You are on page 1of 23

The Rise of a Spontaneous Synthesis: The Historical Background of Turkish Popular Music Author(s): Orhan Tekeliolu Source: Middle

Eastern Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr., 1996), pp. 194-215 Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4283800 Accessed: 22/03/2010 10:48
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=taylorfrancis. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Taylor & Francis, Ltd. is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Middle Eastern Studies.

http://www.jstor.org

The Rise of a Spontaneous Synthesis: The Historical Background of Turkish Popular Music
ORHAN TEKELIOGLU

The essential objective of the Turkish Republic might be described as the founding of a nation-state with a new concept of the Citizen, or rather developing a new culturefor people; and this republichas always assigned a peculiar role to culture policies in the process of nationalization.During the crucial early years when the new state was being built and organized, the nation's leader MustafaKemal often spoke and wrote of this culturalprocess as East-West or West-East synthesis, an appealing and succinct expression which was also taken up by ideologues of the day, in particularby Ziya Gokalp who considerably influenced Mustafa Kemal's views during the founding years of the Republic. This synthesis is still consideredto be a sine qua non for the developmentof modem Turkey. The notion urgentlyattachedto the idea of an 'East-West synthesis' dates of back to the period of Tanzimatreforms,the political underpinnings which The first element of the were put into effect during the unionist movement.' binary expression East-West referred to the nation's Ottoman past, and elements thatwere consideredas requisitefor embracedall those non-Turkish building along nationalisticlines; while the second stood for a culturalterritory that had not yet been gained but which, it was felt, Turkey would inevitably become partof. This objective of culturalsynthesis, which took in all the political and economic orientationsof the TurkishRepublic, was in a sense anothername, a summation,of a quest for a new culturalidentitythatis still so keenly felt today. The Ottoman legacy was multi-cultured,with a multiplicityof culturalidentities,and the projectof synthesis aimed to replace it with a new national one embracing a single identity. As this project was admittingof no compromise,it could only presentedas somethingmandatory, be implementedin an authoritarian manner.Imposed 'from above' underthe control of a culturalelite, this projectof mandatoryEast-West synthesis put its imprinton all policies relatingto cultureand artfrom the foundingyears of the TurkishRepublic. It is remarkable that, while in the political spherethe political rulersof the early Republic were compelled to enter into coalitions with certainmembers

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

195

of the late Ottoman political elite, in the cultural sphere they refused any alliance with this group. Instead they pressed on, authoritatively,reshaping institutionsteachingartand organizingtheiractivities, with the aim of creating a new national elite in the culturalsphere. As policies and institutionswere formed in terms of this synthesis for cultureand art in general, and for music in particular (the subjectof this study),the fledgling nation-statetook pains to define its own culturalterritoryof taboo: the East. Behind the synthesis lay a three-prongedclassification: West/Origin/East.It gave the elements with which union was sought (the West and the Origin) while also referringto the territorywith which unification was absolutely taboo, the East. It was Ziya Gokalp who pointed to the West as the future of 'our new civilization', but while there was an orientationin this direction,the origin of the synthesis was not forgotten, 'the traditionalculture of the Turkish folk'.2 The West, far from being a mere geographicaldescription,was considered the domain of modernity and was thereforetaken as a model, its putative value measured itself. againstan 'East' which was consideredas standingfor backwardness In particular, from the momentthe Republicwas founded,music was given prideof place in policies relatingto cultureand art,a kind of 'target'as leaders soughtto fashion a new sort of citizen and a new nation-state. The first indicathe political elite was sensitive aboutmusic, andkeen on westernising tion that reforms in this field, came in 1926 when they closed down the Dogu Miizigi Eubesi (Oriental Music Section) in the Darii' 1-Elhan,a residue from late Ottomandays and the only official conservatoire-like institutionwhere music As was taught.3 they increasinglygained power, the new elite in music sought to impose quickly their ideas of westernizingreform.In 1934, for example, a of ban was placed on the radiobroadcasting Turkishmusic, even thoughthere is uncertainty to whetherthis meant all such music, or only that which was as Ottomanin origin.4In an effort to teachthe people to enjoy polyphony,elegant light examples of Westernmusic were played not only on the radio,but also in other public areas of life, for example on the vessels of the TurkishMaritime Lines and at government-sponsoredballroom dances. The radio ban on Turkish music lasted only twenty months, after which ever more of this music was broadcast,yet the TurkishRadio and Television (hereafterTRT) succeededin replacingthe ban with a much morecomprehensiveandenduring system of control, which was in fact, and still is, a censorshipsurveyingboth the musical form and textual content of music played on TRT frequencies. Meanwhile, as gifted musicians began to be sent abroadfor trainingand education, a state conservatoirewas founded, offering Western-styleeducation and repertories.Orchestrasperforming polyphonic pieces offered the free of charge public programmeswhich incorporatedeasily digested Western classical music. Music classes, also free of charge, were to be had at the Halkevleri(People's Houses).

196

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

What the new musical elite eventuallyhoped for was a birth,in the Turkish listener, of an enjoyment of polyphonic music which, it was assumed, the 'modem' western listener already had. The new cultural policies were built around the expectation that, with the gradual appreciationof polyphonic music, and the contributions of Turkish performersand gifted composers trainedabroad,Anatolianmelodies which came from and were beloved by the people, would be recomposedalong polyphoniclines. In this way a West-East synthesis would be forged throughoutthe country, and a modernpolyphonic Turkish art music come into being. Thus monophonic folk songs were cautiously collected by the special sections in the conservatoiresbut it is indeed TRT that played a notable role in the entire process, the melodies writtendown accordingto rules of western notation,and a system of classification developed and later in the 1960s a peculiar radio station was set up (TRT 3) devoted entirely to the broadcastof polyphonicclassical music, jazz and westernpop music. The culturalpolicies of the TurkishRepublic on music, at least in its early years, included incessant surveillance of the music broadcaston that indispensable mass media the radio, as well as co-ordination with institutions formally trainingyoung musicians. But despite these efforts and control over the media, the people at large failed to appreciatethe works of the polyphonic western and contemporaryTurkish composers. The most startling development in music, however, from the perspective of the culturalelite, was the Arabesk, which emerged out of popular music in the late 1960s and went beyond its status as a musical genre to become a way of life. The elitist effort to understandthe Arabesk phenomenon was via a highly inadequate and external analysis in terms of simplistic problematic of social change, the migrationto the urbancentres and the rise thereof gecekondusquatter towns.: The problemwith this approachwas that it disregardedthe innerdynamicsof the musical discourse itself, attemptingto reduce musical practice into the inescapableeffects of social change. The Arabeskand Turkishpopularmusic (hereafterTPM), which has now fused with the Arabesk both musically and emotionally, have experienced a rise among the population which can only be understood through the dynamics of internal change. These changes directly related to the musical discourse and at the ex-discursive social developments which surroundedthem; the writings of Ziya Gokalp, state policies in the culturalsphere, the 'adaptation'decision by the authoritieson the Arabic songs played in the Egyptianmovies in the 1930s, the Democratic Party administrationand its economic policies, the inner-migrationand the gecekondusquattertowns, TRT 3, the Police Radio, the rise of a new elite and the new notion of understanding the cities, and so forth. The rest of this in study takes up both componentsof the discursive and ex-discursive dynamics of such uniqueinterstructuration.6

