New album out for Kardes Türküler

New album out for Kardes Türküler


Evrim Kepenek from DIHA agency interviewed Kardes Türküler on their new album

The new album Child’s Right /Mind of Kardes Türküler (Brother Songs) finally met its audience. The album’s music director Arto Tunçboyac?yan, referring to the album, said the followings; “The songs aim to prompt people’s imagination. We call it the children’s theme. These songs will probably touch the childishness in everyone”. Feryal Oney, a soloist from the group, said that they are adopting the pure minds of children not swelled with dogmas. “Children have right for the peace of this land”, added Oney. 

Evrim Kepenek from DIHA agency interviewed Kardes Türküler on their new album. We publish an edited version of the interview.

Bo?aziçi Performing Arts Ensemble (BGST) Kardes Türküler have finally met its audience with their new album released finally after a long absence. The album, as distinct from the group’s former albums, consists of composition intensive songs. Consisting of 16 songs including four children stories, the album is marked by Kurdish lyrics written by Vedat Y?ld?r?m and compositions of musician Arto Tuncboyac?yan. The group seems ready to win the audience’s heart with their first Chechen song besides Kurdish, Laz and Armenian songs. We talked with Vedat Y?ld?r?m, Feryal Oney and Arto Tuncboyac?yan about the group’s album Child’s Right /Mind.

*How did Arto Tuncboyac?yan and Kardes Türküler come together?

Vedat Y?ld?r?m: We have been following Arto and his works closely for the last 10-15 years but the real date of our discovery on each other started at Kars Film Festival and then in Istanbul Arena in 2009 when we shared the stage for the first time there. The conversations coming afterwards, our life perspectives and relationships with music pushed us to this project.

Arto Tuncboyac?yan: No matter how great the obstacles are in the world, people find themselves in one way and the people close to each other come together. When we appeared and played together at the same stage in 2009, I felt myself within the family of Kardes Türküler. I no more dissociate myself from them. With my own experiences and world-view, I wanted to contribute to their stage. I used to take pleasure from listening to their music but the important point now was how we were going to be on CD. Because displaying a common performance on stage is different from making music on CD.

For the peace of these lands: Child’s Right /Mind

* What made you call the album ‘Child’s Right /Mind’ ?

Feryal Oney: The group called the album ‘Child’s Right /Mind’ for singing the songs on the children of these lands and for protecting the children’s unprejudiced perspective unsoiled with learning. Giving an ear to the other voices and songs of innocent and resistive children who just accept an other with its existence absent from hostilities, Kardes Türküler is intend on not be able to make heads or tails of , “elders” thoughts, interpreting the truth as in dreams, accepting imagery and making them real. Adopting the pure minds of children not swelled with dogmas, we said that children are right fort he peace of these lands.

There is also a song about a child who started the life defeated 1-0.

*Besides music, in each album of Kardes Türküler, we hear sounds telling about current political circumstances. Do we hear similar political sounds in this album too?

Feryal Oney: Well, again, we wanted to express our promise for the political developments in Turkey with a political album. The album’s name is about children as it includes songs on children who started the life as defeated 1-0, 2-0, 3-0. For example, there is a song called Hekim which tells about a Kurdish child Hekimo coming to Istanbul through migrations. The composition of the song belongs to Arto and Kurdish lyrics to Vedat. This child tries various workings, selling mussel or lighter on streets, but can not hold on to any work the reason here is the circumstances here, not Hekim himself. The existing system does not allow his existence. He starts the life 1-0 defeated. We also have a song called Nazar which takes its name from a child called Nazar living in Sulukule. It tells about the insistence and effort of a child to hold on to life without a family after migrating to Karagümrük with the urban transformation project in Sulukule. And our Armenian song Haydo tells the story of an Armenian shepherd boy. Haydo reminds us of 12-year-old Ceylan Onkol who was killed with a howitzer. Haydo tells of an Armenian family. It tells that children share similar destinies, regardless of the identity. One another song Yoyo is a universal toy. The song has Arabic lyrics but Vedat wrote Kurdish lyrics too. It actually rebels against war in Arabic. The children in Kurdish geography and in Palestine throw stones for revolting against the happenings, they are not directed by anyone.?

* So, we can say that it is a criticism about the government’s interpreting the same case differently…

Feryal Oney: The children in Palestine and in Kurdish geography throw stones for revolting against the happenings but the speaking government official of Turkey evaluates the children in Palestine as revolutionist, rebelling and vindictive while assessing the stone-throwing children Kurdish geography as terrorists. Yoyo tells about this dilemma.

* What is the goal of the album?

Feryal Oney: Identity is a subject that has been discussed and recorded a progress since 90’s. We handle today’s problem with the questions ‘How can we keep these cultures alive without making them a single subculture, ‘How can different cultures be in existence together?’, ‘How can we stand shoulder to shoulder without creating the other of another and without generating cultural hierarchies?’. With the album, we aimed to give the answers of some questions like ‘How can we identify ourselves with musical and cultural variegation? What kind of reactions will we produce against current issues through these languages, beliefs and authorities?’.

We listen to Laz, Armenian, Kurdish songs on each album. Do you have a song of a different ethnic group on this album?

Vedat Y?ld?r?m:We have included a Chechen song for the first time. We also have an Êzidi hymn as we felt a responsibility in the face of the decrease in the number of Êzidis. We also added Yasar Kemal’s words reminding of Êzidis. It was incumbent upon us to do this.

* Since the beginning, the history of Kardes Türküler shows some parallelism with the political developments in Turkey. In the 1990s, when various ethnic origins in this country were trying to make an appearance, you were singing Laz songs on the stage. How do you assess today’s political developments?

Feryal Oney: There were only identities in early 90’s. Turkey is not formed from Sunnites alone. There are also a large number of identities and cultures that must be set free now. We had started out for the obtainment of freedom of expression and belief. How can Kurds, Armenians and other ethnic groups live together with different identities in 2000’s? In a way where no one is over anyone. That is why we started to sing. And today we are singing for permanent and honorable peace.

* And how will that happen?

Feryal Oney:There were quite serious political developments last year. Ceylan Önkol lost her life. Children are killed by police and soldiers in this country.  On the other hand, there have been some initial developments such as initiative but that was inadequate. However, I do not want to hopeless. Artists need to prompt each other because we have problems about the country we live in. We are also asking for a permanent and honorable peace. That is what we shout in this album. 

* The Democratic autonomy proposal should be taken seriously and discussed’

Vedat Y?ld?r?m: Various circles have begun to fight against assimilation as all ethnic groups now want to lift the veil of assimilation. On the other hand, a model must be presented about how a common life will work. Just like us who create and stand together, the peoples can also stand together in the common life. 

* How can the non-elected people decide for what the people elect?

Arto Tuncboyac?yan: It is actually quite simple; not everyone has to love everybody, but to meet with respect. This is how it works in Europe or in America. The country’s authorities declare the children in Gaza as revolutionist but the children in Hakkari are run over with jeeps bought from Israel. They fear of well-thinking people’s coming together. I did not understand YSK’s veto decision at all. How can the ones who are not elected by the people lead the people? Non-elected people decide for elected people. Such an example on the world can only be seen in countries ruled with fascism.

Translation: Berna Ozgencil


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