Instrumental – and Vocalmusic 1920-1960 in İstanbul

1923 is the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. The Khalifat and Sultanate are abolished and a parliamentary system of government with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) at the head is introduced. The Ottoman script is replaced by the Latin letters, the hijab is banned and the country is restructured in the western style. These reforms were very drastic and radically changed Turkey.

At times even traditional Turkish music is banned. But this ban is lifted by great resistance. Thus, under this new climate of change, a new musical style with simpler lyrics and more catchy and popular melodies is created from the 40s onwards. Composers like Sadettin Kaynak, Selahattin Pınar and Rakım Elkutlu write songs for new stars like Nureddin Selçuk, Safiye Ayla and Müzeyen Senar.

Later, in the 50’s, the singer Zeki Müren will displace everyone with his androgynous manner and appearance and put them in the shade. Shellac records can be heard everywhere and bring the new hits into the living room. The state radio station TRT is the forum where the music is broadcast live over the airwaves to the republic. In the new medium of film, the new actors and heroes can be seen on the screen and thus reach a broad mass of admirers. Hollywood fimle are dubbed and Egyptian music films are especially popular with the audience.

Imam Hafiz Sadettin Kaynak composes new music for dozens of films from the Hollywood Orient, Egypt. American cars, Western fashion, cinema and music temples determine the new way of life and the newly won capitalism. The Islamic religion is to be suppressed and the country is to be brought closer to the West. NATO, UN, negotiations on accession to the EU point the way to the West. But not everyone is convinced of this direction. At least this reaction can also be heard in the music. Then, in 1960, the military puts itself in power and overthrows the democratically elected government. Adnan Menderes, the head of state and some ministers are sentenced to death. The end of this golden era.

In the late 60s many foreigners, including Turks, come to Germany as workers. Foreign workers, today referred to as Germans with a migration background, later catch up with their families and become a part of society in Germany. They bring their songs from their homeland with them from their culture. Often these songs remain the only cultural connection, which is preserved and preserved. The first generation of Turks in Germany know almost all songs of this time. One sees it in the fact that many of the amateur choirs still sing these songs today in the 3rd generation. It is not only nostalgia, the people see their life reflected in the lyrics and the memories become awake again.

We would like to bring this highly interesting era in music to the listener with our program AHENK. Memories awaken of this time. To pay tribute to the first generation.

Mehmet C. Yeşilçay-Ud
Hasan Esen-Kemençe, Keman
Volkan Yılmaz-Ney
Serkan Mesut Halili-Kanun
Ozan Pars-Bendir, Def
Yaprak Sayar-Singer

Composers: Sadettin Kaynak, Selahattin Pınar, Lemi Atlı, Yorgo Bacanoz, Sadi Hoşses, Rakım Elkutlu and others