Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Shortly after World War I, the wildly corrupt Ottoman government of Turkey fell, to be replaced by a modern democratic government composed of Turkish nationalists. In this story, set in the last days of the Ottoman government in 1914, an earthquake has disrupted the village performance by a newly arrived belly dancer. The dancer's audience was composed almost entirely of officials, who fled for fear of their lives during a barely discernible tremor. As news of the "disaster" reaches Istanbul, local officials must somehow justify their actions by faking the after-effects of a serious tremor, wreaking havoc in the lives of the villagers in preparation for the investigative visit of a royal prince.