November 25, 2012


EPISODE 5 / Urgup Mustafapasa - Cappadocia / 24 Nov 2012
In this episode, Ferman will take us to Ürgüp, Capadocia, where the music accompanies the mischievous Mother Nature. The Kulaktan Kulaga team flies to Kayseri from İstanbul. Ferman is in his family's hometown Şarkışla, Sivas and he will pick them up from Kayseri Airport.

Route to Ürgüp from 2 different directions

After they meet in Kayseri Airport, first of all they make a brief stopover in Kayseri city center to buy a hard disk, because the producer Emre forgot to bring his hard disk.

Ferman likes listening to music when he drives. The best part of listening to music on the road is that it's like shooting your own music video. Everything around you while you drive starts to become a music video. Some songs are just for the road, some are not. Some songs don't go well with the road and makes the trip very boring. But this one's nice! :)

On the way to Ürgüp
Ferman in Ürgüp
The folk song "Cemal'im/My Cemal" is very well-known. Everybody from folk singer Kubat to former rocker Erkin Koray, to modern rocker Haluk Levent, even the anchorman Ali Kirca sang this song. Ferman is now in Ürgüp, where is Refik Başaran's hometown, who discovered this folk song. He is in pursuit of Cappadocian songs that spread from ear to ear, from folk singers to rockers.

The first stop is the town of Mustafapaşa. Ferit Abi meets the Kulaktan Kulaga team. He'll tell about a human adventure from the Balkans to Cappadocia with the Macedocian melodies.

First of all, Ferman pays a visit to the mayor's office to thank him for his assistance and the arrangements.

Mustafapaşa, or old Greek name Sinassos is one of the leading touristic spots in Cappadocia. Its population is now 3000. Until 1920's, Greeks constituted the majority of the population. In 1924, by the Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey, the Greeks had to leave the town for the island Euboea in Greece. They were replaced by the Turks from Western Macedonia. The most of the population still speak in Macedonian. The town was wealthy in those times but during the exchange, the town lost its prosperity. 

Throughout the history, from time to time its name was mentioned more than Ürgüp. Once there was a mild rivalry between Sinassos and Ürgüp. The people of Sinassos thought of the people of Ürgüp lower than themselves and they didn't like them. This rivalry is in the past now and only the good things reached today. For instance, 3 Good "M":  Muhabbet/Friendly Chat, Misafirperverlik/Hospitality and Music. To experience all in one place, Ferman goes to the coffee house of the town.

Ferman with Ferit Abi in the coffee house

Ferit Abi tells about their music adventure. They brought their folk dances and music from Macedonia, too. He founded a folk dance group in order not to forget the old folk dances and folk songs in 1972. They danced in the hotels, discos, restaurants...They still dance in the weddings. The young folk dancers dance Turkish-Macedonian dances for the tourist groups. And he searches, discovers and archives old folk songs and delivers to TRT or the Ministry of Culture. He thinks that the folk dances will continue to be remembered after he passes away, but the folk songs will die away with him, too if they won't be archived.

Ferman and Ferit Abi in the Aya Nikola Church

Next, they record some Macedonian folk songs in the acoustics of the rock-carved Aya Nikola Church. This church have been just undergone a restoration and opened to the public in May 2012. This is a Greek heritage. It's a pleasure to listen to music in this historical atmosphere. Ferit Abi sings a song that he wrote for a foreign tourist girl. He couldn't get the girl, so he wanted to have a song in remembrance of her.

Balta's Place in the Hidden Valley

Ferman's next stop is the famous Hidden Valley, which is located near Mustafapaşa. There are ancient churches in this valley, too. One of these churches is St.Gregorius Church. In this valley, in a big cave, he discovers a hidden coffee bar, which belongs to Mehmet Balta and is known as Balta's Place. It was carved thanks to Mehmet Balta's long years of efforts and opened to public. 

They record some more of Ferit Abi's Macedonian songs in this excellent acoustics of the hand-carved cave. This is probably the best acoustics in Cappadocia, where often the concerts were held.

Ferman collects enough songs to bring back to İstanbul. He's tired. Tomorrow will be another day to explore more, so he should get some rest now. The next day he goes around the town and does shopping for some souvenirs in Mustafapaşa.

