January 27, 2013


EPISODE 13 / Gölcük İzmit / 26 Jan 2013

In this episode, we'll be in Izmit (Kocaeli) Gölcük. After the earthquake in 1999, most of us called this city as "earthquake town", but in fact the city has a special name: "naval town". In this episode, we'll be searching for Gölcük's musical history, find out where the name of "naval town" comes from. Beside that, we'll find out how this town is becoming a touristic town more and more.

This is a town of hope that deserves to be remembered with its immigrants, unique nature and culture, not with an earthquake or sea disasters. 

Golcuk city center on the Gulf of İzmit

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, immigrants of Georgian descent had settled in the hills of Gölcük. Ferman travels toward the villages outside the town center for a while to meet them. Kemal Abi accompanies the KK crew with his accordion.

Ferman will explore the Georgian and Caucasian music in Gölcük's villages on the hills. As a result of Russo-Turkish War, the Georgian people who had lived around Kars, Ardahan and Batum forced to migrate to Gölcük. They had to come up the forested hills because the coastal parts of the region were swampy.

The exquisite sea view at the town center changes into a stunning nature as they move toward the villages outside the city. You can even see the ski center Kartepe in the fog from a distance.
Kartepe ski center

They return to the city center from the villages. Ferman's first destination is a unique part of the city: The propeller of the battleship "Yavuz". We know that Yavuz is one of the reasons of the WW1. By bombarding Russian facilities in the Black Sea, she brought Turkey into WW1 on the German side. 
The propeller of the battleship "Yavuz"
In 1925, Gölcük was chosen to build a floating drydock large enough to hold the battleship Yavuz for repair work of her war damage. Yavuz is significant not only for bringing the WW1 to Turkey, but for carrying the remains of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. 
 The battleship "Yavuz"

Why did Gölcük become a naval town? A part of the Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923, banned military facilities in the Turkish Straits. So Turkish Navy's infrastructure, like shipyards and naval facilities, at the Golden Horn and İstinye in İstanbul were systematically relocated to Gölcük. A naval base was built in the swampy area where Georgian immigrants couldn't settle in and the immigrants and the naval families begin to live together in a cultural mosaic. 

Ferman's next stop is "Yarhisar", which has been used as a museum ship since 2006. Ferman finds the inside of the museum ship a little creepy. He thinks it's because of the dummies.
"SS Üsküdar"

There is another ship in the history of Gölcük and the biggest sea disaster in Turkey's marine history: SS Üsküdar. Ferman visits the symbolic graves of the victims at the March 1st SS Üsküdar Cemetery, to perpetuate the memory of those died in the disaster. SS Üsküdar was on scheduled shuttle trips on the Sea of Marmara between İzmit and Değirmendere/Gölcük and carrying 9 crew, 302 passengers aboard including 76 students from a local vocational high school to Gölcük on the day of the disaster, March 1, 1958. Due to the bad storm, after 26 minutes from her departure SS Üsküdar careened over on the port side and sank. 272 people died including 38 students and 7 crew. 37 passengers and 2 crew survived the disaster.
Kazıklı Kervansaray

The next stop is Kazıklı Kervansaray which is one of the most important buildings from the Ottoman era. This was an important 16th century caravanserai, which was a roadside inn, located along the ancient Silk Road where travellers rest and recover from the day's journey and also accomodated Ottoman army on a campaign. It was restored by the Gölcük Municipality and now is being used as both a museum and a cultural center.
Ferman and the Mayor of Gölcük, Mehmet Ellibeş
Ferman meets with the Mayor of Gölcük, Mehmet Ellibeş here. Ferman asks him if the wounds of 1999 Earthquake healed or not. The earthquake on August 17, 1999 was a turning point and a rebirth for Gölcük. A new Gölcük was born in the ruins of the earthquake. The people succeeded in a very difficult task. They believed in solidarity and working together. This is the biggest factor on the basis of this success and of course state and foreign funds also helped a lot. Today there is nothing that hinders the daily life in Gölcük. The life goes on for the ones who survived. They haven't forgotten that day, but they're hopeful for the future.

The ruins of the caravanserai was once an orchard. In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, they restored it without spoiling the historical remains. There is a theater stage inside and an open air stage outside. This cultural center became a main symbol of how the people clung on to life.

(İNCİ'S PERSONAL NOTE: I witnessed first-hand how Gölcük has changed after the earthquake when I visited Gölcük lots of times on business in years and taking my hat off to their big success. I saw the town in ruins and then also saw the reconstructed town. So I'm very proud of Gölcük even though I'm not from there. )

Now they are working hard to revive an ancient 2nd century Roman hot spring.
Ferman's next stop is a tailor's shop. The tailor, İmdat Ataman plays accordion very skillfully. 

