Greek and Turkish Folk Songs and Music - Healing the Wounds

I have described elsewhere (What the Asia Minor Site is All About) the tragic history of the Greek/Turkish conflicts and their cause. Greeks and Turks are essentially the same people but with different religions. Greek/Turkish animosity continues to flare up now and then driven by politicians who want to create distractions from their misdeeds. So it was a very pleasant surprise to see that Turkish and Greek singers and musicians collaborate closely, emphasizing what unites the two people. There are many examples on YouTube of such collaboration, many involving songs that are common among the two people.

The link below contains four versions of a song: two in Turkish and two in Greek.
Kizim Seni Aliye (Istemem Babacim) - San Theo S'agapo

Many more examples involve two women signers: the Greek Glykeria and the Turkish Dilek Koç. Click on Glykeria and Dilek Koç to see and hear some of their performances.

Once you access those links in YouTube you will find lists of more similar songs and Turkish/Greek collaboration in music. Do not forget to look at the comments. Most of them are very positive about Greek/Turkish collaboration. Below are some of the most remarkable (in my opinion) examples.

The Strait of Bosporus

My prize finding is the song "Mes tou Bosporou ta Stena" that says it all! It is given below, Unfortunately, the English translation cannot do justice to the original. There are at least three recordings of the song on YouTube: Sung by George Dalaras, Sung by Dalaras and Glykeria and Sung by Glykeria and Omar Faruk Tekbilek

Greek ("Screen Dump")
English Translation

 First performance: George Dalaras

 In the strait of Bosporus
 Yiannis cries in the evenings
 and Mehmet on his side
 drinks and sings to him

 I am a Turk and you are Greek1
 both of us simple folks
 Christ for you, Allah for me
 but both of us sigh in pain.

 With a bit of love and wine
 I get drunk and you get drunk
 drink a bit from my cup
 my brother2 and my brother3

 I am a Turk and you are Greek1
 both of us simple folks
 Christ for you, Allah for me
 but both of us sigh in pain.

 1. The word for Greek is derived from "Roman" which is what Greeks called themselves since they were citizens of the Easter Roman Empire. More on that name.
2. The usual Greek word for brother.
3. A Greek word for brother derived from the Turkish word for brother.

Comments on the connection between Greeks and Turks

The following is another example from YouTube with comments that emphasize the close connection between "Greeks" and "Turks."

Comment by Atl_DAD
The people should read about Karaman people. They are ethnic Greeks, ancestry dating back to thousands of years in the same geography of Larger Cappadocia. Their native tongue is Turkish, but the text is Greek alphabet. My family originally from Talas/Kayseri (Moutalaski - Kaseria). I grew up thinking I am pure blood Turkish. My DNA test showed me I have 27% Greek in me, and yet Turkish is less than 1%. I was able to locate and unite with 4th degree cousins that are Greek in the US. Most of us who cherish the tradition, the foods, and the sounds are shared by all these people lived in this geography in harmony for hundreds of years. What people are really is what they perceive about themselves instead of who they really are? Hadi saglicakla kalin. Love and Peace.

First reply (by Tasosdio21)
You shouldn't be astonished. The vast majority of modern turkish population are not pure blood turkish. The reason is fairly simple. It would be impossible if nearly 90,000,000 modern Turks directly originated from the 200 - 300, even 1000 Oghuz Turks that migrated westwards from their homeland, the area surrounding Balkhash. Glad that you discovered your origins!

Second reply (by emrah sözümert)
There is actually no Turkish or Greek blood. They are only identities. Muslim locals and Karamanli people are sharing the same ancestry as they are locals of Anatolia. Being Anatolian is an identity by itself. My close turkish friend from Corum Turkey got his DNA results that he is 35% Greek his report says as today's tests see middle and West Anatolia Greek. If I get my blood tested, I would get similar results that I do not care and I am Anatolian like Armenian, Greeks, Today's Turks..we are grand..sons of Hittites, Phrygias, Ionias, Cacausians..

The Asia Minor Connection

Glykeria's family was originally from Smyrna. Given the destrution of Smyrna by Turks in 1922 one might expect her to be bitter about Turkey, but the opposite is true. This is not surprising to me. Ordinary "Greeks" and "Turks" got along fine (as I have described elsewhere in this site). The invation of Turkey by the Greek Army in 1918 bought out the worst elements on both sides. I have discussed his topic in detail elsewhere on this web site.

The outstanding Greek singer Stelios Kazantzidis (1931-2001) had parents from Asia Minor (father from Pontos and mother from Cappadocia) and he often sung Turkish song in their original language (An example). See the Wikipedia article about him for more. One remarkable aspect of his career was that he also sang in Israel and he was quite popular there (ibid). For example, two YouTube postings of Kazantzidis songs sung in Greek by the Israeli singer Shlomi Saranga: A collection and Pou Ise Mana.

Let me add a personal note. According to 23andMe my DNA shows that I am 65% Southern European and 27% West Asian! Thus I can claim that I am 2/3 Greek and 1/3 Turk!

Page created on 6/20/2018. Updated on 7/21/2018.