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

197

Indeed,this piece attemptsto discuss the collapse of one projectof cultural synthesis, intrinsic in the cultural policies which were part of the Turkish Republic's objective of becoming a nation-state,and which may be termedas the imposed or West-East synthesis. Further,it is doubtful whetherone can speak of anothersynthesis that has gropingly arisento replace this, pioneered by the 'handicrafted'undertakingsof certain musicians and perhaps best termed the spontaneousor East-West synthesis. Notice that in the evolution from an imposed to a spontaneoussynthesis 'East' and 'West' change places on the axis (fromWest-East to East-West). The objective of this neologism is not to play on words, but to point to the direction of change that has taken place in the origin in question. The project that in everyday speech is rather carelesslyreferredto as an 'East-West synthesis was', at the beginning,in fact a 'West-East synthesis', as an examination of cultural policies under the TurkishRepublic will reveal, especially during the early years. To phrase it slightly differently, this synthesis began with a model based on Western practices and forms. It may be perhaps for this reason that it has failed to which has yielded the present-daysynthesis we undergo the transformation 'East-West'. designateas To tell the truth,I am not especially fond of alaturka music. It makes you sleepy, and I prefer alafranga music, in particularthe operas and operettas.And shall I tell you something?The modes we call alaturka aren't really Turkish.They were borrowedfrom the Greeks, Persians, and Arabs.And people say the drumand zurna [a kind of shrilledpipe] are specifically Turkishin origin, but I have my doubts. It seems that both instrumentsare really Arabic in origin. I once looked into the observationsof an individualwho had travelled in Turkistan,and who reportedthat the time-honoured instrumentin villages there was the saz [long-neckedfrettedlute]. Here, too, in Anatolianvillages they always play the saz. AbdulhamitIIF There were two major types of music in Istanbul and Anatolia just before the founding of the Republic, and these can be considered under six categories.One may first refer to two basic sources:the music of the Ottoman Palace, and the music of the people. Closer examinationindicatesthatthe type of music performedespecially for palace circles, Classical TurkishArt Music (hereafter CTAM), had two forms, formal and popular. In terms of its composers and performersCTAM was multi-cultural,while in spirit it was elitist and cosmopolitan. Performedin a solemn ritualistic way, the formal style - for reasons that became soon apparent - underwent, during the Republicanperiod,a process of petrificationandbecame an archaicgenre. But leading musicians of the day (such as Haci Arif Bey) were to single out the ?arki (song) from that traditionand paved the way for the rise of a popular

198

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

style of CTAM, which later in the Republicanperiod came to be known as TurkishArt Music (hereafterTAM). Widely varying local traditionsof rural folk music constituted the third category. After the breakupof the Empire, the Anatolian traditionsof folk music were redefinedand namedTurkishFolk Music (hereafter TFM) according to the nationalistic tenets. The traditionalmusic of tarikats (religious orders),yet anothertype referredto as TekkeMusic (hereafterTM). TM was dealt a majorblow and it essentially vanishedexcept for the mystical music of Mevlevi origin, after the abolition of all tekkes and zaviyes (religious lodges and cloisters) immediately after the proclamationof the Turkish Republic. in Eventually,amid movementstowardswesternization the closing days of the OttomanEmpire,two types of music of Westernorigin came to occupy a distinctive marginal place in the overall scene. The best-known of these was Military Band Music (hereafter MBM) of the Ottoman Army. The other, found only in Istanbul, and at that marginally,was Kanto Music (hereafter KM). KM, as will be furtherdiscussed, was a very importantsource in that it became the first domain of spontaneousEast-West synthesis in music under the republic. Startingin its earliest days, the OttomanState was always forced to take an interest in Western civilization and its technologies; but it was only in the waning days of the empire, when it began steadily to lose territory,that the movement towardswesternizationfound supportamong the intellectualsand the ruling elite. It was in the area of technology that Europeanpowers first demonstrated their superiority,and their might was perceivedin termsof consistent militaryvictories over the empire. The first Ottomaninstitutionto feel the impactof the West was the army,wherean effort to restructure along European lines not only broughtnew technologies and new ways of doing battle, but also a scientifically-oriented, naive positivistic system of thoughtand the of realizationof an urgentneed to adaptto the requirements the contemporary world. There is, indeed, no other explanationfor the leading role assumedby the Army in westernizingand secularizingthe countryonce the republicwas founded.Particularly where music is concerned,it is not unanticipated the that Army of the Nizam-i Cedid (the Army of the New Order, under Selim III) should wish to have a militaryband,that MBM with its marchesshould have been the preferredform of Western music. It is importantto mention that 'soldier musicians' have always been influential and made the pioneering cadreof the Western-typemusiciansduringthe Republicanperiod.8 Music was traditionally accordeda place of honourin the OttomanArmy as exemplified by the Mehterband of the Janissaries.This band was maintained as an integralpartof the armyso thatit would play music to lift the spiritof the troops as the army departedon military campaigns or before it engaged in battle. To the beat of the Mehtermusic, footsoldierswould slowly advancein

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

199

the distinctive Janissarymanner,two steps forwardand one back. The first Ottomanorientationstowards modernizationtook place in the army, as the orderof battle, includingstep and formation,were reorganizedin accordance with European military practice, while the marching tempo underwent a similar change. The Janissariesand Mehter Band, already out of favour for political reasons, suffered even further when the army was restructured. Musically speaking, the modernized army needed a beat to which the men could marchin the newly-adoptedWesternmanner,and MahmutII, concealing his political aims, justified his eliminationof the Mehters by pointing to the need for a European-stylemilitary band. In 1826 Giuseppe Donizetti, brotherof the famous opera composer, was broughtin from Italy, along with an assistant,to head the bandthathad alreadybeen createdin the Army of the New Order. Donizetti was to serve for decades and ultimately receive the rankof Pasha, as he and other membersof the band handledthe problemof a limited repertory composing marchesin the Italianmanner.The purposeof by composing these marcheswas not so much to achieve a West-East synthesis as to supply various units of the new army with the kind of music they could marchto. The majorcontribution MBM, as far as the polyphoniccomposers of of the Republicanperiod were concerned,was in the areaof notation.Indeed, not only were the marcheswrittendown, but also thanksto Donizetti's efforts, western-stylenotationwas graduallyadoptedfor music otherthanthatplayed the by the Army Band. Furthermore, need for trainedmusiciansto play in this bandled to the creation,in 1833, of Saray MizikaMektebi(the Palace Military Band School), which was to constitutethe nucleus of the western-styleconservatoires later founded under the republic. Donizetti and his band had a definitive influence on the culturallife of the Palace, where they gave frequent concerts of polyphonic music; and famous Europeanmusicians visited the Ottomanpalace and gave performances,9 while Dikran4_uhaciyan (1837-98) was educated in Franceand in 1875 wrote the first western-typeopera composed in Turkey.Ever gaining in proficiency, the band musicians eventually formedthe core of the Palace SymphonyOrchestra, which in 1918, on the very eve of the OttomanEmpire's collapse, sent some eighty of its memberson a highly successful tourof Europe."' Finally, KM deserves attentionas a significant source-music. Although it came to exist duringthe last decades of the Empirein urbanIstanbulonly, and at thatmarginallyat best, KM may neverthelessbe consideredas a primordial form of the spontaneousEast-West synthesis which may be tracedin today's TPM. This music, chiefly sung and played by non-Muslim minorities for entertainment,originated as an Italian song form (canzone), but it rapidly changed to take on a local character.In terms both of lyrics and performing style, KM was an example of how an East-West synthesis could take place in popularmusic, and its musical discourse provides importantclues to help us