Gölcük Caucasian Culture and Solidarity Association
After the tailor's shop, Ferman visits the Gölcük Caucasian Culture and Solidarity Association. The moment he steps inside, he is welcomed very heartily in a warm atmosphere. The recording will be very enthusiastic here.
Şeyma Koç and Samet Sevim

Ferman asks some questions to the President of the association, Murat Sevim: When you look back, everything begins with a big migration. And then there is a life on the hills. There are several misfortunes in the history of the region, such as a sea disaster and a big earthquake. How do they affect their music? 
Ferman and Murat Sevim 

Gölcük is a sensitive town. They overcame the big hardships. It was not an easy task to keep the forgotten original Georgian music alive. They got great help from Georgia, Artvin and their great grandparents to compile the songs. The reason why they founded this association is to show the life goes on even after the big disaster; bring the friends together and make them forget the bad memories of the disaster and perpetuate their Caucasian culture. They participated in numerous festivals, national and international and they're doing their best to represent Gölcük.

Ferman asks about the instruments. The most important instruments are accordion and doli, a type of drum. They added guitar afterwards to modernize the music.
Şeyma Koç and Samet Sevim

It's time to record some Georgian songs now. Şeyma Koç and Samet Sevim perform two songs from the Caucasus Region.

Ferman and Badem

Back in İstanbul. This episode's guest star is rock band, BADEM (Almond). In the briefing with Badem, Ferman states that with every episode, he realized that most of the folk songs started to be sung after a migration. There is generally a sadness on the background of almost every folk song. Whenever they go in Anatolia, there is always a story about migrations with pain and elegies. He asks them what they think about this and how much of that they witnessed in Anatolia. 

The lead singer, Mustafa answers that: They have a deep background with folk music. When they started university, they encountered a book about Karacaoğlan (a 17th century Ottoman folk poet and minstrel). This was also the beginning of the band. They were inspired by that book greatly when they challenged to compose their first songs. They learned the folk music rhythm first and played saz (bağlama) in their debut song. They feel very familiar and close to folk songs. They played even in the ethnic music bars. Before moving on to the rock music, they played folk music for 3 years.

They liked this episode's folk song "Gelino" (The Bride) very much, including the lyrics. Badem will perform the song in Turkish but this song has never been sung in Turkish before. This will be a first for this song. They have also a song called "Gelin" (The Bride) with the lyrics of Karacaoğlan in their third album. They and Ferman are very curious about the final form of the folk song.
Badem's Mert

Mert initially thought that mandolin would be good on this song and makes it sound more innocent. He played a small part with mandolin as a trial on the phone with Ferman. He fell in love with this song as soon as he listened to it and wanted to try something on the mandolin right away. He hasn't brought his mandolin today. 

Ferman thinks that the melody is interesting so much that sometimes it has a Far Eastern vibe about it. Mert says that because it belongs to a region further to the east than Anatolia. Sometimes it sounds like Yugoslavian, sometimes Anatolian. It reflects the effects of the neigboring countries and this is very impressive. He thinks the folk songs carry so many life experiences. 
Ferman and Barış

Bariş adds that Turkish clans migrated all the way from Central Asia to Anatolia leaving most of what they had behind. Many civilizations flourished in Anatolia and maybe these songs have been sung for thousands of years on this soil. This song is about a pain. That's why this is a folk song. They touch somewhere inside and spread from ear to ear just like a newspaper. That emotion spreads and is shared by the people.

Ferman agrees that you can immediately realize that folk songs contain lots of life experiences when you read the lyrics.

When Ferman told Şeyma, the performer of the song that Badem will duet on the song with her, her eyes widened! Ferman hopes Şeyma will love this new form of the song. 

And then they start to work on the rearrangement all together. After they perfected the rearrangement with the Turkish lyrics, it is time to record the song.
Badem's Mustafa records the song

GELINO (The Bride) / Şeyma Koç - Badem

This week's song is a touching Georgian song about a bride who was called by his future husband. And Mustafa's emotional performance was really perfect, reflecting their usual fragile style.

With this episode, Kulaktan Kulaga's first season was concluded. Somehow I feel a big void inside now. I hope there will be a second season in the near future. We visited different regions of Turkey, sometimes close to big cities, sometimes far away, but always full of warm hospitality and great music of various cultures in Anatolia.
I liked seeing musicians work on a song's arrangement and admired all of them very much. I realized that I want to spend some time among them in one way or another if possible. Music is the spice of life, so I'll do my best to encourage my niece and nephew to be great music lovers in the coming years of their lives.