Ferman shopping in Mustafapaşa

This is Ferman's second or third time in Cappadocia. He didn't know anything but the fairy chimneys and the balloons about Cappadocia. Especially Mustafapaşa's architectural form is a little different from Ürgüp's and still carry the Greek architecture. The people respects the past and preserved the old buildings as they were. And there is an interesting school building here. It's Cappadocia Vocational Technical School.

Cappadocia Vocational Technical School

Ferman knew that he was going to have an incredible historical and musical experience here, but what he didn't expect was the young people. He didn't expect that they suddenly appeared in front of him with their music teacher and accompanied him. The teacher says that they teach the old Greek songs of the region at school, too.

His next stop is the house of Refik Başaran (1907-1947). Ferman is very eager to meet his grandson who has the same name with his grandfather. The archive of Turkish folk songs gained lots of well-known folk songs thanks to him. He also sang for Atatürk in his time.

 Ferman with the Grandson Refik Başaran

The grandfather Refik compiled around 120 folk songs from the villages which  constitute the region's repertory of folk songs now. Some of the folk songs probably were translated into Turkish from Macedonian and Greek.

The grandson Refik Başaran sings for Ferman

Ferman sightseeing around Ürgüp

Now it's time for sightseeing around the fairy chimneys. Let's talk a bit about the region's history. Cappadocia's unusual rock formations, as the local people call, the fairy chimneys are the result of the natural forces during the intense volcanic activity. Many civilizations flourished here throughout the centuries. The first one was The Hittites, and then the Persians. The name "Cappadocia" dates back to Persian times. They called the region as "Katpaduka" meaning "Land of the Beautiful Horses". Then came the early Christians. They took advantage of the easy-to-carve rocks and caves, because they were running from the Romans' persecution and they needed some place to hide themselves. The fairy chimneys and the caves provided them with ideal hiding places from persecution- first during Roman times, and later from invading Arabs. And then came the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century and from the 15th century Ottoman Turks started to rule the region. 

The Greeks lived in the region very long time, until the population exchange, but then they had to leave for Greece. They were welcomed in Greece as Cappadocians.

Ferman at "3 Beauties"
He visits the famous fairy chimneys called "3 Beauties". But a sudden sandstorm doesn't let him make the sightseeing longer. He decides to return to İstanbul a little early.


Back to İstanbul. This episode's guest star is Can Bonomo, who is Turkey's representative of 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Ferman first introduces maNga's new recording studio to him, telling him about the order of the studio.

Then he explains him about the concept of the program, telling him that he chooses the places which he hasn't been to, or he isn't familiar with. And he asks Can what he feels in Anatolia during his concert tours, whether he had any chance to have a chat with local people. Can says that they don't have much time to do sightseeing during the tours, but if it's a distant city that they haven't been to, they definitely find something in common and not so in common with that city. They love to eat and enjoy local food very much. So they spend much time in the local restaurants enjoying local food. If they eat a very delicious food they get demoralized instantly, because it will be impossible to find that food in İstanbul. :) And he indicates that we have a very complicated culture in Turkey and they get amazed by lots of cultural aspects. It's possible to realize that in terms of music in many places and this affects Can's eclectic music very much.

Then Ferman explains about the Ürgüp's Macedonian song to Can. He says that even tough he's been to Cappadocia many times, he didn't know that people from Macedonia lived there due to population exchange. In Ürgüp, during their research they came across Ferit Abi and thanks to him they got to know about these folk songs from Macedonia. He's trying to say that in the course of the reseach and the shootings they easily change their minds about which song will be rearranged. And he explains how much the Hidden Valley with natural acoustics amazed them.

He wants to review the Turkish lyrics first and then the rearrangement of the song. Since the song has some roots in the Balkans, Ferman hears Can's voice in his mind because most of Can's songs have this Balkan effect.

Ferman & Can working on the lyrics

During their lyrics practice, Ferman gives an idea to Can how he wants this song to sound in the end, singing the song in Turkish lyrics. Can likes his version and laughs. Because he doesn't need to do any other addition to that.

Then Can records the song in the recording room.

Can in the recording room

 ÇIKTIK YUKARI DAĞA (We Went Up the Mountain) /
Ferit Yakar - Can Bonomo

This week's song is an immigrant's song, who lived in the Yugoslavian Balkans before the 1923's Treaty of Lausanne. He's a Turkish nomad. He lives in a strict location with slopes all around. He goes up a mountain to find a better location to live and finds a good place. In this song, he invites his lover to this new place. "Come on up here, even if it rains" he sings.

