Edirne Band and Yellow Devils | Caner Karavit

When I was looking at old photos to fulfill my wish for Father’s Day, I saw the picture that Edirne had taken with his orchestra called ‘Yellow Devils’. This short-lived orchestral life also forms the modern history of Edirne’s band and orchestra. I wanted to write something I had collected orally and in writing on this topic in reference to Father’s Day. One month after my father’s death, I went to Edirne to visit his childhood and orchestra friends. The focus of the two-and-a-half-hour conversation was Edirne’s band and its orchestra. Among them, Chetin’s older brother’s father was the chief who founded the Edirne band, and his story was also interesting. Kazim Dirik Pasha, General Inspector of Thrace, who was in Edirne in those years, was invited to Bulgaria. Pasha takes his music teacher from Edirne and goes with him. During a part of the tour of Bulgaria, our delegation was greeted by a Bulgarian band. Chetin’s older brother’s father was Mehmet Emin Yalgin, who was in charge of the Bulgarian Russian military band at the time. Kazim Pasha and his music teacher praised the band leader’s skills and Pasha invited him to Edirne. Father Yalgin moved to Edirne in 1931 with his family. In the early years of his arrival, he founded the Edwin Fire Band. After Edirne, Father Yalgin, who moved to Bursa in 1938, also formed the Bursa Band there. Yalgin, meanwhile, won first place in the 1941 General Directorate of Press music competition. Later, on his way back to Edirne, some of the band members he trained in Bursa followed their masters to Edirne, as if they were following the “pier of the village of Farrell.” Edirne, who has already made progress in organizing the band, has a city band with people from Bursa who arrived in 1950 and has become a school that trains musicians. So much so that my uncle Ilmaz Karavit, who was voted the best orchestra of the year at TRT, was one of those who grew up with accordion lessons with his father Yalgin. Chetin’s older brother described the band at the time as follows: “Before enlisting in the army, Edirne’s Jewish friends joined the band and learned to play musical instruments. That way, they would both feel comfortable in the military band and continue their music when they come back from the military and they would make good music. “

Yellow Devils Orchestra from left to right: Hussein Caravitt (soloist, drums) Matin Yalgin (accordion) Chetin Yalgin (drums)

Shooting of the bandage in the crane

Bando has also witnessed historical events. The band attends the opening ceremony of Kapikul in Edirne, which was given the status of a border gate in a 1953 cabinet decision. The band in Edirne is on the Turkish side of the border, and the Bulgarian band is on the Bulgarian side, and they start playing songs against each other. After a while it turned into bullets. As the two bands continue to quarrel with equal strength, the band’s trumpet player takes to the stage in Edirne. He plays a solo with his trumpet that the Bulgarian band has to listen to in silence. After the solo ending, there is a brief silence, then the Bulgarian band enthusiastically applauds the Edirne band. The ceremony ended with mutual applause. The musicians trained by the Edirne band, which at the time acted as an archive, became an orchestra with the musical dynamics and youthful energy of the time. There is a biological bond between the band and the orchestra. Because most of the orchestra members were trained in bands and sometimes band members joined these orchestras. One of these orchestras is the “Yellow Devils” orchestra. This is one of the oldest orchestras my father and bandmaster co-founded. My dad also talked about the “Blue Devils” orchestra, which was a rival of the “Yellow Devils” and made up of members of the Edirne band. The “Yellow Devils” group, which usually plays at dance parties and weddings, is one of Edirne’s oldest movies, appearing on stage before and during the Ivazolu movie break. Like the band, the orchestra’s work was limited in its time. If the record of the music they were going to play came out, anyone who went to Istanbul, on the way back to Edirne, would buy a record of that song from the Armenian record store of Yuksek Kaldirim, convert the song into a note and then work on the sound. Without a record, Dad would listen to popular songs on the radio in the evenings, write and memorize kerosene lamps. Before his death, while chatting with my dad about his orchestra: “Well, Dad, what are you doing when you can’t write and miss the words?” I asked. My father said: “At that time, we refrained from handwriting or did a little makeup.” He said he also had memories of this. At another concert in the evening, they took to the stage to sing a song in Italian that they had memorized on the radio the night before. But as he stepped on the stage, he saw in the front row the Italian wife of a Jewish shopkeeper, the Adirone gentleman. My father said, “Oh my God, how can I sing half-heartedly in an Italian place,” he panicked. However, when the concert ended, there was great applause, especially from the Italian lady.