I'd like to express my thanks to Ferman again for being a means for us to realize once again how great Anatolia is and the cultural mosaic is our real treasure. I hope we don't lose that no matter what.

Looking forward to a second season hopefully.

The photos on this blogpost belong to MaNga Greece Facebook Fan Page. Thank you so much, girls! You make my work faster and easier.

You can watch the full video of the episode 13 on the You Tube link below:


January 22, 2013

MANGA TRENDY INTERVIEW #529 21-27/1/2013


Pinar Yilmazerler: What can we expect from the new album that maNga is working on right now? We know it will be a surprise, but can you tell us a bit about it?

MaNga: We can say, "The most energetic, the most distinctive, the best album of maNga is coming soon!"

PY: There are maNga fans who are saying, "The old maNga was harder. We wish they would be like that again". Is what they say true, or how much of it is correct?

MaNga: In fact, there are no such things like old maNga or new maNga. We sometimes make hard songs, sometimes we don't. We think that the songs of "e-akustik" are misunderstood as "maNga's new style".

PY: How was this Redbull Soundclash concert idea born?

MaNga: It's a music event that Redbull has held in various countries and continents for years. They wanted to work with us and Athena when they have held it in Turkey for the first time. We accepted it very excitedly.

PY: How was the audience's interest?

MaNga: The tickets were sold out long before the concert. There were bewildered and curious people looking at us at the stage. They were as excited as we were. This made the show very spectacular.

PY: Do you think that the rockers are with less ego? Because we can see the famous rock bands in the same projects lately. What do you think?

MaNga: It's different to be in a festival for the bands like us. There is no room for ego there. The goal is to have fun and get together with the audience. But of course we respect one another.

PY: With whom would you like to sing a duet song in the near future?

MaNga: We have Dhafer Youssef in our minds for a long time. We hope we can do it.

PY: What about the long-expected English album? Is it coming, too?

MaNga: We are recording both English and Turkish albums right now. We'll get the English and Turkish songs together.

PY: You have a computer game. Would you like to be in a TV show or a movie?

MaNga: With a good script, why not?

PY: Would you like to compose music for a TV show? Because it became an important sector recently and I think it has to be considered seriously.

MaNga: We're getting this sort of offers, but we couldn't come to an understanding so far. In fact, it's something that we'd like to do and we believe we'll enjoy doing.

PY: Do you live a life that you dream about now?

MaNga: Our dream was to live with music, make money from music and to be on tour. That's exactly what we do right now.

PY: Would you accept another Eurovision offer?

MaNga: Maybe in the coming years. You have to give a break some time.

PY: Do you listen to your own songs except for recording them?

MaNga: While we're working on an album, we constantly listen to them. After a while, we sometimes listen to them in order to see what we've done with them.

PY: Which Turkish musicians do you listen?

MaNga: We listen to every singer, every band. We don't enjoy all of them though...So it's not right to give names. The list is long.

PY: Is there any dream that's yet to be realized?

MaNga: A world tour.

PY: Have you ever made a scene? (as reference to "Rezalet ÇıkarasımVar"/"I Feel Like Making A Scene")

MaNga: Of course we have made a scene. That song was for the ones who couldn't make a scene.

PY: maNga fans say "we always tell them what we think about them. Can you please ask them what they think about us?"

MaNga: We answer that from time to time, but it's a difficult question. We consider ourselves as the leaders of a gang and this gives us a weird sense of power.

PY: Would you like to give a message about using the Turkish language properly?

MaNga: Turkish is being used very badly recently. Especially the young generation couldn't learn how to use the particle "de"/"da" which is always written separately. And one more thing: let's emphasize that email is different from text message. We should always put a "Hello" at the beginning and a "Sincerely" at the end.

January 20, 2013


EPISODE 12 / Adapazari Sakarya / 19 Jan 2013

This week Ferman surprises us in his first presentation: He says he is in Norway! The town behind him is Znactanc (?). It means in Norwegian "a haunt of a few people" and the hill are called "the hills of Znactanc". :) He says laughing "I don't know how much of this you believed, but we are in Sakarya Adapazari this week!". He feels himself in far away places, because the snowy landscape of the surroundings of the Lake Sapanca makes him feel in far-off countries. (İNCİ: He is a little playful today. Maybe it's because of the snow. :) Snow makes everybody a little childish! )

The Lake Sapanca in snow

He will be in Adapazari where is very close to İstanbul and as cosmopolitan as İstanbul. He'll listen to many stories and many songs. He'll find out so many things about music due to this cosmopolitan structure of the society. Maybe he'll hear some stories about the earthquake in 1999.

