Our Frühstück Alla Turca event, as part of the scope of the #60JahreMusik project with the support of the Berlin Yunus Emre Institute, took place on Sunday September 5th at Berlin Festsaal Kreuzberg with the attendance of Berlin Consul General Rıfkı Olgun Yücekok.
Accompanied by fair weather and extensive interest by Berlin media outlets, our open air event was the first of istanbulberlin's physical spaces to be opened up for encounters.
Frühstück Alla Turca was opened by DJ Funshine's music, guests had their breakfast while listening to musical stories related with immigration. After the conversation with Kabus Kerim and Başak Yavuz, the program ended as the attendants danced and sang along in unison to Kabus Kerim’s DJ set.
Translated to English by Zeynep Beler.
The Frühstück Alla Turca program opened with a lively DJ set served up by DJ Funshine by way of morning coffee as the guests collected their rich Turkish breakfasts.
Presented by Ayşen Meliha Kahraman and translated by Funda Çetinkaya, the program continued with an opening speech by Consul General Rıfkı Olgun Yücekök in which he shared his sentiments and thoughts on the 60th anniversary and music:
An agreement was signed with German concerning workforce immigration on October 30, 1961. Up until 1974, within the scope of that agreement, many of our people, men and women, oftentimes with their families, came to Germany to work. They were ‘gastarbeiter’ when they first arrived. Today we have become a community in Germany numbering close to three million, a significant part of the German population. Together we both celebrate and commemorate the 60th anniversary of the agreement. Yes, we have much to celebrate but also much to honor and remember. For we sadly also lived through Solingen here, and Hanau. So we both cherish the sweet memories and look to the future with hope and memorialize those who suffered and struggled, renewing the bonds of our hearts with them.
Wrapping up his speech, he congratulated us, the organizing team and posed for the cameras of the Berlin press in the istanbulberlin Souvenir photo corner.
The program continued with a speech by Koray Yeğnidemir on behalf of the Yunus Emre Institute Berlin. Greeting the guests, Yeğnidemir expressed happiness at being able to support such an important project and stressed that in spite of the pandemic, the institute will continue to support projects concerning the 60th anniversary of the Workforce Agreement on both physical and digital platforms.
I, then relayed her story of establishing istanbulberlin:
I worked in the publishing industry for ten years. Throughout these ten years, I met many writers. On one of my travels to Berlin, the writer Judith Kuckart told me that if ever I should come to Berlin to learn German, I could stay in her guest room. A few years after that conversation, after my stay in Judith and her friends’ guest rooms, I returned to Istanbul knowing I wanted to work in the art and culture field between Turkey and Germany. Istanbul and Berlin are both cities representative of their respective nations with colorful, flourishing culture and art scenes. istanbulberlin aims to channel the polyphonic character of these cities into spaces for encounters.
Thanking my project teammates and the Yunus Emre Institute Berlin, I then highlighted that this event would be opening up the first physical space for encounter and wished the guests a good time.
#60JahreMusik project partner Nazlı Sağdıç Pilcz (aka DJ Funshine) went on to talk about the project. “At istanbulberlin, we decided to acknowledge this important anniversary by tracing its history through the music,” she explained.
We hope for the stories we’ve uncovered to shed some light on the conditions that have shaped our present. We chose music as our medium, because music is a unifier that touches every fraction of society.
Adding that all project-related content could be accessed on istanbulberlin.com, Nazlı also heralded the second event that is set to take place in Istanbul in November.
As the guests sipped tea from proverbial narrow-waisted glasses, two guests took up the mic to share their stories: Tamer Yiğit, a multidisciplinary artist, relayed the story of his introduction to art and music in Kreuzberg and how he ultimately became an artist himself.
Kadir Albay, a prominent name in Germany in regards to piano repair, relayed his story of revivifying the piano once owned by Atatürk.
The program carried on with the talk titled “Between Guest Worker Groove and the New Wave”. Moderated by Sedef İlgiç, Kabus Kerim and Başak Yavuz talked about creating a bridge between the music of guest workers and that of the new wave of musicians migrating to Germany.
Talking about Gastarbeiter Groove, the following words from Kabus Kerim evoked sentiment from the audience:
My mother came to Germany in 72, she had heart surgery in 2009, and thinking of her state in the hospital still moves me. Many of us have such family stories. She came here when she was young and robust, gave her life to this place working…there was nothing I could do about my mother’s health at the time, I was desperate. As it had been music that kept us on the straight and narrow during my youth, I got it into my head to collect music from my mother’s times and remix them. I titled it ‘funk for mom’ as a gift to her. That’s how more people became interested in gastarbeitergroove. The remix came as a balm to a lot of people.
Speaking as a newly relocated musician in Berlin, Başak Yavuz then said:
During the New York leg of my adventure, I lived in Harlem for a few years to really get to know its music. That’s how I came to know the pain that resulted in the music. Walking in the streets of Kreuzberg today, I feel a little bit as if I am in Harlem. I think of the lives that created this culture. This time, however, I’m not an outside observer like I was in Harlem but a member of the culture. That’s how I’ve begun to feel closer to the music I am performing. And so I salute all constituents of this culture, all those who came from Turkey and shared this culture.
Kabus Kerim closed the program with his DJ set that injected Anatolian pop and psychedelic Turkish music with the “gurbet” sound. The conclusion was marked by all guests dancing and singing along to Cartel’s song Cartel in unison.
Sezen Yeniçeri Can, the visual communication partner of istanbulberlin and the video production team Yağmur Güneş and Muratcan Özel recorded the event. In the coming days the videos produced will be uploaded to istanbulberlin's YouTube channel. We will also be sharing the DJ sets of DJ Funshine and Kabus Kerim with you.
Mustafa Ekşi from Medya.Berlinand Şükrü Togay from Berlin – SES Das türkisch deutsche Stadtmagazin für Berlin‘den Şükrü Tokay’a etkinliğimizde bizimle oldukları ve fotoğraflarını paylaşmamıza izin verdikleri için teşekkür ederiz.