200

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

understandthe operetta form of the early republicanyears, as well as the gazino" culture (entertainment culture) which later mushroomedin Turkish cities. [Here is music] to which one's response can be only cheap sentiment and a tendency to bow to fate. Ignorantof polyphony, which in the West was invented in the tenth century and was based on an effort of intelligence, this simple-minded, whining music representsat least a EkremZeki Un millenniumof stagnation. At the twilight of the Ottoman Empire, there was, particularlyamong a handfulof intellectuals,a stormborderingon hatredof the East and at the same time an admirationfor the West borderingon adulation.Although a strong westernizingmovementhad alreadyswept the empire,it was neverthelessonly with the adventof the TurkishRepublicthat westernisationtook the form of a consistent, carefully planned state policy. Having dealt successfully with his political opponentsand achieved a secure position as the sole leader,Mustafa Kemal turnedthe face of the new republictowardsthe West, in termsof both developmentpatternsandcivilizationmodelling,settinginto motiona series of reformswhich, in a numberof areas, were meant to bring about a West-East synthesis.His projectwas simply to introduce'civilization'- Westerncivilization - into the Turkish Republic, and this objective was taken to be an absolutely mandatoryone, defined within a positivistic frameworkand conceived as of a social engineering.One need only readTarnk ZaferTunaya,one of the most ardentand best known supporters Kemalism,to see how naively of positivistic were Mustafa Kemal's attitudeas well as that his circle towards this programmeof westernization,how deeply they believed that their objective reflected a 'universal truth'; to see, in other words, how mistakenly reassuredthey stood in theirbelief thatWesterncivilization was superiorto all othersandthatit could be the only civilization by which to set criteria. Ataturk,or Kemalism,embracedWesterncivilization for a numberof reasons: 1. No civilization is the creationof a single religion or people. It is the productof many peoples workingtogether... 2. Westerncivilization is the dominantone, in a sense the only one; for there is no other civilisation that can compete with it, none that is strongenough to resist it, none indeed thatis equal to it ... since it is impossible to surpassit, the only alternativeleft is to join it. This is a matter of life and death, a matterof raising one's nation to a new level. It is a historicallaw thatthe East tends Westward. Therefore,the Turkishrevolution's unswervingdecision is to enter the Westernfamily, the family of civilization.'2

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

201

The foregoing passageevinced how passionatelyKemalisttheoristspursued the 'imposed' West-East synthesis and how they thought 'modem civilisation' (that is, Western civilization) could be attainedby means of that synthesis. If one examines the culturalpolicies which had such a peculiarplace in the westernizing reforms of the republic, and in particularthose reforms affecting music directly, one encounters Mustafa Kemal's speeches on civilization and music, and with the writings of Ziya Gokalp (1876-1924), who was unequivocallythe most influentialthinker,the leading ideologue, of his day. Gokalp'sfamousPrinciples of Turkism, publishedin 1923, depictsthe philosophical backgroundof the Republic's imposed West-East synthesis, and in a way constitutes a manual sketching out how, in his words, the fusion of the Origin with the West was to be executed. Gokalpconsideredthe eventual success of nationalism to be closely connected with 'Turkish Civilization', which, he said, must advance at all costs; he spoke of how Turkishmusic could become trulynationaland actuallyoutlineda programme for its futuredevelopment.'Before Europeanmusic enteredour lives', Gokalp claims, 'there were two types of music in the land. One was Easternmusic, taken by Farabifrom the Byzantines, the other was those Folk melodies that continuedthe traditionof ancient Turkishmusic'.'" Gokalp, then, arguedthat the elite music of the Ottoman Palace, representing the apogee of what Ottomanculture had achieved in terms of music, was essentially Byzantine, and he called it 'Eastern'.To reinforcehis point, he returnedto ancientGreek music, which, because it was based on quartertones, he found 'artificial'and 'depressinglymonotonous,in thatit repeatedthe same melody over and over'. But, Gokalp argued, musical reforms during the Middle Ages in Europe went far to overcome the mistakes of Greek music, and opera went even further,giving rise to the 'civilized' Western music known today. However, the Eastern music which emerged from ancient Greek models, and which was played for centuries in the Ottoman lands, continued in its 'ill' state. The only 'healthy' music in Anatolia was TFM, which was enjoyed by the Turkishpeople at large. Thus Gokalp divided extant music into three classes (Easternmusic, Westernmusic, and TurkishFolk music) in orderto pose this 'nationalistic'question: Which of these, one wonders,is trulyour nationalmusic? We have seen that Eastern music is not only ill, it is also non-national.Folk music is that of our national culture, and Westem music is that of our new civilisation, so that neither of these is foreign to us. Thus our national music will be born from the fusion of our Folk music and Western music. Folk music has given us numerousmelodies, which, if we collect and harmonizein the Western manner,will yield a music that is both nationaland European... This, then, is in broadoutline the programme

202

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

for Turkismin the field of music. The rest is up to the lovers andcreators of music in our nation. [My emphasis]" Only if 'our nationalculture' welds with 'our new civilization' [the Westi, emphasizedGokalp, can one speak of a 'nationalmusic'. In other words, the problemand its solution have been defined as follows: the enemy is 'Eastern music', the source is 'Folk music', the model is 'Western music and its harmony',while the purposeis to achieve 'nationalmusic'. In Gokalp's idea of synthesis, besides two clearly defined types of music, there is an intriguing suggestion of a taboo concerning the abstract category of Eastern music, situatedin 'the East', a mystifying, prohibitedyet not clearly defined zone. The programme for reaching the goal, on the other hand, reflects an astonishinglack of sophistication,possibly influencedby a naive positivism: folk tunes are to be harmonized,using the methods of Western music, and made polyphonic. Here, Gokalp, a reader of oversimplified Durkheim, is evidently speaking the language of the western orientalist. As Ercument Berkerhas indicated,the model for synthesis consideredby both Gokalp and Mustafa Kemal was a Russian one, for in the nineteenthcentury composers known as the Russian Five had followed such a path to achieve a 'national synthesis' in music."5 Music is partly a matter of taste, acquired simply through exposure or througha more formalroute.In any case, Gokalpseems not to have been very familiar with Western music, while being an avid listener to Turkish folk music, and was consequently unencumberedas he sought to reveal the 'problem' and search for a solution. It seems that for Mustafa Kemal, a renowned Ottoman pasha and a member of the Ottoman political elite, it would not have been an easy matterto give up CTAM. Indeed, a numberof sources, including Vasfl Riza Zobu's memoirs, demonstratethat Mustafa Kemal was very fond of this music, and that he even had his own ideas about how certain songs should be sung. Zobu relates the following strange anecdote: Ataturkwas fond of certain songs that were a productof the Ottoman capital, Istanbul,as well as the Rumelian folk songs, and he liked not only to listen, but to sing them ... Some works he sang in the accepted manner,but there were a few whose lyrics he especially liked that he would sing, bringingout the meaning of the words so that the emphasis of the music shifted, with some notes lengthenedand others shortened, and some words sharply stressed, others much less so. An attentive listener would realize that the meaning of the words demandedsuch a that treatment; the composerhad eithernot realizedthis, or had not considered the meaning importantenough to affect his melody. Ataturk insisted on remedying this neglect, singing to match the words, and