On the way to Adapazari, there is snow everywhere and snow will accompany them everywhere in this episode. He would like to have a beautiful breakfast in a warm place when they get their destination.

A beautiful Bosnian breakfast

Ms.Hadiye Uslu welcomes Ferman and the KK crew in Adapazari. They get a warm welcoming hospitality here. He was daydreaming about a beautiful breakfast on the way and he gets what he wants: an incredibly rich breakfast table! There is Bosnian pastry called zeljanica which is very famous and it's very delicious. And another delicious treat is a kind of Bosnian pickles with yogurt and cream called Soka. In some episodes of Kulaktan Kulaga, Ferman was impressed by the delicious dishes so much that he wanted to make a cooking program.

Ferman at Sakarya University campus

Ferman first visits the Sakarya University campus area which is very important in maNga's musical career. Before maNga's first album, Sakarya University became the place for one of maNga's first concerts. Somehow the university people heard the reputation about the "underground" rock band maNga of Ankara and invited them for a concert. There was a crowd of around 1,500 people. They couldn't believe their eyes! This was an unforgettable concert for maNga, because they played here one night before Limon Bar closed down. And they dedicated one song that night to their friend who died in Ankara.

Ferman takes a stroll on the streets of Adapazari. This is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Turkey. It's very near to Istanbul and it has major industries located here. However, it's still an Anatolian town. You can come across the people of various ethnic background, such as Laz people, Georgians, Bosnians, Albanians, etc...All of them have been living in Adapazari in peace for ages.

Ferman drops by a game center and returns to his childhood for a while.

Ferman at the Justinianus Bridge

Let's talk about some history now. They are on the Justinianus Bridge ( local people call it "5 Bridges"). One of the most important remains of historical significance is the Justinianus Bridge in Adapazari. Ferman had no idea about the existence of this bridge before Kulaktan Kulaga. It was built around 560 AD. Ferman thought that it was smaller than this, but it has a length of 430 m and seven arches. This bridge was one of the crazy projects of Emperor Justinianus to construct a navigable canal that would bypass the Bosphorus Strait and connect The Gulf of İzmit and the Black Sea. Even though the river beds changed and in spite of the big earthquake in 1999, it's still standing.

Ferman sees that two lovers wrote their names on the virgin snow on the dried river bed. He wants to immortalize it taking the video of it. He says "carved their names" mistakenly and then corrects it as "wrote their names". :)

Ferman is now on the banks of the Lake Sapanca, that's one of the things associated with Adapazari. The region around Lake Sapanca has become very important for day trips and weekend excursions with its charming natural beauty. This lake is one of the forgotten beauties near İstanbul. If we can escape from İstanbul to this lake once in a while, each one of us might benefit from this change of air immensely.
Ferman at the lakeside

Ferman stops over at a lakeside restaurant. The lake has a length of 16 km east-west and 5 km north-south. When maNga is on tour on the way to Anatolia, they often take time to eat fish around this lake. There is an unwritten rule in the lakeside restaurants and it's that you are to eat the fish of the day that is recommended by the restaurant. Trout, roach and barracuda is quite famous as the fish of the lake.
Ferman and Yasar Bey

Ferman introduces us to the owner of the restaurant, Yasar Bey from Artvin. He treats them to tea! He settled in here in 1983. He likes the nature around the lake. He runs this little restaurant with his wife and his children. Ferman asks him "Do you like music?". Yasar Bey likes folk and classical music. Ferman, "There must be lots of things from the Black Sea Region that you miss so much, right?". The nature of the surroundings of the lake is very much alike the Black Sea Region with all the greenery. Also there are so many people from the Black Sea Region living around here. So he doesn't feel himself as a stranger here. As it comes to the music of the Black Sea, they watch satellite broadcasts of the local TV channels of the Black Sea Region.

Ferman asks "Is there a song of Kazim Koyuncu (a folk-rock singer from Artvin who died of lung cancer at 33 in 2005) that you remember? For example, 'Gelevera Deresi' (The Creek of Gelevera) ?". Yasar Bey knows the song but he is a little shy and says that he can't sing it. Ferman tries to persuade him to sing it praising his deep voice and even singing the song a little himself, but to no avail. Yasar Bey just says that he is a good listener. :) Ferman says, "I hope we can meet again in Artvin this time. We plan to visit the Black Sea Region, if we have a second season on this program". Yasar Bey hopes the same thing, too.

The snow landscape impresses the KK crew very much. Ferman takes pictures. It's cold, it's tough, but at the same time it's pleasant.

