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! :)
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