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

203

demandingthat a performerdo the same; and if he or she had sung that song 'correctly'for many years, then the suddenchange was too much to ask for. The performer would struggle,try to imitateAtaturk'srendering, and in the end meet with defeat ... These mastermusicianshad no experience with acting, so in this matterthey really had their work cut out for them. But with my trainingin drama,I would generallypass with flying colours, when Ataturkgave his exam in altering line and tone. [My emphases]'6 This passage underscoresa significantpoint of how the idea of a West-East synthesis in culture might be implementedby someone of Mustafa Kemal's clearly ratherauthoritarianstamp.Even more importantly, suggests why the it projectmight have been ill-fated to begin with and, indeed, how it might have been even recognized as an impossible one to achieve success for the time it was designed. Especially revealing in the final note of the passage depicting how master musicians were unable to bring about the desired 'reform', and that only an actor was able to succeed in reaping kudos, singing as if he were acting out a role. Also to be noticed, alongside the imposed mandate for change, is a sense of abruptness,a wish that the command be executed instantly. Again in 1918, just before the War of Independence (1919-23), when MustafaKemal was in Karlsbadfor treatment, kept a diaryin which certain he remarksshed light on his approachto reformingmusic: 'Should I ever be in a position of authorityand power, I believe I would bring about the desired reformsin our society with a coup. For unlike some others I do not think the views of the intelligentsia can gradually be brought around to match my vision. Indeed, my spiritrebels at the thoughtof acting in this manner."7 This coup d'e'tatmentality,and its harshness,can be seen in the culturalpolicies of the TurkishRepublicwhere they relateto music. Ziya Gokalp's wishes and perhaps urgent haste, regardingan 'imposed' synthesiswere largely sharedby MustafaKemal,as reflectedin his statements relatingto music. It may now be arguedthatthe projectwas merely impossible from the beginning.In any case, its failuremeantthat anothersynthesis would inevitably and spontaneouslydevelop to replace it. In other words, the path laid out for music by the republic,andthe role assignedto the listener,failed to gel, and syntheses ensued (such as the fantazi songs that appearedin the 1950s, or the Arabeskof the late 1960s itself) which the culturalelite had not expected and had failed utterlyto comprehend. As alreadynoted, the Republic made its attitudetowardstraditionalmusic clear when the teaching of Turkishmusic was banned in the Darii' I-Elhan, where CTAM formed the core of the curriculumsince the inception of that institutionin 1917.8 The law that abolishedthe tekkesand zaviyes also dealt a

204

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

fatal blow to TM, which occupied such a peculiarposition in the wide arrayof religious music in general. Handeddown as it was from masterto apprentice, and dependenton the setting where ritualwas carriedout, this music could not hope to survive when the tekkes were abolished. In the repertoireof Munir Nurettin Selquk, a pupil of some tekke musicians, commonly consideredthe last master of CTAM, the prominenceof TM is noticeable. Behar makes in fact an important observation in underlining the linkage between Munir NurettinSelbukand the tekkemusicians, who were forced to earn their living afterthe tekkeswere closed by giving privatelessons.'9 It was in 1928 that Mustafa Kemal made his first public assessment of Turkish music. After listening to a concert of two groups who appearedin succession, one performing'alaturka'the other 'alafranga'(possibly MBM), he claimed, This music, this unsophisticatedmusic, cannot feed the needs of the innovativeTurkishsoul, the Turkishsensibility in all its urge to explore new paths. We have just heard music of the civilized world, and the known as people, who gave a ratheranaemicreactionto the murmurings Easternmusic, immediatelycame to life ... Turksare, indeed, naturally vivacious and high-spirited,and if this admirable characteristic for a was time not perceived,thatwas not theirfault.2" Thus Mustafa Kemal blamed the Ottoman intellectuals for their lack of awareness of the Turkish 'character',and accused them of forcing Turks to listen to a soporific music that ran contraryto their spirit. Easternmusic, in otherwords, was not only anachronistic, sedativeat the same time. but In terms of culturalpolicy, the most significantproposalmade by Mustafa Kemal is to be found in his opening speech to the parliament's1934 sessions. Stressingthatfine artsmust be encouragedto advancewithoutdelay, he asked for rapidprogramme be made in music, and continuedas follows: to The measure of the change undergone by a nation is its capacity to absorb,andgrasp,a change in music. The music which they aretryingto get people to listen to today is not our music, so it can hardly fill the bill. We must not lose sight of this fact. What is requiredis to collect nationalexpressionthatconveys fine thoughtsand feelings, and without delay to put it to music following the most modernrules. Only thus can Turkish national music rise to take its place among the music of the world.2' The route was thereforeopen for culturalpolicies to make headway where music was concerned, and possible reforms were discussed at a meeting attended by eight renowned Turkish exponents of western music. One of these, Cemal ReqitRey (1963), who in his memoirs narrated how, duringthe

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

205

reform meeting, phone calls were repeatedly made from the Presidential Palace to ask how the music reformswere coming along. One participant was the so overwhelmedby the pressuresurrounding proceedingsthat he actually proposed to have all singing of monophonic music banned in Turkey. This proposal was fortunatelyrejected, and an agreementreached on institutional reforms. The year 1935 saw the founding of the PresidentialSymphony Orchestra, while the following year the State Conservatoirewas established. The first operato be composed in the Republicanperiod was O6soy, createdby Ahmet of Adnan Saygun on short order.The libretto,expressing the brotherhood the Iranianand Turkish peoples, was reviewed personally by Mustafa Kemal. Two other operas, composed later (Bayonder and Taqbebek),were both unsuccessful and severely criticized in the semi-official newspaper, Ulus, by BurhanBelge, a close associate of Mustafa Kemal.22 Mustafa Kemal and his circle were not satisfied with the polyphonic Turkishworks being composed in line with the expected synthesis, and so a new period began, one in which gifted musicianswere sent abroadfor educationand training. The most strikingmove was the radio ban placed on Turkishmusic, justified as having been inspired by a speech Mustafa Kemal made to open the Parliament.Announcedon 3 November 1934, by the official AnadoluAjansi The leaders of the (Anatolian News Agency), it lasted twenty months.23 Turkish Republic have always placed great importanceon radio broadcasts, and in the 1930s began the installationof powerful transmittersthroughout Turkey. As a result, longwave broadcastsreached every corner of Anatolia, with receivers generally found in public places, such as coffee-houses, where the people could listen without any special effort. In 1935, the year Turkish music on the radio was banned, there were 8,082 registered receivers in Turkey, of which 3,244 were in Istanbul.24 When the ban was lifted, it was replacedby a much more comprehensivesystem of control, which was indeed a systematic form of censorshipdescribingwhat type of Turkishmusic could be played on the radio,and lateron TV. In addition to the institutionalcensorship it exercised over Turkishmusic, TRT exerted influence on the musical policies of the TurkishRepublic in a variety of ways that are worth considering.The most importantargumentof those defending the West-East synthesis was that TFM was a fundamental 'source' music; but for TFM to serve usefully as a source, it first had to be collected, writtendown, and classified. The newly opened conservatoiremade seriousefforts in this direction,andbroughtin foreign scholars,yet it was TRT that did the most of the collecting and classifying of TFM. The monopoly in radio broadcastinguntil the beginning of the 1990s meant that TRT was, for all practicalpurposes, the only broadcasterof TFM and CTAM. As for the insubstantial recordindustry,it preferredto marketTAM and Westernmusic,