They started the day with a rich Bosnian breakfast. Now they will listen to Bosnian music at the Adapazari Bosnian Association for Cultural Assistance. The Bosnian immigrants have 14 associations in different Turkish cities and even a federation of these associations. The Chairwoman is Behiye Çark. Ferman will have a short interview with her.

Ferman first thanks her for having them. Ferman's first question is why they are in Adapazari. He didn't know that there was a Bosnian immigrant community here who try to keep the Bosnian folk culture alive.

Ferman and Behiye Hanım

Behiye Hanim speaks as if she reads a poem. :) She thinks that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of frozen problems. It's a region of three communities: the Muslims, the Orthodox Christians and the Catholics. This ethnic diversity was a beauty for Bosnians but at the same time it was a big inconvenience. The last 1,000 years of Bosnian history is full of massacres and exiles. This is why Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Balkans is very important in the world's history. Islam affected the region very much with the architecture, civilized style of life and the sense of aesthetics. And of course there are world famous traditional genre of 'sevdalinka' folk music. In musical sense, sevdalinka songs are about love, affection and intolerance.
With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the Balkans make a great contribution in both Western and Islamic civilizations. Ferman says that they gave a concert in Bosnia and they have been invited in Bosnia & Herzegovina Film Festival and played there. They were impressed by the scars of war, still visible on the buildings, some of them preserved as they were on purpose. Some destroyed part of the hotel in which they stayed was preserved with all the scars and Ferman as an architect admired the restoration technique that was used. They were able to feel the sadness and pain the war has caused in the city, maybe because they are musicians.

He asks that in case of a wedding, if some relatives are still invited from Bosnia and if the old traditions still alive. Behiye Hanim says that they had forgotten the old traditions mostly, but with the foundation of this association, they remembered and studied the traditions and the music again. They have a folk dance group who performs the Bosnian folk dances. She says that the Ottomans invested in the Balkans greatly and emphasized the importance of the region. Ferman says that TRT also cares about the Balkans so much that they held music concerts with the bands like maNga. MaNga also collaborated with TRT in Bosnia.

She says that music is the life itself and a reflection of what is inside of the human beings just like architecture. In the time of war, the people held fashion shows and operas in the basements of the buildings. They never fell victim to the war. Once after a bombardment, the people cleaned up the debris, washed down the whole neigborhood and they had breakfast right in the middle of the street out of spite.
Ferman and Ahmet Sorgun

Now it's turn to listen to the music. Ahmet Sorgun is going to play harmonica and then Cagatay with his guitar and Ferman with his vocals will accompany him.

Ferman first asks for some information about Bosnian music and sevdalinkas. Sevdalinka songs are about love and the beauties of Bosnia. Ferman says that he heard that they are played with saz and vocals. Ahmet Bey answers that traditionally they are played with accordion in Bosnia, but in Turkey saz is added afterwards. Today Ahmet Bey will use harmonica. Ferman asks why he uses harmonica. This is because of some inconvenience. When Ahmet Bey was young, they needed intrumentalists to play with them in the weddings, but when they couldn't find an instrumentalist to play, he had to learn something easier to play, so he decided to learn how to play harmonica by himself. He plays a Bosnian folk song about a sick girl who wants to dance in a wedding.
Cagatay and his laptop computer

In the meantime, Cagatay is unhappy because he has a problem with his laptop. He thinks that the computer burned down and doesn't start. So they can't connect the recording microphone and the metronome. Ferman asks Cagatay if he thinks he can solve this problem. "Can we solve it, or will we just get out of here without any recording?"
Ferman and Cagatay

Cagatay is hopeful anyway. He thinks he's going to connect the microphone to the camera and use the metronome via smart phones to connect the earphones during the recording. So this means that they are not going to hear their own music and voices during the recording. They have to hope it'll go well. Ferman asks us not to tell this to anyone.

And then they practice the song in Bosnian for the recording. Ferman writes the Bosnian lyrics down for the performance. Cagatay tries to find matching chords on his guitar. And then they perform the song without any problem.

Before leaving Adapazari, the people at the Bosnian association and Ferman dance all together to a Bosnian wedding music. This is their goodbye to Adapazari.

Ferman and Mabel Matiz at the briefing

Back in İstanbul. This episode's guest star is Mabel Matiz. Ferman is a little nervous-looking in the briefing with Mabel. It seems that they have just met for the first time. Mabel just released his second album. Ferman wishes him good luck on his new album and says that he can understand how excited he must has been, because they are working on their own album right now. He thanks him for coming to the program. Mabel also thanks him for inviting him to the program. This is very formal. (İNCİ: This is their first time together I think).