Can starts to accompany Ferit Abi in a soft voice, but then unexpectedly he changes into his usual harsh rock sound and surprises us! :)

We don't have any idea as to who the next week's guest star would be and which city they would visit. But any surprise from Ferman would be good! :)

You can watch the full episode 5 on below You Tube link:

FOR FULL VIDEOS OF KULAKTAN KULAGA, please click below TRT Muzik's KK Video Page:


November 19, 2012


EPISODE 4 / Mugla - Düğerek / 17 Nov 2012

In this episode, Ferman visits Mugla in Western Anatolia, the land of the "Zeybeks", maybe the coolest folk dance in the world! He is going to dance the zeybek of course, but first of all he will take us to Düğerek Village where the music is the most important part of the life.

As in every episode, first he visits the coffee house of the village. It's the best way to get to know the general area and the people.

The Turks are proud of their hospitality that the foreigners admire so much. Ferman fully realizes that when he experiences it first hand. Once you're in Anatolia, it's impossible for you to be starved, or to end up homeless! The local people inevitably invite you to their homes and feed you with delicious food! This nice tradition is alive in Mugla, too. The village people invite Ferman to a house so he can taste the delicious food and get a glimpse of the folk songs of the village.

Dried chili peppers, grape vines, pickles, etc in the backyard... For Ferman, this is the picture of happiness. He is in the middle of tranquility. Let's spice it up with some music! The first song comes from Mr.Huseyin.
The grandma cooks for Ferman

The grandma of the house sings a folk song when she cooks the food. This is also a very old tradition. The people still sing songs when they go to the stream, work in the open field, or cook in the kitchen, etc... Singing is not a pastime here. It's the life itself! The music is around all the time and it's as real as the food, the water and the fields.

From the beginning of the first episode, Ferman learned a lot of things in terms of music and alongside this, he realized one more thing: It's why there are so many travelling cooking programs on TV! In addition to the hospitality, the food that were put in front of him is so delicious that he feels like producing a cooking program called "From Dish To Mouth" after "From Ear To Ear" was ended.
The grandma seems a little shy when she is asked about her elopement to his husband. Everybody, including Ferman laughs at her shyness! :)

Let's introduce Düğerek Village, also known as "Satan's Village" ("Satanville") to you. This is a very rare name for a village in Anatolia. According to the hearsay, in the 1700's, a group of construction workers from the village tore what they have built in the daytime down in the night, because they didn't want that building in the village. Then the owner of the construction site said, "Oh God! You've already created the Satan! Why did you have to create the Düğerek People?". This is the story behind the name "Satan's Village".

Ferman is having more and more fun with what he does in this program. Düğerek is such a village that a regular guy playing a card game in the coffee house could start singing one of his own songs that he wrote in any minute.

The next place after the coffee houses in the villages that a friendly chat is important is the barber shop! It's a vital spot where small talk from the economics to politics, from the harvest to the most beautiful wedding in the village, exchanged very heartily.

In the meantime during the small talk, Ferman gets a haircut in the village's barber shop.
After that he listens to another folk song of Mugla from Ms.Serin Yılmaz.

Ferman likes playing on the streets and plays soccer with the village kids at the playground. Soccer is important in Düğerek. They have a soccer team that combats in the amateur soccer league. This soccer team has something to do with this music documentary. It's the first and the only amateur soccer club that have a team song written in 2008.
Ferman playing soccer with kids of Düğerek
Ferman with Salih Volkan

If you have a soccer team in the land of the zeybeks, you have to have a team song of a zeybek sound! Ferman meets the composer of this team song: Salih Volkan. He asks, "Have you ever thought about making a song for Istanbul's soccer teams?". The answer is "If I get an offer, why not?" :)
Salih Abi sings a song that he wrote about Satanville. :)
At night, Ferman becomes a guest to a local radio station via telephone line and gives a mini interview as the representative of maNga.

