Although Mustapha Kemal Pasha has encountered several serious obstacles in his campaign for the modernization of Turkey, he ean count at least one success to his credit. Some of the decisions of the Angora government have seemed impolitic to outsiders, and in his determination to interfere with the foreign schools in Constantinople the Pasha was hardly diplomatic; but the recently discovered tolerance of the average Turkish citizen toward the moving pictures indicates that Occidentalism is growing faster than the world has been led to suspect. Whether this latest development is due to the efforts of Kemal, of whether it is the result of clever work by American film producers, who see in the Near East a rich and fertile pasture, is impossible to say. As Kemal is known for his liking for everything American, however, the credit may as well be his.
The whole hearted pleasure which the simple Mohammedan is reported to take in the cinema is surprising. Returned travelers say that he levels in "Westerns", and that he shrieks with delight at every explosion of Bill Hart's faithful six-guns. Apparently the simple and elemental is what appeals; the Turk is to be congratulated upon his temporary escape from the toils of the green-eyed "society" drama,
Even so, however, although American films may satisfy the craving for a time, it will doubtless not be long before native heroes of the silver-screen are developed from home talent. In this event Turkish movie addicts will do well to keep their eyes open, lest they fall victims to the same set of stereotypes which rules the American flock good old standbys like the hero of the range, the poor but-honest scullery maid, and the constantly tuxedoed viper who wrecks the home. If all these characters are transplanted, with local adaptations of course, into the original Osmauli, the inhabitanis of old Stamboul will discover themselves westernized with a vengeance--but unfortunately they will find presently that their consequent gain in culture and degree of civilization is almost negligible.