Ferman gives him a summary of his visit to Adapazari. In this episode they remake a Bosnian folk song. Ferman sent the song to Mabel beforehand, so he asks him what he thought about it when he first listened to it. Mabel is very interested in the Balkan music. There is this Balkan vibe in his compositions, too. So when he first listened to the song, he was very happy. The song has a very naive vocal music. He's going to perform it in Bosnian and this will be a first on KK. Ferman thinks Bosnian lyrics will match Mabel's voice very much. They talk about how the song should be better for a while and start to practice on the song.

At the end, Ferman asks Mabel if he has been to Bosnia before. No, he hasn't, but he'd love to. Ferman talks about what he saw in Bosnia, the remnants of the war, how the people love movies and the music, how they love to invite Turkish artists, etc...He says, "You should see Bosnia!"
And the next thing to do is to record the song.

USTAY FATO USTAY ZATO (Get Up Fatma, Get Up) / 
Ahmet Sorgun - Mabel Matiz

This week's song is a Bosnian folk song. Mabel performed it in original Bosnian lyrics very softly with a nice-sounding guitar at the background. His soft voice was matching the melody very much.

Next week's episode will be the last of the first season. We don't know if this is the one and only season of Kulaktan Kulaga. We're bombarding TRT's social network addresses with messages and keeping our fingers crossed for a second season! We know that Ferman is in negotiation with TRT for a second season. But nothing is certain yet. We wish you good luck, Ferman!

The photos on this blogpost belong to MaNga Greece Facebook Fan Page. Thank you so much, girls! You make my work easier and faster!

You can watch the full video of the episode 12 on the You Tube link below:



January 19, 2013


Many thanks to everyone who took part in my giveaway contest for a chance to win a pretty kai no kuchi fabric jewelry box. The competition has ended last night and I have drawn a lot last night and the winner is....LAURA IKONOMOU from Greece. Congratulations, Laura! I am going to get in touch with you on Facebook today.

As for your precious comments about maNga and Kulaktan Kulaga, I'll do my best to give them to maNga boys on Feb.7 concert as a printed WORD document! This was my goal in the first place anyway. I wish I could get more comments, but these comments are like a summary of how you feel about them anyway, so don't worry! They will know about you, the foreign fans now!

But from now on, please don't hesitate to leave comments about them on my maNga blogposts. Eventually, I'll convey them to maNga.

January 17, 2013


MaNga's three members, Ferman, Yagmur and Özgür appeared live as guests on TRT Haber's morning program "Haber Tadında" on Dec.23, 2012. The host was TRT veteran İnci Ertuğrul.

İnci Ertugrul: We have you early in the morning at our studio. What can we want more? It's a little early for you, isn't it? You're working late at the studio, so...

Ferman: Yes, it's a little early. But it's sometimes good to start the day early.

İE: They say it makes the day productive to start early.

Ferman: We're going to go to the studio from here. Maybe it will be a productive day for us.

İE: Welcome, again! We have synopsis of maNga today. Can we call you that? You have been working on your new album for some time, right? We heard that you would release it in March 2013.

Ferman: We plan to release it in March, yes.

İE: How do you cope with that tough process of working on a new album? Do you have inner conflicts among you? You all have different musical points of view. How do you decide on what should be better?

Ferman: There is a modern hierarchy and a fair disribution of tasks among us. For instance, Yagmur is responsible for the big part of the producing music, so in terms of music production, Yagmur guides us through. Yet, everybody has different tasks to do. We manage to distribute them very well.

İE: If you can't distribute the tasks, the bands can't last long, can they?

Ferman: I guess so. I'm not sure.

Yagmur: We reached that point after a certain period of time has passed. We're still in the process of maturing. We don't have a written contract among us. It becomes a reflex in time. We say, you do that, you do this...Some things develop by instinct in time.

Ferman: It's not very different from marriage actually.

İE: Yagmur Sarigul, maNga was formed after you were expelled from your former band, right? The sources say that you were expelled. Is "expelled" the right word?

Yagmur: (laughing) "fired" or "discarded"!

Ferman: (laughing) "dismissed"...

Yagmur: Of course "fired" is a little harsh. We separated our ways due to compromising of interests and expectations. This happens a lot in the music world. We all have experiences with other bands before maNga. We can say that incident conduced to the formation of maNga. I was after a band making its own music and in Turkish, not cover songs of others.

İE: Whatever you call it...At the end, in a group activity if you can't come to an understanding with the other members, disbandment is inevitable. So it was time for you to break up with that band and to found maNga.

Yagmur: Yes, yes...

İE: Ozgur Can Oney, you are the drummer, but today you're going to perform your part more quietly. We want to know more about what is going on at the background of the band. Because we know that maNga...OK, we know the songs, we memorized all of them like school songs. But other than that, maNga is not a band that we know everything about.

