Do you care about special days? What does Father’s Day mean to you?
Oedipus Akbairam: Of course, all special days are important in our society. Holidays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, these are the times when we value love and respect. It makes every parent happy to be with our kids on this national day.
Turkish Akbairam: I don’t care as much as the older generation, but there is a case being taken for granted. Since I am also a mother now, when my daughter arrives with flowers I at least expected, she must get my smile.
How is the parent-daughter relationship?
EA: I have never been an authoritarian, conservative father. I have never interfered in my children’s choices in life. Democracy starts from the family. I would always tell my daughter, “Share your problems with me and your success and happiness.”
TA: Our relationship with my mother and father is different. At home, my mother had the most authority. Me and my dad are always like friends. So they balance each other nicely. If I did something wrong that I could not tell my mother, I could always tell my father. For example, when I skipped school, I would tell my dad directly. (Laughter)
Turku Akbairam: So I had a wound, I wanted to remove it
You’ve been on stage together for years. Now, as Türkü Akbayram, your musical journey continues on its own. I was very impressed to hear your new single ‘Yara’. Does Yara have a special story?
TA: He came last year when I was mumbling at home. I wrote the words. We made music together with Saki Chimen. It was a somewhat depressing time. So I had a wound and I wanted to spread some of it.
Looks like you’ve been waiting a long time to start music professionally … why?
TA: I think with the age of 30, people can see more clearly what they want and what they are avoiding. I always said “hard on this market, I don’t want to enter” but I was actually cheating on myself. I had conflicts with the things I was running from When I was on stage with my dad, I was always at my shelter.
Does this virus come to a bar made overnight?
There are many people who think that music is corrupt. Do you agree
EA: Music is now polluted in the world, because art is mechanical. I can’t see the soul in any new song. ‘My Heart Burned With Longing’ has been heard for three generations. Think of Barış Manço’s ‘Dağlar Dağlar’, Cem Karaca’s ‘Honor Trouble’ and see the music now. There is terrible corruption.
What do you blame for this?
EA: Everything that is happening is killing our souls. There are economic difficulties. Inevitably, these are also reflected in production. They don’t let music live, they don’t let it breathe. 120 musicians have committed suicide. How many souls have heard? For example, time constraints… I don’t understand it. Does this virus only come to bars where songs are played at night? I am ashamed as a musician. Music cannot be silenced, the artist cannot be silenced. The artist wishes beauty and well-being. He is the one who speaks out against injustice.
There is a lot of talk about it আছেন there are artists who say that an artist has to be different.
EA: Of course, the artist must be a dissenter. I am an artist, I have to protect nature, to be the voice of the oppressed and the unjust. The trees will be cut down, Oedip Akbairam will definitely stand against it. These events did not leave any soul in any of us. These make us sad.
Are you pessimistic?
EA: I’m not, but looking at the current situation, I can’t see anything good. We live in the most beautiful country in the world … Personal happiness is not happiness. If I eat half a kilo of beef, my neighbor should also eat at least 250 grams. But one side fell to the ground, the other side to the sky. Such injustice, such unprincipledness?
What are the problems that bother you the most?
EA: Economic problems, murder of women … On top of all these negatives, you see women as a commodity by canceling the Istanbul Convention. What a shame!
Industry is more powerful than a weapon
People in all political circles respect you very much. She’s listening to your music. From this perspective, art is actually a more effective integrator than politics.
EA: Of course! When I sang my song under this banner, I did not divide my audience into right-wing, left-wing, conservative or liberal. I’m a leftist myself, but I listen to my songs. Nationalists, headscarves and atheists all listen to me. Because we share love. This is how all beauty begins. If people start their day by loving a man, an animal or a flower, there will be no doors, no passports or borders. One thing all leaders say is, ‘Weapons are the biggest strength’. No sir, industry is the biggest strength. Industry is always stronger than weapons.
Coups, arrests, detentions, employment bans, financial hardships… you have a life story that will be the subject of a documentary. What is the most influential feeling you have left on this journey?
EA: I’ve had it all. But my wife and I have never been loyal to what we believe. We left on our own. People don’t like you because you sound good. They look at your family life, your location, your everything. Yes, I have experienced all these and many more, but my wife Ayten Akbairam was always behind me like a door. There were days when I couldn’t buy milk for my baby, they came to me and said, “Make an Arabic album, let’s pay so much”. But I have never compromised with the values I believe in.
Most artists speak of three monkeys
Vessel Mozart of this country in love with his eyes
Do you ever hesitate to talk?
EA: I never hesitate. I am 70 years old, I have a four year old grandson. I have been trying to make my art in this country for 50 years. At the end of the day there may be people who call me an ‘artist’s draft’. But being a draft artist is not so easy. How many presidents, how many ministers have I seen in my life? I have seen countless MPs. They are all gone, but will Pir Sultan Abdal go? Will boyfriend go to Veysel? Ashik Mahsuni Sheriff will go? But you see, most of those who call themselves artists today are playing three monkeys. He sees but does not see, hears but does not hear, does not speak. That’s why Ashik Vessel, his blind eye and his production, Mozart of this country to me.
Turku Akbairam: Aesthetics, the effort of those who are not happy with themselves to evaluate them in the eyes of others
What do you think about the general notion of beauty imposed on women?
TA: I have never dyed my hair or had plastic surgery in my life, but I am not against it, but I can see myself at my best when I look in the mirror. I don’t get close to things like Barbie perception. I see interventions made with this kind of aesthetic concern that things people who are not happy with themselves do to make themselves valuable in the eyes of others.
What do you think about the continued identity of women’s clothing on stage?
TA: If there is no social problem that worries everyone, there is no need to tell anyone about what someone else is doing or doing later. Of course, I’m against some corruption, but it’s not for any of us to adjust the dose.
Photo: Ozan Guzels