Thursday, June 20, 2024

Haïdouti Orkestar has Brought the Spirit of the EU to Anatolia Through its Music

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The ‘Haïdouti Orkestar’, comprised of musicians from France, Greece, Türkiye, Romania, and Serbia, has embarked on a remarkable tour of Anatolia. Organised by the European Union Information Centres (EUIC) to mark Europe Day, the concerts, encapsulating the benefits of solidarity, multiculturalism, and coexistence, were held in four cities, reflecting the cross-cultural theme “Values and history we share.”  


Band is comprised of musicians from France, Greece, Türkiye, Romania, and Serbia

For 14 years, the band which is based in Paris, has explored the musical heritage of the Balkans, Türkiye, and the Middle East. Babel Connexion, their fourth album, was released in 2017. It features tracks influenced by Armenian, Azeri, and Lebanese music. The polyphonic, multiethnic, and multicultural band uses its songs to fight against hate speech and cultural isolationism.

Sylvain Dupuis, the band’s drummer

Sylvain Dupuis, the bands drummer, explains how their multicultural music comes about: We all reside in France, each bringing our own culture to the table, resulting in a wonderful blend in the music we create.

Adrian Iordane, the band’s accordionist

Adrian Iordane, the band’s accordionist, says: “As a gypsy musician, I think that it’s important to show the richness of my music and tradition. It’s a great pleasure to be able to share my musical skills.” 

The band started their journey on May 7th in Van, performed in Şanlıurfa on May 9th, and Gaziantep on May 10th, and concluded their tour in Kayseri on May 11th. The band members adored Türkiye.

“It’s my first time in Türkiye. The atmosphere here is great. I like Şanlıurfa a lot,” reflects band member Manel Girard. 

Ruşan Filiztek, one of the two members of the band originally from rkiye

The band includes musicians from Türkiye, one of which is Ruşan Filiztek. He states: “We were very excited. On the Van, Urfa, Antep, Kayseri route, we both experienced the richness of nature and the friendliness of the Turkish people.” 

Edika Gündüz, the other member of the band from Türkiye, says: “The audience was wonderful. When our music combined with their energy, we experienced an amazing emotional exchange with them.”

Edika Gündüz, the band’s soloist

Audiences sang along with the band

The audiences were thrilled with the concerts; they sang along with the band, danced, and applauded enthusiastically.

Gönül Doğru, a member of the audience in Gaziantep, remarked: The orchestra played the music of our common culture. Even though the lyrics of the songs were in different languages, we all sang along because the melodies were familiar.” Levent Elbeyli, a Gaziantep audience member, says: With a vision worthy of a European city, we saw a beautiful concert in Gaziantep.

The audience was dancing with great enthusiasm

“It was a very nice event. The melodies were familiar because we share the same geography,” states Furkan Kapanoğlu, an attendee of the Kayseri concert. 

Melike Demirbaş, a member of the audience in Şanlıurfa, reflects: “I loved the concert. Thanks to everyone involved.” 

Erinç Açıkgöz, an attendee of the Van concert, says: “It was a great concert. Haïdouti was a band I had never heard of before, but, as a musician, I was very impressed. They synthesised many genres skilfully.” 

Band members dancing on stage

Highlighting the values of the EU

The EUIC coordinators confirm the publics considerable interest in the concerts. Erol Yüncü, Şanlıurfa EUIC Coordinator, emphasises the significance of the concerts: We received a lot of positive feedback both before and after the concert. Such activities underline the values of the EU and show that different cultures can live together harmoniously.” 

Sezin Darwish, Gaziantep EUIC Coordinator

According to Sezin Darwish, Gaziantep EUIC Coordinator: “Gaziantep is situated in what was once the historical region of Mesopotamia, the cradle of all civilisations. Consequently, the Haudouti Orchestra, which unites individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, was warmly received in Gaziantep. Through the universal power of music, we have introduced the people of Gaziantep to the European Union.”

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Türkiye, Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, says: “The band itself, the music it plays and the concerts it performs are a testament to the unifying power of music. The emotional connection and sharing between the band members and the audience during the concert was priceless. As EU Delegation, we are proud to participate in this valuable exercise in cultural sharing.”  

Click here for the video to witness the fascinating journey and experience the universal appeal of music. 
Stories about EU-Türkiye cooperation 

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