Year 1954. Edirne Municipal Band. Mehmet Emin Yalgin, the band’s founder and conductor.
Archive: Edem Yetişken

Come on, Prima

In the middle of the conversation, Çetin Agabey leaves: “There was a part of him that we loved very much and he sang passionately. We always told her to say it, ”he says, and starts muttering. It’s not very clear, but it looks like he’s singing something like “Sam Trima” … Then I dig into my ear and search the internet for one of the most popular Italian songs of the 50’s. Tony Dalla’s song “Cum Prima”, which means “I will love you for the first time”. One of the most striking characters in the Yellow Devils Orchestra was the trumpet player who brought the Bulgarian band to its knees. As if her older brother was describing her elusive, undisciplined character, Katin was still angry. He intimidated the orchestra so much that once, at a concert outside Edirne, he created a solo like himself among the people who came down from the stage and danced in the middle of the music. As he leaves the orchestra in a difficult situation, the team’s most senior man pulls the car to one side as he returns to Adirondack and scolds the trumpet player.

Tango? 9/8?

We continue our conversation with Chetin’s older brother about the orchestra’s influence on dance. My dad was really good at tango and dance of that era. Brother Katin: “Your father taught many people to sing and dance in Italian. Thanks to him, I learned to dance. One of the most beautiful tangos at these dance events was ‘Separation Tango’, the other said ‘Blue …’ but he could not continue and remained silent for a while. Then he continued with some hesitation: “I didn’t mean to say ‘Blue Tango’ so you won’t be bothered”. Because my father had blue eyes, he thought that reminding us of his death would upset us. It makes me emotional that such a subtlety emerges from the bottom of the little saw character. My dad was good at dancing like the tango on the west side of Edirne, but my mom was good at 9/8 dance to the east. My dad taught my mom tango, but my mom couldn’t teach my dad 9/8.

Yellow jacket, blind scissors

The ending of the “Yellow Devils” orchestra, which I still can’t decide whether it’s sad or funny, is another interesting one. After my dad married my mom, he continued to play with his orchestra in the evenings. However, my mother began to get annoyed with this endless night’s sleep. One day it was so late that my mother went to my great uncle’s house, worried about what might happen to my father and woke him up. My uncle, who has a classic big brother character, said: “You go home, I’ll find him.” An hour later, Mama came home with her father. The two of them went to a small room and closed the door, and my mother went to the living room opposite. My mother recounted the moment: “I heard your uncle’s voice from the room, ‘How could you leave your wife and stay out so long? How can you be so irresponsible? ‘ He was abusing your father. “Encouraged by this scaling, my mother became ambitious and her eyes fell on the yellow jacket of the” Yellow Devils “orchestra that my father had taken out. Jacket, black pants, black tie and black shoes. My mother took the only blunt scissors of the house and cut the jacket into 8-10 pieces. : “How did my dad react when he saw his jacket like this?”, My mother said: “Nothing.”

* Setin Yalgin and Kemal Angur

** Turan Ataka


Çetin Yalgın & Kemal Engür Conversation (Record Time: 02.05.52), Interview with Fethiye Karavit (Record Time: 00.12.03), Interview with Yılmaz Karavit (Record Time: 01.09.09), Edirne Border Newspaper, Edirne , Edirne Newspaper, Canar Caravit Travel Note VI,

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