Ferman: Do you want us to disclose our secrets?

İE: Yes, you have secrets! MaNga is well-known but not so popular. How do you protect this? Maybe you don't have written rules about it, but maybe you have some unwritten principles.

Ozgur: It's going to be a common phrase, but we're trying to be friendly in a way. As you keep this friendly demeanor, yes, it doesn't last long to be popular in that sense you mean.

İE: But it's like as if you don't want it to be that way...

Ozgur: Well, since the first album was released, we have always wanted only our music to be at the forefront and still want that. We have used all our savings to create our own studio, because we knew that this would give us more freedom in terms of making music. When we were busy making this happen, it was normal that people didn't see us here and there publicly so much. Just TV programs, or albums...

Ferman: Art, art, art...

Ozgur: Art is our life...We took photos on the way here. :)

İE: This means that it's still possible to get recognized by being productive without being "popular" in that sense. This is not a "must". There is a wrong perception about that.

Ferman: But in fact it's also got to do with the personality. We don't like to share everything about us. We're happier if we can keep some things to ourselves. And we can go out more freely. We're more comfortable on the street and in the concerts. We can communicate with the audience more sincerely and closely.

İE: Your concerts are a bit different than the other rock concerts. I saw you in a concert this summer with my daughter.

Ferman: Where did you see us?

İE: At İstanbul Aydin University concert. It was great fun. You're very relaxed and natural on stage, not being arrogant. I know every singer or band has a individually unique posture on stage, but still...It's like some music genres have some cliched view of how the singers should stand on the stage.

Ferman: Definitely.

İE: What? Am I definitely wrong?

Ozgur: You're definitely...definitely...definitely right. In case of live performance, you're right. It's the stage that we feel ourselves most comfortable. If we reflect this to the audience as much as we can , they can know how we feel.

Ferman: In fact, we barely contain ourselves until we are on the stage. We have something inside us that maybe we can't share with one another, but once we're on the stage, it explodes completely. The stage belongs to us.

İE: In yesterday's newspaper there was an article about a rock band (It was about Mor ve Ötesi). They say that the rock music in Turkey is still searching for itself.

Ferman: Every genre searches for itself. It's not easy to make music in Turkey.

Ozgur: In fact, you asked a very basic question. Actually we are still searching for ourselves or we are being forced to search. At the end, the music is a reflection of society. There have to be a search in all kinds of arts. It's not wrong to search for something.

Yagmur: In fact we are not happy about the general course of the rock music in recent years, either. There is a prototyping. Generally speaking, one of the reasons is that TV and radio channels don't play younger singers or bands much. Of course there are channels that play, but it's very hard now to distinguish oneself among others. It was hard when we've first come out, too. But it got harder and harder.
And there are other things in life besides love, separation, pain and we must tell about them, too. But unfortunately the program makers at the channels prefer to play the songs about these painful subjects, otherwise the ratings are not good. We have to expect the executives in the media world to start thinking idealistically. There is nothing else to do.

İE: The cliches pressure you, huh?

Yagmur: We always did what hasn't been done before. We tried to domesticate ourselves as little as possible so far.

İE: It must be utterly different feeling to be on stage, right? Do you see the audience? (to Ozgur)

Ozgur: Since I'm the drummer, I don't see the audience. Yagmur, Cem and Ferman see them the most.

Ferman: I see the most of them.

İE: Some TV hosts say that they see each one of the audience during a program. Some say that they don't see any body and present the program without seeing anyone in the audience. So you don't see them, huh? You're at the back, so...(to Ozgur).

Ozgur: Since I'm on the drums at the back, they don't show me much.

İE: You don't stand up and say "hey, I'm here!"?

Ozgur: No, I'm not a drummer who stands up.

Ferman: Eye contact is important. Because they come to see you live; it's unlike the albums. I try to make eye contact with the audience as much as I can. Of course it's not possible to do it with everyone.

İE: How about you? (to Yagmur)

Yagmur: I don't communicate with the audience much, because you know I try to communicate with my guitar.

İE: Is it the lead singer's task to do it?

Yagmur: Generally, yes. There might be exceptional cases but...in case of us, Ferman carries this responsibility.

Ferman: It was not that easy to get there.

İE: In Turkey, we are getting the chance to see live world famous foreign rock bands or singers in the recent years more and more. Do you follow them?

Ferman: But they come after the prime of their careers. Not all of them, but I wish we could see them here just when they swept the world with their music. We could have a different musical point of view then.

İE: I guess it's proportional to Turkey's recent economic upswing. Now it's easier to organize concerts than before. It's not only a demand in terms of music. If Scorpions would come to Turkey ten years ago, you would definitely go.

