The Seven Churches of The Revelation

"Stories in the Stones"

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Jets and Cartwheels

A Wonder Women Day Trip

On a Rooftop In Morocco

High Spirits Haunted Tour
of Houston

Internet Romance



Bruce Springsteen
Ozzy Ozbourne
Lenny Kravitz
Roy Clark
Marilyn Manson
Amy Grant



She's Come Undone
The Hand I Fan With
Only Twice I've Wished For Heaven


“As clearly as I see daybreak, I have the vision of the rise of the oppressed nations to their independence.”   - Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, 1881-1938

By Karen Strawn

December 2003

Hanging on a wall in the back of a village grocery store in Central Turkey above plumbing pipes and shelves of wheat, flour and sugar, is a black and white portrait of the country’s charismatic founder and military conqueror, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

His likeness, framed in dusty gold and hanging askew, reminds people that their country is no longer an antiquated Ottoman dynasty but a liberated democracy where the will of the Turkish people is represented in the government.

In some ways, Ataturk is Turkey’s John F. Kennedy. His notorious love for liquor and women, including his affair with Za Za Gabor, endeared him to the Turkish people and the world. The League of Nations paid tribute to him at his death as “a genius international peacemaker.” He died of cirrhosis of the liver on November 10, 1938.
In other ways, Ataturk is Turkey’s Martin Luther King. His dream was to modernize Turkish life, and he did.

By separating religion from government, unveiling women, leveling education for all, replacing the fez, the Islamic calendar and the Arabic alphabet, he led his country out of the crumbling past into a brave new future.

Turkey is the world’s first Moslem Republic, NATO’s only Moslem member and one of the most watched Moslem democracies in the world.

During his 15-year presidency, Ataturk turned Turkey’s face from East to West. But modern Turkey shakes it head back and forth between the two as if to say, “No.”

With current religious conservatism taking charge in Turkish parliament, Islamic tradition is once again beginning to veil the progress Ataturk devoted his life to secure.

His image is displayed in every Turkish business and there are strict laws protecting it. You can be put in prison if you dishonor his image or name in any way.

That’s why I was surprised when I came upon a Turkish street artist painting a portrait of Ataturk with a tear coming down his cheek. I asked, “Why is Ataturk crying?” To which he replied, “His dream is dying.”





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