The Turkish republic is now celebrating the 10th anniversary of its foundation. Its founder and reformer Mustapha Kemal Pasha, who fought against the Anzacs at Gallipoli, is spoken of by General Sir Harry Chauvel as a very great man.
We have heard of the mythical lands of the East And of caliphs and sultans galore; Of Haroun al Raschid, of Abdul the beast, And dark deeds by the Bosphorous shore. But the picture we knew fades completely from view, When we glimpse modern wonders that are In the wonderful land of the greatest of Turks -- Of Mustapha Kemal Pasha. With a wave of his hand he has altered his land From a fabulous country and strange To an organised State wide-awake, up to date; And he's made them content with the change. Bastinado and bow-strings, and bodies in bags, And the flash of the sharp scimitar Are but memories dim, since they learned pep and vim From Mustapha Kemal Pasha. No magician of old ever dared to unfold Such a box of tricks and strange spells. To the joy of the males he has banished the veils From the faces of Bosphorous belles. Now with lip-stick and shingle they joyfully mingle With crowds in the modern bazaar, Whilst straw-hatted young bloods, in swish tailor-made duds, Swear by Mustapha Kemal Pasha. Cross-legged on a couch, cross-grained with a grouch Old die-hards smoke hookahs and glower, As they sigh for the days of the fez and old ways With harems and intrigues in flower; But the light-hearted lads give the bird to their dads, While they puff at a fag or cigar; To have all their trust, as Mustapha must, Must gladden Mustapha Pasha.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002|