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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Five Turkish Things +1


Symbol of the Turkish clan or "oghuz" that began the Ottoman Empire/Mevlüt Kılıç
In my "Five Turkish Things?" post I shared five examples of how contrasts could work together to create beauty. This is an addendum (a wedding guest if you will), as I have recently discovered a New York Times article that felt fitting to add to the list. It includes some more of my favourites - the Sufi mystic Rumi (alive during the Seljuk Dynastic period), Zülfü Livaneli and jazz.

6. Istanbul & Music: Remembering Rumi

Livaneli holds a special place for me. He was one of my father's favourite artists (he had a passion for the eclectic in music ranging from Livaneli to Frank Sinatra), and I especially appreciated Livaneli's attempts to put one of my favourite Turkish poet's works to music - Nazım Hikmet. I have made mention of them on my blog throughout the years, but they are worthy of mention countless times over.

What Rumi, Hikmet and Livaneli all have in common is their humanism in less humane times, and how they have in their own ways aspired to inspire the soul to rise to its potential. Now Livaneli has joined with Rumi in what has been described by the NYT correspondent as an "engaging contemporary fusion of jazz, traditional Turkish tunes and other genres" for the Istanbul Jazz Festival. Again, it's the type of music that plays perfectly as a celebration to marriages of all sorts.

Livaneli was also recently honoured with France's highest distinction, the Legion d'Honneur recognising his struggles for peace, freedom and human rights.

The Turkish artist has used his own unique creative strokes while turning his hand to music, politics and writing. Livaneli's book Mutluluk (Bliss), about the plight of women and honour killings in southern Turkey was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2006 Discover Great New Writers Award in Fiction.

The NYT is a fantastic read. So is Livaneli. I can't recommend them both highly enough." (The NYT article is dated 2014 so if the above banner link expires over time you can use this screencap.)

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