WHY DID ATATÜRK SAY “THIS MUSIC IS FAR FROM EXPRESSING OUR ENTHUSIASM”
The year was 1928. It was August. I remember very well one of the charitable
foundations (It was the Society for Protection of Children or The Aeroplane
Society. Definitely not in my mind) had arranged a show in the park casino in
A very good orchestra and the famous singer of Egypt, Müniret-ül Mehtiye and
his musicians (maybe they had been invited especially for this show) had been
invited to this show.
Atatürk had taken his place at protocol near to stage among the cheering
people. He replied with a friendly smile.
The Orchestra was playing arias from Tosca that Atatürk liked very much.
Now the Arabian singer is on the stage with his musicians singing songs in
Arabic. Atatürk also liked Arabian music, which he had become used to in
The Arabian singer was singing the song he had prepared before for Atatürk
out of courtesy. People applauded and cheered when they hear Atatürk’s name in
After the Arabian singer, the Turkish music group went on stage in bad
clothes. Some of them were wearing trousers not suited to the jackets and some
of them were not wearing a tie. They were not experienced, musicians mostly
amateurs. They started to play “Sultan-ı Yegah Faslı” I also remember that night
very well but let us listen to it from Burhanettin Ökte the Ney player of the
Presidency Group who was sitting near Atatürk.
“Fasıl had an effect like a cold shower. The musicians were surprised when
they saw Atatürk in front of them and they were seized with panic. They started
to piffle. It was a big mistake of the organisation to get this music group on
stage although they knew Atatürk would come to the organisation.
Atatürk boasting by saying “my nation, my music, my musician” in every
convenience is very sorry, tonight which was arranged like a music contest, like
a commander suffered defeat.
He promptly stood up angrily and this attracted the people’s attention.
Everybody was in silence the musicians on the stage stopped too.
Atatürk said angrily,
- Let’s go, this music is far from expressing our enthusiasm.