A magnificent commemoration night was organized for Aşık Veysel!
Çiğdem Özer: Aşık Veysel is not only my grandfather but everyone’s grandfather!
Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu, one of the most important representatives of the minstrel tradition in Türkiye, was commemorated with a magnificent concert held as part of the 24th International Istanbul Büyükçekmece Culture and Art Festival.
Veysel’s granddaughter, Çiğdem Özer, attended the concert titled “Aşık with 100 plectrums” by the giant orchestra of 105 people who performed the works of Aşık Veysel. Özer, who had emotional moments at the concert, said: “Our Aşık Veysel is not only my grandfather, but actually everyone’s grandfather.”
As part of the UNESCO 2023 Aşık Veysel Commemoration Year, the concert held at Büyükçekmece Atatürk Cultural Center attracted a lot of attention from the citizens. The choir, led by the General Artistic Director, Conductor Taner Demiralp and Conductor Neslinay Çınar, gave a magnificent concert in which Aşık Veysel’s life was integrated with his works. The concert “Aşık with 10 plectrums”, in which 10 of Aşık Veysel’s works were performed, was applauded by hundreds of audience who filled the hall.
“Aşık Veysel is a life”
Making a statement after the concert, the Mayor of Büyükçekmece Dr. Hasan Akgün said: “We had the second of the special nights for the opening of the 24th International Istanbul Büyükçekmece Culture and Art Festival. Last night, the Choir of Civilizations came and passed from this stage. This evening, Aşık Veysel, one of the greatest minstrels that the Republic, this country, has raised, came and passed this stage. It was a wonderful night of Aşık Veysel. Aşık Veysel was commemorated. Since 2023 is the Year of Aşık Veysel, and UNESCO has taken this nice decision, we will commemorate Aşık Veysel a lot in celebration of the 100th anniversary of our Republic in 2023. Aşık Veysel is a minstrel, a thinker and a philosopher. Aşık Veysel is a life. Explaining and understanding is another phenomenon. We will try to understand. We will try to pass it on to future generations.‘’
“He is the modern age philosopher”
Aşık Veysel’s granddaughter Çiğdem Özer expressed her feelings with these words: ‘’Today we had a very special night in Büyükçekmece. As our Mayor stated within the framework of the 24th International Istanbul Büyükçekmece Culture and Art Program, they invited me to one of those special nights. Today, I saw everything I wanted to tell you on this stage. Today, they shared Aşık Veysel’s love of the Republic, love of Atatürk, his humanist and rich inner world, his love of land, love of nature, love of homeland, with the people of Büyükçekmece in a beautiful way, with a beautiful orchestra and with a beautiful expression. I leave very happy. In the 100th anniversary of the Republic, I always say something; Our Aşık Veysel is not only my grandfather, but actually everyone’s grandfather. Because UNESCO declared the year 2023 as the “Year of Commemoration and Celebration of Aşık Veysel” for Aşık Veysel, who gives messages of peace and love to the whole world. This is a very significant development. In my opinion, Aşık Veysel is the philosopher of the modern age. He has enough wisdom and depth to make a book out of each of his poems. That’s why we are fortunate to have Aşık Veysel. Fortunately, we have municipalities and people who are of the opinion that they will make such good programs about him. On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who contributed, especially to Mr. Mayor, to his team and to all our artists.’’