THE HISTORICAL

STRUCTURE

FIGURE 1 OF THE 'SPONTANEOUS

SYNTHESIS'

Pre-Republic Era Turkish Republic

New Labels Turkish Folk Music -TFM1

1930s Standardisation: ' Tunes from Homeland'

1950-60s

Folk Mlusic _ Origin: Rural

'Minibuses'

'Gecekondu'
_I' Classical Classical Nlusic _Art Origin: Palace
l

Turkish
Nlusic

00

'Ban' _ at TRT

'Censorship' at TRT

JAM

~~~~~~Classical

Art Miusic

Imported Arab

n permcte

'Adaptatton Religoususic Relicgious Mlusic,[ Tekke OriH,n:


Miusicof the

11~~~

Abolitioniof the Tekkes & Zaviyes

Tekke Tkebroadcasts I?tiZ


'Aaped Music X

-TM

State-balls:

Turkish movies 'Light music':

Minorities > | lusicofthe Origin:Istanbul

Poulrnpeatase.g. _ busic -KM -

0 >

Popular Operatt as . Establishment blilitar


"'

Tango 'Lgtusc

Origin: Army -NMBM Sources Sources

TursPolyphonic

of the State

Conservatoire

Composers / Stu Broadcasting Public perfor

synthesis: 'West-East' Imposed svntnesis: awesl-casl ImPosea

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

207

both popular in the cities, ratherthan TFM. TRT had personnel out in the countryside, as well as the necessary recording equipment, and especially while MuzafferSarisozen,a graduateof the conservatoire,headedthe relevant departmentin TRT, the institutionrecordedhundredsof folk songs sung and played on the saz, by folk minstrels;and these songs were properly written down. In 1948 the collected and arrangedfolk songs began to be broadcast on 'YurttanSesler' (Tunes from Homeland),a regularseries of programmes destinedto continueto the presentday. The unfortunatefact, however, is that 'Tunes from Homeland' is a prime example of how, even with the best intentions,culturalpolicies of the Turkish Republic during the founding years built around the notion of 'West-East synthesis' could be an obstacle to culturalchange. In classifying and writing down the songs, the personal styles of the folk minstrels were not taken into consideration,even 'corrected'in each work by MuzafferSar6sozento match a presumedgeneralstyle of the local region in which it had been recorded.25 To reinforcethis distortion,TRT instituteda practice which was utterlycontrary to the traditionof these songs, having them sung by a chorus accompaniedby a numberof sazs, all, however, playing the same monophonictune, with time beat out for the whole ensemble by a conductor.Someone must have thought thatthis was an applicationof westernpracticeto TFM, with increasedvolume and a kind of 'orchestra'performance.'Tunes from Homeland' is more than just a radio programme,it is a concrete applicationof the cultural policies, modelled fromthe West-East synthesis at theircore, advocatedby the musical elite of the Republic. As for an actual musical practice is concerned, it is a great misfortune that TRT, an institution of the state itself, succeeded in wiping out the traditional minstrelstyle in TFM.26 Meanwhile, CTAM was being, one might say, 'frozen' within the framework of a certain deliberateculturalpolicy, once again by TRT. Choral and of instrumental programmes CTAM-basedmusic were broadcastat hourswith the fewest listeners as if this music belonged to anotherage, as if it were an ancient form. Eventually it became textually incomprehensibleand was forgotten. The only area in which TRT supportedpopular Turkish music was TAM, which it played on a regularbasis, especially after the 1950s. Indeed, TRT actually trainedperformersof TAM, confirmationof a supportfor the genre which may seem inconsistentwith the policies of West-East synthesis, but the main reason was straightforward: TRT did not want to lose its audience, and the interestingdevelopmentsin popularmusic beginning in the 1930s really left TRT with no alternativebut to broadcastTAM. Beginning in the late 1930s, the State instituteda numberof coordinated culturalpolicies in the field of music: Formaleducationin polyphonybegan in the conservatoireswith Westerneducationalinstitutionsas model. Instructors were hired from abroad, as gifted students were sent abroad for training.

208

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

Symphony orchestras began giving free concerts in various parts of the country. Both serious and popularworks of polyphonic western music were regularlyplayed on the radio.Courses in music were offered to the public free of charge in the Halkevleri (People's Houses), where both polyphonic music and standardizedmonophonic TFM were played. At 'State Balls' held for the public as well as for the newly forming political elite, dance music was selected from among light pieces such as waltzes, tangos, and the like. And in the school curricula,althoughthere was little in the way of teachingthe actual playing of instruments,ratherextensive coverage of Westernmusical history and its composers were introducedinto the curriculum. But the Turkishlistener at large hardlyshowed much interesteither in the polyphonicmusic being composed by Turks,or in the westernclassical music that was being played. Instead, as a number of scholars have indicated,"7 people began to tune in and listen to Arab radio stations playing Arab music. Meanwhile the Turkishpublic also enjoyed the soundtrackof Arab films that had a substantialinfluence on the forming of new musical tastes. As a consequence, a significant and perhaps inevitable deficiency of the West-East synthesis policies in music began to emerge:no thoughthad been given to any polyphonic form of popular music, something which a broad segment of the people could enjoy and identify with. Perhaps the operettas, and the South Americantangos with Turkishlyrics, could be cited as efforts in this direction, but the musical elite rejectedthese out of hand as being 'vulgar'. In any case, such music either quickly vanished or was marginalized(for example, the tango-inspiredtunes with Turkishlyrics), or such popularoperettasas Lukiis Hayat (The Posh Life) quickly took on a local character,as the canzone did and became 'kanto-ized'. Given leaders who had been brought up and trained in a political milieu which was fundamentallyelitist and based on a strong state tradition,and whose orientation was towards high culture, it is not surprisingto detect authoritarian cultural policies imposed from above and which, ignoring the actual taste of the people, attemptedinstead to decide for them what they ought to like.28 What is neverthelessunexpected, and an instance of political blindness which deserves attention,is the failureto observe that these policies were not succeeding. Again, duringthe 1980s, when there was heated debate over the Arabesk, the same elite immediately dismissed the music as 'yoz' (degenerated).This, like the disrespectful term Arabesk ('Arab-like', i.e. a clone-type, non-original)itself, which was invented by intellectuals, can be considered as an example of the kind of 'short-sightedness'symptomaticof the elitist viewpoint in the Republicanage.29 Due to its broadcastpolicy, TRT was compelled to be more pragmatic,but the decision to play TAM, which, it should be remembered, was growing ever more popular, may have expressed a wish to 'freeze' this type of music.

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

209

