When It's Dry There, It's DRY. Not Enough Rain? Here's a Turkish Solution

When It's Dry There, It's DRY. Not Enough Rain? Here's a Turkish Solution 
Winston-Salem Journal, s. 1 
Rahşan Ecevit Arşivi 
When It's Dry There, It's DRY

Not Enough Rain? Here's a Turkish Solution

Bulend Ecevit, a newspaper editor in Turkey, is spending three months in Winston-Salem as a guest writer for the Journal and Sentinel.
By Bulend Ecevit

People here are talking and writing about a drought, but I bet they don't know what a real drought is.

I happen to know because we have had a real one in Turkey this summer. It lasted nearly three months, and if it had not started raining the day I left Istanbul for this country in September, I would have thought that the taps there would still be without a drop of water in them.

Istanbul is supposed to have a good water supply system, but apparently it is not good enough, because it is the same story every year. The mayor of Istanbul, who since his recent visit to the United States says with pride that there is more litter in the streets of New York than of Istanbul, has good news to give to his citizens each spring.

This is that there will be no water shortage during the summer. Yet each summer the mayor is wrong

Istanbul is a beautiful city surrounded with water. There is the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, the Black Sea. There are lakes and there are brooks. No matter where you live in Istanbul you can see plenty of water extending before your eyes. To have a drought in a city like that is a modern version of the torture of Tantalus.

You can swim in it, you can sail on it, but not a drop to drink or to wash your hands with.

The water shortage there was so acute this summer that the taps were only supplied with water for two or three hours every other day, and this supply was usually done only in the early hours, before sunrise, to prevent excessive use of water. However, many people got used to getting up before sunrise to fill their bathtubs and even to water their gardens.

When this year's drought started in Turkey, some peasants were caught performing a superstitious rite to induce the skies to send them some rain.

Mostly, the rite consisted of cutting off the head of some dead animal and letting it float on a stream after having tied it to the bank with a rope. Such superstitious rites are strictly forbidden in Turkey.

There were indignant remarks in all the newspapers the following day, condemning the ignorant peasants who, living in this age of science and progress, of "chemical rainmaking" and "sky-cannonading," still sought help from the savage methods of the Dark Ages in order to get rain.

Yet on the very day that these comments and editorials appeared in the newspapers, side by side with photographs of the offenders who looked quite ashamed of the act of ignorance that they had committed, it was raining cats and dogs, and for days it just would not stop raining.

Of course there was no comment on this latter development in the newspapers. Some of the more clever ones even managed to ignore the fact that it was raining.

So, if cannonading the skies or other scholarly methods of chemical rainmaking that you are experimenting with in this country these days are of no avail, you still have one more chance: You can bring over those superstitious offenders from Turkey—provided of course that they have completed their sentences. 





“When It's Dry There, It's DRY. Not Enough Rain? Here's a Turkish Solution,” Bülent Ecevit Yazıları 1950-1961, 24 Mayıs 2019, http://ecevityazilari.org/items/show/134 ulaşıldı.