In recent weeks it had been a matter of discussion whether or not AKP chair & President Erdoğan would accept the invitation to participate a classical music concert in Ankara. Erdoğan has been to the concert that took place in Ankara’s Congresium and also gave a present to the renowned pianist, Fazıl Say.
Following death of renowned pianist Fazıl Say’s mother, AKP chair & President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had called to name his condolences to the pianist upon which Say had invited the president to one of his concerts in Ankara. Renowned actor Rutkay Aziz then commented on the invitation saying “it would actually be a good development to listen to Mozart or Beethoven, it would have calming effect.”
CLASSICAL MUSIC FASCISM
Following Aziz’s comments, President Erdoğan said on January 8, “it is pure fascism to invite the president of this country to listen to Mozart and drink a beer.” This comment however came right after a heated moment following multiple senior actors’ remarks on the democratic structure of the country.
Only a week before this statement, renowned actor Metin Akpınar had participated a TV show on HALK TV and said “fascism ends in one of two ways, either democratization or the leader hangs or gets poisoned in a ditch.” This statement by Akpınar had been subjected to investigation over the last weekend before New Year’s, allegedly calling for “civil war or coup attempt”. The discussion started after this statement has gone so far as to being defined as “bringing legitimacy to criminal acts” by AKP vice chair Hamza Dağ, and pro-government newspaper Yeni Akit journalist Akif Bedir writing, “it should become a routine to behead those who raise their heads against National Will under the title of artistry.”
While Metin Akpınar has been taken to courthouse in the early hours of December 25, he was released with judicial control decision and international travel ban, alongside actor Müjdat Gezen who was accused of the same crime.
While Mozart had been deemed as “fascism” by the President, renowned pianist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Gülsin Onay has shared a video of herself playing Mozart’s Turkish March with the note, “it can not be forced to be listened but it is really delightful” while actor Rutkay Aziz attempted to explain himself saying “is it me or Mozart who is fascist according to this comment? I just had commented on his visiting pianist Fazıl Say’s concert.”
Renowned pianist & @UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Gülsin Onay (@gulsinonay), has shared a video of herself playing #Mozart's "Turkish March" with the note "it can not be forced to be listened but it is really delightful". pic.twitter.com/T6vzOy0mlI
— dokuz8NEWS (@dokuz8_EN) January 8, 2019
PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN LISTENED TO THE TROJAN SONATA
On the evening of October 18, AKP chair & President Erdoğan was among one of the listeners of world renowned pianist Fazıl Say during his premiere concert “Trojan Sonata” alongside his wife the first lady Emine Erdoğan and American Congressman Lindsey Graham as well as Vice President Fuat Oktay and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
During the concert, AKP chair & President Erdoğan has requested Aşık Veysel’s “Black Earth” from Fazıl Say, while there were also reactions against Say for inviting the president to the concert. CHP group deputy chair Özgür Özel responded to the criticism targeting renowned pianist, “when you consider the rhetorics uttered by Erdoğan against critical artists, it is him who has taken a step back. Say remains where he is, as our honor & pride.”
Say had previously composed a song for the popular Gezi Park protests in 2013 which are deemed as a notorious act by President Erdoğan and considered to be a major barrier between the two. Say has also been an open critique of the government and opposition parties in his statements before, and he had also been sentenced to 10 months prison term in 2013 for tweeting a couplet of 11th century poet Omar Khayyam.