Meanwhile, the TRT tactic, which may appear keen in the context of conditions then.prevailing,indirectlyopened the way for the imposed West-East synthesis to transmuteinto a spontaneous East-West synthesis, helping to of awakena remembrance 'the East' in the collective memoryof people. CTAM consists of a numberof musicalforms which follow one anotherin a consecutive order, whereas TAM is the development of just one of these forms, the iarkior song, or as one mightcall the Turkishlied. It seems thatthe first composer to popularize CTAM was Haci Arif Bey (1841-95), the favouritecomposerof Earki the waning days of the OttomanEmpire.Owing in to its musical structure,the TSM iarkilends itself readily to popularization, for above all it is short, independentof otherforms found in CTAM and composed as a song in its own right. No specialized backgroundor training is requiredto accompanyor appreciateit; the vocabularyis simple and readily intelligible and the 'message' is direct and easily comprehensible.Although the elite taste for CTAM began to erode in the late Ottomanperiod, when this genre gave early notice that it would evolve into TAM, the latter,and with it the iarki, only became widely popular during the Republican years of the imposed synthesis. To summarize the argument made thus far, the two dominantfactors affecting the developmentof music were, first, the effect of culturalpolicies forced upon music by the TurkishRepublic, and second, the fact that there was no common groundbetween the music to which the people were traditionallyaccustomed and the music which authoritiesattemptedto impose on them. Farfrom being a mere 'offeringto the ear', music is a whole world embracing many kinds of experience; it thereforemanagedto subsist in its popular forms even duringthe early years of the Republic. For urbandwellers one of the popularchoices was the song (~arki),another,kanto. Meanwhile, another interestingmedia developmenttook place, effecting the developmentof music historyin modernTurkey.By 1948, when Arabfilms were bannedbecause of their possible political impact, some 150 of them (mostly from Egypt) had These films, and theirmusic, alreadybeen shown in theatresaroundTurkey.3"' had become very popular - disturbingly as far as the authorities were concerned- so that in 1938 the importof Arabfilms as well as the playing of original Arabic lyrics were banned. This triggered a novel phase in the East-West synthesis of music, the practiceof adaptation, in which the songs from Arab films were reworked:either the music remained unchanged and Turkishlyrics were dubbedin over it, or the whole song was redonewith only a faint hint of the original themes that had served as the source of inspiration. In this way, employmentopportunitiesarose for many skilled musiciansfrom TAM who had found themselves mostly unemployedbecause of the government policies describedearlier.Duringthe time of adaptation, most promithe nent name in TAM was thatof SadettinKaynak.3'

210

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

It would be SadettinKaynakwho in the 1950s took the TAM genre known as serbest icra ('unrestricted performance')and moulded it in a fresh manner inspired by the Arab films of the 1930s and 1940s, giving Turkish music a type of composition style in TAM known as fantazi. Sadettin Kaynak (1895-1961) had an interestingbackground.Having been broughtup in the tekke tradition, he was an ilahiyatVi(a graduate of the Islamic School of Divinity), he was often simply called 'hafiz', Muslim musicianof cantorwho could recite the Koranby heart.In the early years of the Republic,Kaynakwas the most distinguishedmusiciancarryingon TAM in the traditionof Haci Arif Bey, and in his adaptationsfrom Arab films, he collaborated with Munir NurettinSelcuk, and with a famed writerof lyrics, Vecdi Bingol. This partnership not only gave rise to the highly popularfantazisongs, but more important, it led to a principal change in the musical 'taste' for the typical Turkish listener. Skilled musicians living in the urban centres and perpetuatingthe Ottoman musical heritage had then been compelled, by the government's culturalpolicies which excluded them, to popularizetheirwork and- because of the form this popularized music took - to become the most significant obstacle, in the field of music, to the Republic's project of West-East synthesis.32 furtherirony emerges that it was indeed TRT, chargedwith impleA menting state policies, which in broadcastinga 'controlled' version of TAM contributedgreatly to the spreadof this genre. It is unfairto blame TRT for such move, given the sheer fact that the listening audiencehad clearly shown its preferencefor TAM. The 'unrestrictedperformance' approach initiated by Saadettin Kaynak became the most prevalentform of TAM beginningin the 1950s, and with the advent of MuizeyyenSenar, Zeki Mtiren33 others, it became thoroughly and entrenched.Meanwhile,the waves of social change broughton by the massive migrationfrom the countrysideto the urbancentres meant there was a new audiencefor TAM, a non-elite audiencewith roots in the countryside,readyto take enthusiasticallyto 'unrestrictedperformance'in the urban setting of a gazino entertainment culture.At the same time the Turkishcinema developed a melodramatictradition,its films, featuringeither songs or singers,34 shown widely in Anatoliathus aiding on a long-termbasis to spread'unrestricted performance'to countrysideand smallertowns. What 'unrestricted performance'illustratesis less an insight into a musical East-West synthesis than into how a traditionalgenre can transformwith a popularone. At the same time, however, 'unrestricted performance'implied a possibility of musical interventioninto the methodand interpretation followed duringthe act of composition.It represented opportunity free interpretaan for tion duringthe creationof a musical composition, with the TAM background of particularperformersin mind. The awarenessof such an opportunitymay have later significantly influenced the general approach of composers of

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

211

Arabeskmusic, which was, after all, the first popularmilestone in generating the spontaneous East-West synthesis. As Orhan Gencebay, the founder of Arabeskmusic, points out in his interviewwith MuratBelge, his projectin the latterhalf of the 1960s to develop a new genre of music (it would only laterbe given the name the Arabesk by pro-Westernintellectuals) was undertaken It with the 'unrestrictedperformance'experiences of the 1950s in mind.35 seems clear that, for Gencebay at least, the Arabeskproject was a seriously conceived outlet for a TAM, which he saw as having stagnatedin the 1960s, a project to introduce a new colour which he hoped would become popular. Besides that the Arabesk project included a highly importantand original element which did not exist earlier in 'unrestricted performance':the instruments and the composing influence of westernmusic. As a result of westernizationand the coming of age of republicaninstitutions, urban listeners were presented new choices in popular music by the 1960s. The singing of popular European and American songs to Turkish lyrics, as observed earlierwith the model of the South Americantango, gave rise to Aranjman('arranged')music, which was strongly supportedby TRT. Indeed, TRT has even labelled the new genre as TiirkVe Sozlii Hafif Miizik ('Light Music with TurkishLyrics') and given it regularexposure on the air. Meanwhile another genre began to make itself heard on the urbancentres: AnatolianPop, createdby more