Yagmur: I was just thinking about Scorpions...

Ferman: Me, too.

Yagmur: It was great! In fact, I went to their concert at the last moment. Some friends said "come on, let's go!" and we went. Glad that we could go.

Ferman: I still can't believe they are German.

İE: Why?

Ferman: It isn't like German music; they are unlike other German rock bands.

Yagmur: It's incredible to be at their age and to have that kind of energy on stage! It seems that they looked after themselves very well. Because they should have looked after themselves very well in order to perform like that on stage.

İE: To get the same sound...

Yagmur: It's not easy at all.

Ferman: Our biggest wish is to still be on the stage performing and be on tour at that age.

İE: We also went to that concert with my daughter and she said excitedly that it was just as in the albums with the same sound.

Yagmur: It was a great concert.

İE: This has got to do with the respect to what you do and good care of yourselves, right?

Ferman: Definitely.

İE: Let's talk a bit about Eurovision now. You brought Turkey a second place, but you deserved the first place in my opinion. I'd like to say this first of all. TRT has announced that Turkey doesn't participate in 2013 due to some irrelevancies. How was it to represent the country? Some singers and bands try to stay away from Eurovision, but you participated and brought back a succesful result. What did ESC bring to you or take away from you?

Ferman: We don't make a lot of calculations about participating in this sort of competitions. Of course we talked about what we gain from this... Will we be able to play our music out there? Yes. Will TRT let us do this? Yes. Will we have fun? Yes. And above all we'll represent our country. There were a lot of merits and positive feedback we would get. We were sure about it so much no matter what the result was. We accepted the offer in this mentality and had great fun.

Yagmur: But Ferman had the big part of the responsibility in this process. He was the one who went to the preliminary negotiations with TRT and we had an urgent meeting. We were in Ankara by chance and we gathered in a hotel lobby urgently.

Ferman: (laughing) Secretly...

Yagmur: We can say that it was Ferman who convinced us to participate. We were a little...I mean our new album was just released then and there were some things uncertain yet. Ferman was thinking positively. We had a more cautious approach. We had talked about it that day and I remember I went home and examined my song drafts. We have a good habit. We can take action right away. We like that about us. We can become one flesh and brainstorm like "what can we do about this? The first thing we thought was what kind of song we should make, how we look and do on the stage.

İE: And you got a beautiful result. (to Ferman) Now you're making a program on TRT. It's a different format. What is it like to make a TV program?

Ferman: (laughing) It's hard. I realized it was hard. I admire all of you now.

İE: What part of that is hard for you?

Ferman: Generally speaking...There are a lot of things on the way that don't match with what you think.

İE: There are too many variables involved...

Ferman: Yes and they aren't things that I can predict beforehand, so.. Fortunately, I have a very good producer and he helps me a lot. It is hard, but at the same time it's fun.

İE: It's an interesting format.

Ferman: I'm having fun making it and I think I convey beautiful messages and music, so it's going well.

İE: I wish you good luck and keep up the good work. You're working on your new album that's to be released in March. Do you have other concert plans in winter?

Ferman: We don't have so many concerts in the near future. A few. They're going to be fixed soon. We're going to concentrate on the album from now on. Because we don't have much time. And we have a project for abroad which is an English album. We're going to work on that one, too. We're taking it more seriously now. This new year will be interesting. In fact, we say the same thing every year, and it passes interestingly.

İE: So you're saying we'll get 2 albums from maNga in 2013. Wow! And you have TV program going on.

Ferman: (laughing) If the world doesn't end...we plan to do all of them...

Yagmur: It passed now.

Ferman: You never know. Maybe we get more calendars.

İE: How did you think about that predictions?

Ferman: It was fun. It was good for Şirince at least.

Ozgur: If you recalculate it according to the Mayan calendar, two months have passed from that date.

Ferman: Ozgur studied astronomy, so...

Ozgur: According to the Mayan calendar, December 21 was two months before. And the predictions about the Planet called Marduk enters our solar system and NASA didn't see that are a bit utopian. Mayan mathematical calculations are generally very accurate but this is like some joke.

İE: Thanks very much, guys, for joining us in our studio this morning.

Ferman: We thank you.

MaNga members performed three acoustic songs in the studio during this interview: Yaranmaz Aşık, Cevapsız Sorular and Ben Bir Palyaçoyum. You can watch these songs on the YouTube links below:

Yaranmaz Aşık

Cevapsız Sorular

Ben Bir Palyaçoyum

And you can watch the full interview in two parts below link:

TRT Haber interview, Part 1

TRT Haber interview, Part 2