Turkey: Selen Gulun, woman composer of music for uprisings

09 July, 09:37

    Turkish artist Selen Gulun Turkish artist Selen Gulun

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - In Turkey, jazz goes hand in hand with popular uprisings, at least in the case of pianist Selen Gulun, who is composing the soundtrack to the Gezi Park revolts that uncovered the contradictions of contemporary Turkey.

    Gulun, who last week in the Italian town of Fiuggi took part in an Adkins Chiti Foundation conference called Women In Music, is now in Rome, where she is recording a second song ''that will give hope to the civil resistance movement in Turkey, which is struggling against autocracy and for democracy'', she told ANSAmed. ''Since the beginning of the protest I was in the front lines to save Gezi Park'', the great green space in the center of Istanbul that Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to turn into a mall. ''In the first weeks I protested in the streets and did not touch my piano: I was holding the emotions in, but after a while I couldn't hold back anymore. It all came up after the police reacted so brutally, using rubber bullets, tear gas and other violent methods, killing and severely injuring many people'', Gulun said. The result was 'Not Afraid of You', a track that went viral on social networks and became an instant hit with the demonstrators.

    The fact that the composer is a woman is added value for the secular part of Turkey that is becoming increasingly alienated by the growing Islamization of national customs, and that sees itself in the Gezi Park movement, of which women are a considerable part.

    ''Crimes against women have skyrocketed in the past three years: rape and harassment are not punished as they should be, and this is unacceptable'', Gulun went on. ''The violence comes as the government clamps down on abortion rights, bans the sale of alcohol after 10pm, which penalizes music clubs and festivals''. ''Artists are under heavy pressure. Paradoxically, many of us are working better because of it. We are giving better results'', she adds. (ANSAmed).

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