politically orientedmusiciansand designed to One music had in be a synthesisof TFM and Westernmusic.36 thing 'arranged' a use of the electronic instrumentsand common with Anatolian Pop was polyphony found in western music. The greaterrange of volume obtainable by Western musical instrumentsin general, and electronic instrumentsin particular,attractedthe interest of Orhan Gencebay and the Arabesk performers and composers who followed his lead. They also appreciatedthe sonorities which the western instrumentscould produce, sonoritiesnot found in TAM. The electrosaz is the first original synthesis instrumentto come out of the Arabesk,and hence out of the spontaneousEast-West synthesis. What especially characterized Arabesk,startingwith the songs of Gencebay,was the that western instruments,the electrosaz, extended strings, and sometimes a quasi-polyphony were used in the Arabic manner. The Arabesk music instantly found its way into the urban gazino culture, one of its branches featuringthe electropianoalone, so that pianist-singers(piyanist-antor) were to be found in many clubs, cafes and restaurants. Arabesk,in otherwords, The was the first productof a spontaneousEast-West synthesis graduallyachieved throughthe efforts of certainmusicians in TAM and one that became exceedingly popular,which is a musical success story in every sense of the word. When it made its appearance the scene, the Arabeskwas instantaneously on condemnedby intellectualsand the cultureelite as yoz (degenerate),and not a single example of it was broadcastby TRT which introduceda very strictban

212

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

it on the Arabesk.Yet despite this government-backed counter-campaign grew to be the only popular music of the 1970s,37 and many popular performers had no choice but to make the Arabeskcassettes - from Zeki Murenof 'unrestrictedperformance'fame, to IbrahimTatlises who had first capturedthe heartsof the public with his renderingsof southeasternAnatolianfolk songs. And a mere glance at the musicaldevelopmentsin the past decadecould reveal in thatTPM and the Arabeskhave been converging, predominantly the direction of the Arabesk, so that one might speak of an Arabesk 'invasion' of the TPM discourse. The Arabesk flavour determines now what is to be called TPM: All the TPM hits always have an 'alaturka'melody, that the Arabesk singers (such as Emrah, the child star of Arabesk in the 1980s who, in the 1990s, changed his style and startedto sing in the fashion of TPM) can sing TurkishPop, and that the Arabesk singers like IbrahimTatlises have gained acceptance at the highest level of government, sometimes being invited to performat presidentialreceptions.At presentthe spontaneousEast-West synthesis is enjoying its age of glory, in the form of TPM. Music is a discourse made up of differing but related components (e.g. listener, performer, melody, lyrics, instrument, style, media) articulated time and space. The musicaldiscourseis at the togetherin a given conjuncture, same time enveloped by ex-discursive practices which, though externalto it, arerelatedto it, defining its problematicand attempting define the discourse to itself. The present structureof the discourse of TPM can therefore not be adequatelyexplained by reducing it to developments internalto this musical discourse;nor will it suffice to speak solely of the personalinnovativeskills of certain composers, or the peculiar taste of the performers,or the cultural policies surroundingthe music, or social and economic changes during the Republican era. In other words, the Arabesk is, for instance, not the sole creationof OrhanGencebay, nor 'the music of a society in transition','minibus music', or 'music of the gecekondusquatter towns'. Rather,the Arabeskis the sum total of all these and more, since it is a musical genre that was shaped within the inner dynamics of TAM from which it took rise. In the context of this essay, the concept of articulation signifies that the discursive and exin discursive are interstructured a particularway which is intrinsicallylinked to a certainhistoryreferenceand a social territory.Only by recourseto such a concept of 'articulation'one may link the marginalmusical discourse of KM to the popularmusical discourseof spontaneousEast-West synthesis which is today definitely TPM. KM enjoyed a marginal existence as entertainment music among the non-Muslimminoritiesin late OttomanIstanbul,and was a spontaneoussynthesis of the canzone with local colours and genres. The route by a series of transmutations then led via operetta,'unrestricted performance' and the Arabeskto arriveat the presentday TPM. In summary,the marginalKM discoursewas a kind of East-West synthesis

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

213

which evolved into the popularTPM discourse of today. What was the exthat this discursive phenomenonsurrounding transformation mainly occurred in the musical discourse? It was none other than the set of culturalpolicies imposed by the leaders and governmentsof the TurkishRepublic in music in the expectations of producing a West-East synthesis, a civilized version of polyphonic music. The Turkish Turkishmusic in the fashion of contemporary musical tradition,taste and musicians as well as the Turkishlistener resisted with its own means and ultimately created its own synthesis, TPM. At the present time, with TRT's monopoly on broadcasting gone and TPM pouring out of the private radio stations and TV channels continuously,it is implausiblethat any form of high culture,elite music will rise in line with the culturalelite West-East synthesis. Curiouslyenough, neitherthe pro-Western could anticipatehow the East-West synthesis would eventually come out, nor the musiciansof the Arabeskand of the presentTPM who actuallycreatedthat new synthesis. There were, on the one hand, cultural policies which were imposed by the political powers that be, with the strong state adding its weight; and, on the other, a handful of skilled musicians and their ardent passively resistingthe culturalpolicies listenerswith a traditionalbackground imposed from above. Yet it was something essentially 'alive' which had its roots in the cultural territorythat was resisting something which was essentially 'expired' and this was enough to extinguish one synthesis and give birth to another. It is significant that this curious episodic socio-political history reflecting a national experience with cultural policies designed to reshape music is in fact an exemplary history of occidentalism - the twin notion of orientalism.38 Moreover the occidentalism took place in the very 'orient' where the modernist rulers/elites would supposedly share after the strongbelief in the supremacyof a Westernoutlook on social life and culture. And yet the questionposed by MuratBelge some fifteen years ago still has a 'Had Turkey's traditionalmusic been left to run its course haunting ring:39 freely, whetherin the classical or the folk traditions,would it have reacheda place so very differentfrom thatof today?'

NOTES Abbreviations CTAM Classical TurkishArt Music. KM KantoMusic. MBM MilitaryBand Music. TAM TurkishArt Music. TFM TurkishFolk Music. TM Tekke Music. TPM TurkishPopularMusic. TRT TurkishRadio and Television BroadcastingCorporation.

214

TURKEY: IDENTITY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS

I. N. Berkes, TheDevelopmentof Secularismin Turkey(Montreal:McGill, 1964), and also see $. Mardin,'Religion in Modem Turkey', InternationalSocial Science Journal, Vol.23, No.2 (1977), pp.279-97. 2. Z. Gokalp,Turkiuliugiun Esaslari [Principlesof Turkism],(Istanbul:M.E.B. Yayinlari, 1990), p.146. 3. G. Oransay,Ataturkile Kug [Ataturkand Music], (Izmir:KUgYayini, 1985), p. 112. 4. U. Kocabasoglu,$irket TelsizindenDevlet Radyosuna[FromThe CompanyWireless to State Radio], (Ankara:S.B.F. Yayinlari, 1980), p.82. 5. One should not mix the slum with gecekondu, a single-storey accommodationwhich has a higherbuildingquality thanthatof the most slum examples from the thirdworld. Gecekondu means 'put up at night'. 6. Because of the scale and various positions, the definition and the relevantdiscussions about the concept of discourse are not deliberately given. Related to the concept of discourse appliedthroughout piece, one may however referto the Foucauldianposition. In this conthis text, the essay focuses mainly on the innerdynamicsof music as discourse and speaks of exdiscursive as the enveloping, overlappingand partlydeterminingyet non-musicaldiscourses. 7. B. Aksoy, 'TanzimattanCumhuriyeteMusiki ve Batilhla?ma'[Music and Westernization from the Tanzimat the Republic],Tanzimat to Donemi Turkiye Ansiklopedisi,Vol.5 (Istanbul, tleti?im Yayinlari, 1985), p.1215. The notion in the quote alaturka does not simply signify 'alla turca' (i.e. in the Turkishway) but ratherhas a degradingconnotation,which is a very common tendency among the pro-Westerners Turkey. For the notion of alafranga (i.e. in in the French [Western]way), the reverse connotationcould prevail. Interestinglyenough, the quote is from a Sultan of post-Tanzimatera. In the quote, there is also a reference to the Turkishinstrument which is the most common instrument saz used in folks songs, and simply is long-neckedfrettedlute. 8. Hikmet ~imsek, for example, who for years has conducted the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, began his careerin the TurkishArmy Band. 9. In 1847, for example, FranzLiszt paid a visit to the OttomanPalace, where he performed. 10. The Palace Symphony Orchestra, whose repertoire on the European tour included Beethoven's Violin Concerto,was conductedby OsmanZeki Ungor, who in early Republican years would compose the music to the TurkishNationalAnthem. 11. The gazino is a restaurant, operatingat night where musical entertainment offered, particuis larlyby singers, and where meals are usually accompaniedby the favoritealcoholic beverage, raki. An alternativeplace to gazino entertainment pavyon, offering cheaperentertainment is and cateringonly for men. 12. T.Z. Tunaya,Devrim Hareketleri4Vinde Ataturkve Atatirkfilik [Ataturkand Kemalism in the Contextof RevolutionaryMovements],(Istanbul,1964), pp.120-21. 13. Z. Gokalp,Turkuiilugun Esaslar, [Principlesof Turkism],(Istanbul:M.E.B. Yayinlari, 1990), p.145. 14. Ibid., pp.146-7. 15. M. Belge et al., AtaturkDevrimleriideolojisinin TurkMuzikKulturune Dogrudan ve Dolayll Etkileri [Direct and Indirect Impact of the Ideology of Ataturk'sReforms on the Turkish Musical Ctilture],(Istanbul:Bogaziqi UniversitesiTurkMUzigiKlubui Yayinlari, 1980), p.34 and p.48. 16. T.Z. Tunaya,DevrimHareketleri4Vinde Ataturkve Ataturkfiuluk, 1. p.4 17. G. Oransay,Atatuirk Kug [Ataturk Music], (Izmir:KuigYayini, 1985), p.24. and ile 18. Dcrii' l-Elhan, a compoundword meaning literally 'House of Tunes', was the first school of music in the modern sense and was founded in 1917 as an extension of the IstanbulCity Theatre. 19. C. Behar, Klasik TiirkMusikisi Uzerine Denemeler [Essays on Classical Turkish Music], (Istanbul:Baglam Yayinlari, 1987), p.138. 20. G. Oransay,Ataturkile Kiig, p.24. 21. Ibid., p.26. 22. Ibid., p.32. 23. The item is as follows: Ankara(A.A.) - The Ministryof InternalAffairs reportsthattoday in the GrandNational Assembly, inspiredby the illuminatingstatementsof the Gazi (Mustafa

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKISH POPULAR MUSIC

215

24. 25. 26. 27.

28. 29.

30. 31.

32.

33.

34. 35. 36.

37.

38. 39.

Kemal) per alaiturka music, such music will be completely removedfrom the airwaves as of thereto be entirelyin the handsof artistshaving masteredWestern tonight,with performance ile technique.G. Oransay,Attiturk Kug, p.49. U. Kocaba?oglu,$irket TelsizindenDeviet Radyosuna,p.55. Z. Livaneli, 'Yunus Emre'den Ferdi Tayfur'a' [From Yunus Emre to Ferdi Tayfur], (15 Cuinhuri.vet Feb. 1980). The Alevi 'minstrel' traditionwas much less damaged by TRT's practices in collecting and notation,and indeed has survived to the presentday. This may be connected to the fact that the TurkishRepublicis a secularstate, and thatthis is reflectedin its policies towardreligion. M. Stokes, TheArabeskDebate. Music and Musicians in ModernTurkey(New York:Oxford University Press, 1992), p.93, and also see, N. Guing6r,Arabesk. SosyokulturelAcidan ArabeskMuiik IArabesk.A SocioculturalView at ArabeskMusic], (Ankara:Bilgi Yayinlari, 1990), p.55. M. Heper,TheState Traditionin Turkey(Beverley: EothenPress, 1985). During the 1930s, when musical reforms were most outrageous, the musical elite had a numberof names for CTAM like 'MonophonicCity Music', 'ByzantianAction', 'Music of OttomanPalace', 'Music of DrinkingHouse', all intendedto disparageit. M. Ozbek, Populer Kultur ve Orhan Gencebay Arabeski [Popular Culture and Orhan Gencebay's Arabeski,(Istanbul:Ileti?imYayinlari, 1991), p.154. Anotherimportant who also composer in the periodof adaptedmusic was Hafiz Burhanettin, had a backgroundin tekkemusic. He composed Turkishadaptations 'The Tears of Love' for a (Damui'al-hubb), film staffing the Egyptian singer Abdulvahhabwhich gained immediate popularitywhen it was first shown in 1938, and these songs continued to be sung for years afterwards. N. Karakayalistresses the seriousness of the effort to popularize this kind of music. N. Karakayali, 'Dogarken Olen: Hafif MUzik OrtamindaCiddi Bir Proje Olarak Arabesk' [Stillborn:Arabesk as a Serious Project in the Context of Light Music], Toplumve Bilim, No.67 (1995). with his inventionof T-shapedstage on which the contact between the artistand Zeki MUren, the audience first became possible, and extravagantcostumes, is one of the most colourful TAM stars.Interestingly enough, it was Zennube,a recorddirectlyadaptedfrom an Arabfilm which first catapultedhim to fame. For a more detailed analysis see M. Nakip, 'Arabesk Musikiye Dair' [On ArabeskMusic], Tore,No. 159 (1984), p.45. in Many films, particularly the 1960s, took theirtitles andeven theirplots from popularsongs of the day. M. Belge, 'Orhan Gencebay ile Goriiume' [An Interview with Orhan Gencebay], Yeni Gundem,No.14 (January1985). 'AnatolianPop' is a delayed popularmusical projectof West-East synthesis. If the musical elite in the early years of the Republic had placed any importanceon popularforms backing theirculturalpolicies, perhapsthey would not have failed so severely. In a countrywhere TRT had a monopoly on broadcasting,the only radio channel to defy the ban on Arabesk was anotherstate-ownedradio station, the Police Radio, which transmitted via shortwave and thus could be heardin every sector of the country.The question as to why TRT could not interferewith this broadcasting deserves study. E. Said, Orientalism(Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978). M. Belge et al., AtaturkDevrimleri,p.22.