After Düğerek, his next stop is Downtown Mugla. He wants to see the Zeybek dance and get some information about the Zeybeks and he visits the best place for this: Mugla Cultural House. This is a building that remained from 1800's.
Mugla Cultural House

Maybe it's much older than that and is a unique cultural heritage that reflects a mixture of Greek and Turkish architectural aspects. It belonged to a leading family of Mugla, but recently it was nationalized, restored and became a cultural house. He will see the Zeybeks in this building that has a legacy of both cultures.
Ferman Efe :)

Ferman himself shows us the main movements of zeybek dance. The Zeybek first wanders the ground. Then he lifts his arms up. With these movements, he simulates the eagles and hawks that they live together in the mountains for centuries. Now we will get some information about zeybek culture, what they played with their saz which they carry all the time, their music, etc. 
There are so many cultural contributions in Mugla's folk music, including coastal Anatolian and Aegean island cultures. The songs influenced by Aegean island cultures have a fast rhythm, but Mugla's songs have a slow rhythm.The slow zeybek have rhythmic patterns of 9/2 and 9/4. The fast zeybek have rhythmic patterns of 9/8 and 9/16.

Zeybek music is divided into 2 categories: with or without lyrics. They are the main dances in the local weddings. Zeybek is the last dance of the wedding and represents the closing of the party.

Zeybek interpretations from the islands are a little different. It's accepted that they come from the Dionysos festivals and they are Greek dances. We accept that they are our own dances.

Zeybeks are brave Anatolian guerrilla fighters. They acted as protectors of village people against landlords and bandits. Their dance reflects their bravery, possesive instinct. In a nutshell, it's an interpreted blend of many cultures.

A leader of a Zeybek was called EFE. Yoruk Ali (1895-1951) was a famous Efe. He was an important leader from Aydin during the Independence War and one of the last zeybeks in Turkish history. Zeybeks were irregular militia. They refused to put on military uniforms and went to battles in their own zeybek costumes. They were free spirits.

Back in Istanbul. In this episode, Ferman hosts another old friend of him: Rocker Hayko Cepkin. The shooting of the briefing was not a piece of cake for Ferman this time. He had a very hard time during the shooting of the briefing with him. They are old friends and they always have fun whenever they're together. So they couldn't stop laughing at friendly and easy-going jokes during the shooting in the studio and they had to shoot the same scene over and over again. The shootings go on like this:
From the behind-the-scenes:

F: I swear we're the last 2 guys you can have a serious interview. I don't know how we do this. Anyway...
H: I'll be serious as much as I can. Will we be serious?
F: Yes, let's be serious, bro...
(Hayko makes a "serious" face and Ferman cracks up)
H: Won't you speak to the camera first, man?
F: No.
H: Oh, you'll just start with me...
F: I can't speak when you're with me!
F ("serious") : Even though you're exhausted after your rehearsal in your studio, you kindly took the trouble to come all the way here...
H ("serious"): No problem.
F: Thank you so much.
H: Don't mention it. I would eat a raw chicken for you.
F: I'm honored.
Again...F: Even though you're exhausted after your rehearsal in your studio, you kindly took the trouble to come all the way here...
H: No problem. I'd go anywhere for you, my dear Ferman.
F: I'm thankful, brother.
H: I'm thankful to you, too!
(Ferman cracks up and falls over)
Then Ferman tries to start again, but he can't.
F: each episode...(giggles)...I swear this is gonna be very hard.
The cameraman: Try to start with a "welcome" first.
H: Yes.
F ("serious"): Welcome.
H: Glad to be here, my dear Ferman.
F: Welcome, brother.
H: No problem.
F: Now...we're going to a different town in each episode. And from that that town...(laughter)...
H: What? Plucking fruits, right?
(Ferman falls from the sofa laughing)
F: And...we got the song that we planned for you from Mugla.
H: Hmmm... What price did you get it for?
(and comes an explosion of laughter from Ferman)

After several attempts to shoot the short briefing, finally they managed to get it done. In this briefing, Ferman explains him the concept of the program. How they discover the unheard songs in the villages, how they record them, how they rearrange the songs... In Mugla they went to a Classical Turkish Music society and recorded some of the songs about zeybeks with Ms.Serin Yilmaz. Hayko has an experience of Classical Turkish Music recording for a special project, so that's why Ferman thought of him for this episode's song. That's Hayko's only experience, but he had so many chances to sing classical in the drinking bouts with friends. He can't help joking again, "where is the table? I can't sing without a table!" :) Then when Ferman pulls up the table towards Hayko, saying "here it is, brother!", Hayko jokes again, "I haven't seen a production like this! I hope God turns you into a drum!". Somebody stop these guys! :) They are so funny!

