and organization rather than of material goods, the country will no doubt continue on a promising path.