Principle in the marketplace—progress report from Ankara

ONE OF THE MORE COLORFUL aspects of living in Ankara, Turkey is shopping at the open-air bazaars. Glorious red, purple, and orange, brilliant green, and bright yellow fruits and vegetables (trucked in daily from local farms) nestle alongside fragrant brown spices, and jumbled blue, white, and fiery-red plastic pails.

It's an adventure to wander through the aisles, picking up an item here, some necessities there, all going into my shopping cart—a large vinyl sack mounted on two wheels. One thing I've learned as I go about my weekly visit to the bazaar is that as a consumer, I'm protected from faulty merchandise and unfair prices. This is not by trusting in familiar brand names. It's by trusting in God.

Let me explain. For many years, shoppers were victimized by unscrupulous vendors. Finally, the government started monitoring bazaars throughout Ankara for orderliness, cleanliness, and honesty. When this began in my neighborhood, a vacant block was paved, and areas were marked off for merchants to set up their stalls and open their umbrellas every Saturday.

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Make history? Who, me?
July 15, 2002

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