Ferman has already sent to him some raw materials of the song. But he doesn't know how it will change with the Hayko's voice. Hayko says that it is the surprising part of all. The end product is a surprise for Ferman, too. He says that certain names appear in his mind listening to the songs in the villages.
Hayko asks smiling, "So you recorded the song with my name in your mind? Is that what you're trying to say?"
Ferman: Exactly. I want to admit that, brother. :)
Hayko: I'm very glad then!

Then they listen to the song and check the lyrics. Hayko works on some voice controlling exercises in the recording room. These scenes are especially interesting. We witness how Hayko rehearse on the song. And they work until 4 am in the morning on the song's recording.

This week's song is about a zeybek named Kamil Bey and his bravery. Hayko performs it very heroically and we realize that he has a very nice voice, suitable also for military marches.


Göründü mü aman Dumbereğin yolları
Al gan olmuş aman Kamil Bey'in golları
Aman dostlar aman avdan geldim yorgunum
Şu dağlarda aman bir kekliğe vurgunum
Tabutumu aman sarı çamdan yaptırın
Yaptırın da cümle aleme baktırın
Is the road to Dumberek visible yet?
Kamil Bey's arms are covered with red blood
Oh, friends, I returned from hunting and I'm exhausted
I'm in love with a partridge on the mountains
Get my coffin made of yellow pine
And make sure everybody see it

Well, so what is the next week's surprise with Dear Can Bonomo? :)

You can watch the full episode 4 on below You Tube link:

FOR FULL VIDEOS OF KULAKTAN KULAGA, please click below TRT Muzik's KK Video Page:

November 11, 2012


EPISODE 3 / İstanbul / 10 Nov 2012

In this program, Ferman is in pursuit of melodies, tunes, and songs of Anatolia and Thrace that spread from ear to ear throughout the history. In this episode, he is in Istanbul where Anatolia and Thrace meet! In a music documentary like this, he definitely has to mention Istanbul!

How should one tell about the musical story of Istanbul? It's impossible to tell about the music of a city where several civilizations flourished and a lot of people from different cultures live together, in just 45 minutes! Ferman just wants to highlight some important points for him. First we'll meet Armenian friends with whom we lived together in the cultural mixture of this city. And then he'll take us to a very important music society in Istanbul: Uskudar Music Society. And finally he'll show us the street musicians of this city. Because the streets are the best places that tell the story of a city!

Ferman first visits the Association for Development of Vakifli Village of Hatay. Vakifli Village is the only remaining Armenian village in Turkey. Located in Hatay Province, the village overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and very near to the Syrian border. Vakifli Village is the only totally Armenian village in the world, still speaking a dialect of Western Armenian. The dialect is very thick, and cannot understood by other Western Armenians.
Very few people know about Vakifli Village. The village people live with the music. Ferman didn't know anything about it before the program, neither.
The Association is in a 120 year-old building in Istanbul. Ferman knows the problems and the smell of this kind of buildings very well. Because he lived in a similarly old, 140 year-old miserable wooden house before his current home. He is very excited about what he is about to listen. He's going to meet Mr.Misak and his wife Mrs.Armenuhi.
Ferman, having a chat with Mr.Misak and his wife Mrs.Armenuhi

Ferman's first question is "Why do Armenians sing folk songs and why do we sing songs?"

The music is a way to express themselves for all the people. Armenians sing their folk songs with the same feelings, too. They have sorrowful songs and cheerful songs. The music and the songs are the life itself and our common language! Armenian music is not so different from the music of the other peoples in the same region. Armenians on occasion sing Arabic songs even though they don't understand the lyrics; they mostly sing in Turkish, or in the dialect of the village, or in Istanbul Armenian. Sometimes, the songs are sung in a mixture of languages! One stanza in Turkish, and one in Armenian! This is a peculiarity of Vakifli Village.

When Ferman was once in Hatay, he has seen a mosque and a church that have a common wall in between. He thought that this was very interesting. Mr.Misak says that that mosque and church were in his granfather's village, which is Yogunoluk Village. It will be restored soon. Recently Vakifli was selected for development of tourism, so the government is making large investments in the region in the recent years.

