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The Letter of a Person Named Sıtkı Bey to Atatürk

M. Rasim Özgen, one of ATATÜRK's relatives, told the following memory.

"ATATÜRK said the following about a Yemeni folk song, which he listened to from an artist named Sıtkı from Adana and his wife named Vasfiye Hanım: "Those folk songs so enthralled me that I had İsmet İnönü listened to it one night. Wept profusely."

That night, ATATÜRK wanted the songs and folk songs that he had listened to from the Sıtkı bey lute, tanbur and his wife's voice until the morning, to be played on the Ankara and Istanbul radios to the country.

- Sir Sıtkı, go and give a concert on Istanbul and Ankara radios, he said.

At that time, Turkish music, which was banned due to a misunderstood statement by ATATÜRK, was also revived.

In the meantime, he narrated an event describing the value and love that the great ATATÜRK gave to art and the artist.

"This gentleman from Adana, Sıtkı, comes to Istanbul even before he met ATATÜRK. After graduating from veterinary school in the War of Independence, he was drafted into the military. After the war, he left the veterinary captain's position and became a teacher and writer. With the influence and encouragement of his wife, Vasfiye, who is a vocal artist. A person who specializes in music. He takes his songs composed on Turkish music to a record company. The record player says that Turkish music is banned and removed from the radios. And he states that he will not be able to buy these works. Sıtkı Bey, who is extremely sad about this situation, keeps it to ATATÜRK in a moment of crisis. He writes a reproachful, heavy letter in pencil and on a common notebook, in which he defends Turkish music, citing examples of the ideas and compositions of the old masters of art, and harshly criticizes its ban.

A few days passed, through the police station, Sıtkı Bey learned that he was called from Dolmabahçe Palace.

If you think about it, a reproachful letter written in pencil on a plain notebook paper, an artist who wrote it. Look at ATATÜRK's wide tolerance and love for the artist, that he accepts this artist in his presence, and moreover, he compliments them.

There is no doubt that Turkish music was among the reforms that ATATÜRK wanted to make. The aim of this reform was not to encourage the west, but to develop our national cultural values in the direction of the west, without putting dust on the national dignity and values, and to bring them to the level of real art.

ATATÜRK didn't just like Rumelian folk songs, as some say and think. Rumelian folk songs were his memories of his youth, of course he would love them, but ATATÜRK loved to listen to the real valuable works of Turkish music, and even sang folk songs himself from time to time.

ATATÜRK had a unique reading style that was suitable for the richness of Turkish music's style and expression. He especially read songs and folk songs with a harmony and eloquence that would enliven the events and emotional richness that affected their burning, and he wanted it to be read like that.


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