Declaration of Support in Relation to the Current Demonstrations in Turkey

Declaration of support from popular music scholars in relation to the current demonstrations in Turkey.

Resistance of music against the authoritarian discourse and implementation of the government in Turkey.

The music performed by the people of Turkey with pots, pans and whistles is an important part of the current demonstrations against various aspects of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

There is a variety of grievances such as the authoritarian approach of the government, its perceived Islamic bias in making laws and making changes to society, and its heavy-handed approach to the demonstrations including the physical attacks and arrests of peaceful demonstrators.

The people of Turkey performing with pots, pans and whistles, as well as musicians including our colleagues and students, are in the streets all day and night, and many of them are being arrested and injured by police forces acting on behalf of AKP.

All kinds of music, such as jazz, folk, classical, traditional and Latin, are both performed live at the demonstrations and recorded as video and published on social media. However, the mainstream musics of rock and pop stars of Turkey are almost absent at the demonstrations, in any way. Amateur musicians are mainly heard at the demonstrations, especially in İstanbul and İzmir. These amateur musicians perform as small rock groups, marching brass bands, percussion groups, protest music groups, polyphonic and monophonic or heterophonic choruses. However, there are also a very few cases where professional musicians perform, such as Gezi Park Philarmony concert or Gezi Band on the stage in Gezi Park. Some well-known professional music groups also publish their recent professional recordings composed for the resistance on the web.

Anyway, the most ubiquitous sound is the ‘music’ of pots, pans and whistles performed by the people of Turkey resisting the authoritarian approach of the government.

We, as scholars studying music, declare our support for the people of Turkey performing with pots, pans and whistles, for other musicians, and for our colleagues and their students.

Video in which Joan Baez expresses her solidarity with Turkey and sings “Imagine” for the resistance

Solidarity message from Manu Chao