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Memoirs of Burhanettin Ökte, one of the ney players of the Presidential Chapter Delegation


Note: We had a close friendship with the late Burhanettin Ökte. I heard from him some of ATATÜRK's memories that he found while he was in the chapter committee. By making use of his writings in the Musiki magazine, and collecting these interesting memories, I commemorate his cherished memory with respect here as well.

One evening, we are at the house of General Manager of İşbank, Celal Bey (Celâl Bayar). There is a wedding of Celâl Bey's brother-in-law, Muhtar Bey. We play cheerful songs in a friendly atmosphere.

It was close to midnight. They said in an interval: Pasha is coming!..

Indeed, ATATÜRK honored him with guests. The joy of the assembly increased even more. Everyone is in great joy. Fasıl team plays continuously, songs and folk songs follow each other. Meanwhile, we are playing Ali Rifak Bey's work "Daüssıla". ATA was very interested in the lyrics and composition of this magnificent poem that Süleyman Nazif wrote during the Malta captivity. A lady mentioned a work. If I am not mistaken, it was a work of the late Captain Zade Ali Rıza. ATATÜRK showed his desire to listen to this work from the lady and addressed me:

- You accompany the lady, they gave the order.

The lady started this piece, which I did not know or hear, from the tone of her own voice. The connoisseurs of music appreciate what it means to accompany an unknown piece of music with a weak instrument like ney. Of course, what I could do was to participate as much as possible in the well-known tunes of the piece. This right must have annoyed ATATÜRK so much that they scolded me dutifully. I was so embarrassed. The lady was also upset that she had put me in a difficult position.

We stole other works...


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