Ferman asks about why Vakifli Village people preferred the citizenship of Turkey when Hatay joined Turkey in 1939 as the most of the Armenian population of Hatay preferred to accept Syrian citizenship. 
In the 1-year transitional period, the Turkish government granted the people the right to choose citizenship of desired country. Vakifli Village people preferred to stay in the homeland, as some 6-7 villages decided to migrate to Syria.
Ferman is curios whether the women of the village was effective on this decision. Mrs.Armenuhi thinks that it must have been a joint decision, but her husband says that as we all are patriarchal societies, so this should have been a decision by the men.

For more information about the history of Hatay, please click on the below Wikipedia link:


Then Ferman asks about Vakifli women. What are they doing for a living? The women of Vakifli make syrups, jams and liquors and sell to the tourists for a living. When Mrs.Armenuhi was a kid, they learned how to embroider in needlepoint and they sold their work, too. But now needlepoint lace is not so popular as was in the past.

Ferman's next question is, "Is it the women who sing the most?" 

They sing lullabies to their babies, and elegies when they feel blue. Ferman wants to hear a lullaby in Armenian, but she can't remember any. In fact, Ferman wants to know if it resembles the ones that he heard when he was a kid. Ferman asks if there is a well-known Armenian song. Yes, it's "Hala hala nin noi". It's a kind of song that every Armenian in the world knows and definitely sing in every meeting, wedding, festival, party, etc. It has very simple lyrics that were taken from the daily life. Ferman compares the simple lyrics of the song with the modern pop songs' catchy but often meaningless and empty lyrics.

After the little chat with the husband and wife, Ferman and Cagatay recorded an elegy from Mrs.Armenuhi. This is a first for her and she is a little nervous. Ferman tries to give her some comfort, telling her his first time with an earphone and microphone, about his awkwardness and being nervous. He tells her to take her time and there is no need to hurry, because they have enough time to do the recording (very cute scene!). 

Mrs.Armenuhi, recording the bridal elegy

The song that she sang is an elegy that was sung by the women just to make the bride cry during a bridal procession. The lyrics are about the bride leaving the family home. It's a tradition to make the bride cry when she leaves the family home. Ferman here says "I was going to cry, too!" It sounds like an elegy, but in fact it's not. It's a wedding song really. The procession take the bride to the wedding and then to her new home.

Ferman's next stop in this episode, is very significant for him. It's the famous Uskudar Music Society in Uskudar on the Asian Side of Istanbul (Inci's hometown!). Ferman considers himself very lucky because he also had a chance to take classical Turkish music lessons in this society which raised really good musicians throughout the history of modern Turkey. 

Ferman had a short talk with his former teachers about the history and significance of this music society and seemed very excited and awkward to be in front of them again, but this time as a host of a TV program.
His teachers first expressed their joy to have him and said that they were very proud of his success as a musician who was raised by this society.

Ferman, with his former teachers at the Uskudar Music Society in Uskudar, Istanbul

Ferman is a little nervous in front of his teachers during the talk...

This music society was founded in 1918. During the British occupation (1918-1923) after the WW I, the notable people and the patriots of the city can't endure this and try to form an anti propaganda movement. In this very building, they stage plays and also Uskudar soccer team gathers. And they invite the young people to make music in the same building. This is the beginning of a young resistance against the Allies and the Uskudar Music Society.

According to the historical sources, the British commission divided the city in 3 zones and every month they sent regular reports to London. In one of these reports, they say "We managed to haul down their flag, but we can't silence their music!". This was the music of this society! Surely they made some military marches just to motivate young people in those days.

In 1927, legendary music man Emin Ongan started to teach at the society and his charismatic personality and his vast knowledge carried the society through to the present day.

Ferman considers this society as a great educational establishment (530 members),  Turkey's largest musical archive of Classical Turkish Music (they have 40,000 songs in their archive) and a gathering place for the devoted Classical Turkish Music lovers. The young people has this wrong perception: This is not a place for the young people! Yet, Ferman says that he has observed first hand that when he attended classes here, there were old and young people in the same classes and they sang the same song together with the same feelings!

