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In Atatürk's Presence

After the victory, it was ATATÜRK's first visit to Istanbul. It coincides with the month of July 1927.

One of the famous writers of the time, Ahmet Rasim Bey, Tanburacı Osman took me with his wrestler to Dolmabahçe Palace one evening. I was a young man aged 17-18 who had come to Istanbul from Anatolia for education. Ahmet Rasim Bey knew me from the Kadıköy oriental music society. Since he knew that I played the baglama, he wanted to make ATATÜRK listen to me as well.

At that time (1927) there was no such thing as folk music in the square. There was a closed folklore life in the villages.

In the radio, which has just been established in our country and broadcasts on the upper floor of the big post office in Istanbul, among the programs that mainly consist of classical Turkish music chapters, as Folk Music, a Tanb. There was Osman wrestler and there was me.

At that time, ATATÜRK must have listened to these broadcasts, which were considered a new movement, or heard from the listeners, as he would have wanted to listen to me with Osman wrestler, whom he had known before.

Excited to have attended such a distinguished meeting for the first time that evening, especially to be in the presence of a great person like ATATÜRK, whose greatness we feel in our hearts, I greeted ATATÜRK with a beating of my heart when I entered the hall, sitting at the head of the long dinner table. He took our salami with a slight nod.

Ahmet Rasim Bey with a very kind smile:

"Here you go, Ahmet Rasim gentleman," he called to his side.

They seated us at a small table in front of the large dining table.

For an Anatolian boy, one of the very stylish waiters in a white jacket, bow tie, black trousers, which seemed strange to me at first, came to us and asked what we were going to drink. Osman wrestler wanted raki. After a while, a small jug of raki filled the table with various appetizers in small plates, poured raki into the glasses and left.

Since I don't drink, I didn't touch the glass. Osman wrestler drank the raki in the glass in one swift move. Wrestler, who is a very fond of his throat, also swept the small plates of appetizers.

I was looking at ATATÜRK with evasive eyes. He was speaking with extremely animated facial expressions. I could hardly hear what he was talking about because of the distance between them.

At one point, he caught sight of us, got up, came towards us, and we stood up and saluted.

Since Osman knew the wrestler before, in the Rumelian accent:

- A be wrestler agha, can you clean the drum, ba? he snapped. Osman wrestler replied with the same accent:

- Every now and then, I'll squirt the kazi (in line), my pasha.

ATATÜRK, when he saw the empty plates on the table, understood the situation, pointed to the waiter and asked him to redecorate the table.

Ahmet Rasim Bey introduced me:

- Sir, he plays Anatolian saz, he is a talented young man.

ATATÜRK extended his hand with a slight smile. I kissed his hand respectfully, it was warm and soft. He sat in a chair a short distance away. Tanb. After a few Rumelian folk songs played and sung by Osman wrestler, I played a zeybek tune with the signal of Ahmet Rasim. ATATÜRK wanted me to play the same air once again. I rang again, and after he had finished, he stood up and came over to us. By addressing me.

“You play well,” he said. Where did you learn this instrument?

- I learned it in Safranbolu, sir.

- Are you from there?

- Yes sir.

- Why did you come to Istanbul?

- I'm here for collection, sir.

- What will you collect?

- I went to dental school. I also continue to the Turkic Institute (Turkology) and the conservatory, sir.

- That's good, it is useful to equip art with knowledge. My excitement was fading slowly. ATATURK:

- Can you make a taksim with it (with the reed)? he asked.

I said, "Let me make a buck foot, sir."

- What does it mean?

- It's a type of longair, sir.

- Is Uzunhava something like an ode?

- There are some differences, sir.

- Like what?

I was open now. This great man had a soft air that gave relief to his surroundings. Obviously, he was testing me. He must have liked the way I gave pure answers, as he was listening to me with a slight smile.

- Gazel has its own style and style of performance, starting from an entrance called matla, it has morphological phases such as ground, licorice, and verdict. I tried to explain without stammering that it was a free-measured rhythm peculiar to each region, in different dialects, generally starting from the climax sounds and descending to the base sounds.


- What does irlama mean? he asked.

- I said that among the transhumance Turkish communities, where Bozlak-style Uzunhavas are common, it is generally called irlama to call folk songs.

"Let's listen, then," they said.

ATATÜRK's interest in the subject, especially his appreciation of my saz playing, gave me a sense of relief and increased my courage. By making a grizzly leg, I connected it to a game mood.

After I finished, he asked me to give the saz to him, took it, touched its strings a few times and said these words that I will never forget:

"Thank you to my young friend, he brought us the beautiful weather of Anatolia. Gentlemen, this is a Turkish instrument. In the heart of this small instrument, a nation's culture is expressed. A nation's cultural and artistic movements and level, by adhering to its national traditions, to keep up with the civilized world itself. "We should not forget that we have to, and I am happy to say this on this occasion. It should be given importance and importance to develop and evaluate the tunes of this little instrument in this direction."

However, as far as I could note later, he interpreted these words of ATATÜRK as a sign that it was necessary to benefit from folk music sources in the creation of advanced Turkish music, and he also saw how wide the horizon of this great man's view on National Culture and Art, in addition to his military genius and great statesmanship qualities. and I was fascinated by the superiority of taste.


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