This February 2017 music video from Turkey is called Canan Sağar – Taş Atma Çocuk (Official Video).
By Felicity Collier from Britain:
Song of freedom for a tortured nation
Saturday 1st July 2017
Turkish singer-songwriter Canan Sagar tells Felicity Collier that socialism and music are her twin life forces
Canan Sagar has been taking part in artistic activities all her life. Recently, she dedicated one of her songs to teachers who are on hunger strike in her country in protest at being dismissed by the government after last year’s failed coup attempt.
A teacher of music herself, Sagar spends her time writing, reading, and researching, as well as listening to and performing music. It’s a sheer labour of love, as she funds and records her songs independently.
She describes songwriting as a random act that hits when the moment is right, favouring “human-specific subjects,” as well as social and political issues.
The first political song she wrote was Tas Atma Cocuk (Don’t Throw Stones Child), which is about children being imprisoned for launching stones at police or soldiers in the largely Kurdish areas of south-east Turkey — it features on her second album.
Yuksel Caddesi is the song she dedicates to teachers whom she says are still in prison continuing their hunger strike, which has now lasted over 100 days.
“My song reached them,” she says, “and now I am in contact with many of the resisters — among them Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca who are still in prison.
“The Turkish state is turning a blind eye and ignoring their critical situation.”
She tells me how the University College Union here in Britain sent a solidarity letter to the teachers calling for immediate action to be taken.
Asked how her music is received in Turkey, she tells me: “If an artist openly declares their views it’s difficult to reach a lot of people, as society mainly listens to popular music.
“There are some political songwriters in Turkey, the main group being Grup Yorum.”
Turkey is going through extremely hard times, she tells me. “The politics are ruining this great country that has embraced different cultures and religions for centuries.
“The people have been divided and a chaotic atmosphere prevails across the whole country.
“In the referendum the government has been proven to have manipulated the results — invalid votes were counted as Yes at the last minute — and it shamelessly stays in power.
“This government has lost a long time ago, but is still fighting to stay in power by cheating and fraud,” she says.
Sagar laments the fact that she doesn’t go back to Turkey often enough — she does so only to record her songs and videos.
“I left at a very young age,” she explains, “I have lived in England all my life. But every time I visit, the passion to spend part of my life there, at some point, grows.
“There is a strong fight against the system and it is felt all across the country and honourable people are resisting no matter how hard the government hits back. They are fighting till the end.”
You can find many of Canan Sagar’s songs on YouTube, or even better if you live in or near London, she is playing at the next fundraiser gig put on by the London Readers and Supporters Group on Saturday July 8, at The Constitution, 42 St Pancras Way, London NW1 OQT. Other performers will include the poet Tim Wells and soul singer Maddy Carty. Tickets are on sale here: mstar.link/constitution2. Or by phone (020) 8510-0815