Now Ferman is curious about the multi cultural interactions of the Society. During the invasion, how were the relations of the Society with the Greeks and the Armenians? 
Until recently, one of the members of the Board was great Armenian musician, Varujan Ziljiyan. He was the second Chairman of the Society once. Uskudar Music Society is well-known among the foreign music lovers, too. Once a French, a Greek and 2 Japanese attended the classes here. The Greek lady played the kanun and she was even in the Society's orchestra! There was never an excluding of the minorities. This is impossible in the music! Recently, a German group of 25 music lovers came to observe the Society's activities.

According to Ferman, the best way to get to know a city is walking around on the streets, not in the museums. Museums are also important, but if you want to know about the people and their life, you have to walk on its streets first! And if it comes to the music, the streets are more significant. He has been in the leading musical capitols of the world before: New York City, London, Paris, Berlin, etc...But none of them was like Istanbul! Go up on a roof, open your ears and listen to the music coming from the jazz bars, ethnic music bars, blues bars, rock bars...all entangled in one another...and listen to the street musicians.

If he asks us what the best verse which represent this city is, probably we will choose the following of Orhan Veli Kanik: "I'm listening to Istanbul, my eyes closed". 

For the full translation of the poem, please click on below link:


Istanbul is such a city that sometimes it's really a big pleasure to stop and listen to its sounds. In all the hustle and bustle of the city, you have to lend an ear to...the Bosphorus, the sea, the sky, the streets, even the horns in the traffic! They sound weird by themselves, but when they mixed up they kinda create the special music of the city! (Inci: very very true!) Orhan Veli probably listened to this "special" music during his time.

Now it's time to go to the studio! He is going to meet an old friend. Maybe he is one of the first who welcomed Ferman in Istanbul. 

He is Birol Namoglu, the vocalist of the rock band GRIPIN. Ferman welcomes his "brother". He is happy to have him in this program, because Birol and his band, Gripin are the first people who welcomed maNga when they first migrated from Ankara to Istanbul. Gripin showed them around Istanbul, gave big clues about the city, introduced them to important people, took them to important music bars, etc...They know very well about multi cultural music of the city. This is why it's so significant for Ferman to have him in this episode. 
Birol is very happy to be in "his" program, too. He wishes him good luck in this long-termed program. He believes in him. If it's Ferman, it's done! 

Ferman and Birol Namoglu of Gripin

Ferman explains him his goal in this episode. He wanted to go to our long-forgotten neighbors whom we lived together for centuries, listen to their music and share it. He tells him about Vakifli Village and his meeting with Mr.Misak and his wife. He wants to render it with Birol. In the beginning, Ferman planned to rearrange the songs in their own languages, in Turkish, in Kurdish, in Armenian, in Laz, etc...But then he changed his mind and thought of translating the original lyrics into Turkish when they rearranged the songs with the guest performer.
Birol says that we have common cultural values with them, because we lived on the same soil for centuries, so the melodies overlaps with one another. When you put Turkish lyrics into these songs, or put foreign lyrics into Turkish songs you don't feel out of place and the song still have the enough power to convey the feelings. This is the peculiarity of this particular geographical region.

And they try to put Turkish lyrics of the same meaning into the Armenian song. They manage to come up with fairly meaningfully compatible Turkish lyrics with the original lyrics in Armenian. The final step is the recording of the song.
Ferman and Birol, trying to put Turkish lyrics into the Armenian song

This week's song "Mulur Hey Mar" (Hey, Mom, Don't Cry!) is a wedding song that was sung especially during a bridal procession. The lyrics are from the bride's point of view. The new Turkish lyrics also conveys the same meaning.

Aglama, ana, aglama
Alip goturuyorlar
Seker balla buyuttugun gulu
Alip goturuyorlar

Don't cry, mom, don't cry
They are taking me away
They are taking your Rose away
Whom you fed with sweets and honey

Birol performed the song with new lyrics with emotion. I couldn't help thinking I wish it was a little bit longer. And I especially liked the parts with the piano & electric guitar and the ending with Birol's voice. It gets to you deeply as you listen over and over again! 

(video uploaded to YouTube by Barişcan Özay)

Thanks so much for your efforts, guys! I'm especially pleased that you have put emphasis again on the cultural mosaic of Turkey. If we loose it, one of the unique peculiarities of Turkey vanishes!

Looking forward to next week's surprises!

You can watch the full episode 3 on the You Tube link below:

PS. You can watch KULAKTAN KULAGA episodes online on TRT Muzik's web site: