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Istanbul concerts to focus on unity amid virus outbreak

Turkish Presidency organizes concert series as ‘a call for love and unity’ to boost morale

Handan Kazancı   | 23.04.2020
Istanbul concerts to focus on unity amid virus outbreak


Turkey will organize a concert series which will be broadcast on social media with the slogan “From 7 hills to 7 continents” on April 23, which marks the country’s National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.     

In a statement, Turkey’s Directorate of Communications said the concerts will be broadcast on its YouTube channel and will be “a call for love and unity” from Istanbul to the whole world.

Promoting the concert series, a video clip shot during the lockdown in Turkey’s largest city showed the city’s iconic landmarks including the Hagia Sophia Museum, Maiden’s Tower, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Golden Horn and the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge.

The concert will start with Turkish folk poet and Sufi mystic Yunus Emre's words, “The world is my true ration, and its people are my nation.”

“A message of solidarity will be given to the whole world with the performances of our valuable artists at seven different locations in Istanbul during this tough period due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

“In addition to providing medical supplies to many countries battling the pandemic, the Presidency will emphasize the awareness of unity and integrity by bringing hearts together in Istanbul, where the continents meet,” it added.

Renowned Turkish pianist Idil Biret, who is one of the world's leading performers of the 9th Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano compositions made by Franz Liszt, will perform this immortal work of art, also known as the ‘Symphony of Humanity,’ in the Bosporus.

Harpist Sirin Pancaroglu and vocalist Bora Uymaz will perform Yunus Emre’s cantus “Ben Yürürem Yane Yane” at the Maiden’s Tower.

Ney performer Yavuz Akalın will perform “Segah Pesrev” (Yusuf Pasha) at the Hagia Sophia, lute player Murat Bagdatli will perform “Kurdilihicazkar Longa” (Kemani Sebuh) at Topkapı Palace, flute artist Elif Yurdakul Baykurt will perform “Syrinx” (Claude Debussy) at Galata Tower, tanbur player Ozer Ozel and kemancha player Aslıhan Ozel will perform “Nihavend Saz Semai” (Mesut Cemil Bey) at Dolmabahce Palace and qanun player Serkan Mesut Halili will perform “Sehnaz Longa” (Santuri Ethem Bey) at Pierre Loti Hill.

“Works from both Classical Turkish Music and Classical Western Music will be performed, while the music will be accompanied by messages of love and unity belonging to important thinkers of the Eastern and Western world ranging from Yunus Emre, Mevlana, Hacı Bektas-ı Veli and Pir Sultan Abdal to Immanuel Kant, Thomas Aquinas and Alphonse de Lamartine,” the statement added.

On Thursday, Turkey will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of its Grand National Assembly or parliament as well as National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.

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