2522) ASURAH – A Musical Play with a Message About the Others

 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com
On the first day of the month of Muharrem, the first month of the Moslem Hicri year 1428 (corresponding to 2008), a play opened at GarajIstanbul, a theater just below the Galatasaray Garaj in Beyoglu, . . .
Istanbul. Mustafa and Ovul Avkiran of Sokak Tiyatrosu, who wrote and directed the play, took part in the play as one of the 10 characters who sang, danced and played instruments in a small dark stage illuminated by a moving lighthouse

In the front of the stage, with only 149 seats in the theater, two huge cloth screens presented the main message of the play, with the following, one in Turkish and the other in English:

‘’Through History it has been Jews versus Christians versus Muslims, Muslims versus Jews, Jews versus Muslims... their religion to go on and on, to go on exile, to meet their ultimately death. The other was satisfied and ... so on.

The play opens with the sound of a drum and the performers come out from behind the curtain with chairs and their instruments in their hands. The stage is covered with big bottles filled with water and each performer finds a place among them. The main character, Mustafa Avkiran, begins to recite while his wife pounds herself, re-creating the Alevi self beating for the death of Huseyin in Kerbala... Then Mustafa wraps a cloth around his mouth and begins his walk around the stage which continues throughout the play, changing places and at one time, his wife pouring water over his head from three bottles. He never takes off the band around his mouth.

The cast consists of 3 women and 7 men who play clarinet, drum, bass, saz and sing 25 different songs in Turkish, Kurdish, Greek, Arabic, Suryani, Zaza, Pontus, Sefardic, mostly very sad. A lady behind me cried loudly throughout the play and messages appeared on the two screens on the census beginning in 1927, which is also read outloud. The first message stated that in 1927, the population of Turkey was 13,642,270, 86 % Turkish, 14% the other, also giving a breakdown for each group. Next is for 1935, then 1945, in 1955 around 24,000,000, followed by the 1990 figures, 65,310,000. The final message states that nationalities were not identified after the 1990 census.

The Suryani folk song reminds the audience that people left Turkey, hoping to come back:

Gittiler, dediler donecek, gelmediler
Sokaklar bos, kapilari kapali gittiler
Gorecekler, soyleyecegim, donecekler.

They left, they said they will return, but did not come back
The streets are empty, doors are closed they left
They will see, I tell you, they will come back..

At the end, the musicians lay their instruments down in front of the stage and one by one, cover their mouth with a band, except Ocul Avkiran, who speaks last. .Then the audience is treated to Asure, served by the cast members.

GarajIstanbul, Istanbul, January 9 – 24, 2008
Yuksel Oktay, PE – January 17, 2008


Post a Comment

Would You Please Update/Correct Any Of The
3500+ Posts by Leaving Your Comments Here
- - - Your Opinion Matters To Us - - -

We Promise To Publish Them Even If We May Not Share The Same View

Mind You,
You Wouldn't Be Allowed Such Freedom In Most Of The Other Sites At All.

You understand that the site content express the author's views, not necessarily those of the site. You also agree that you will not post any material which is false, hateful, threatening, invasive of a person’s privacy, or in violation of any law.

Please read the post then write a comment in English by referring to the specific points in the post and do preview your comment for proper grammar /spelling.

You need a Google Account (such as Gmail) to publish your comments.

Publishing Your Comments Here:
Please type your comment in plain text only (NO Formatting) in an editor like notepad first,
Then copy and paste the final/corrected version into the comment box here as Google/Blogger may not allow re-editing/correcting once entered in some cases.
And click publish.
-If you need to correct the one you have already sent, please enter "New Comment" as we keep the latest version and delete the older version as default

Alternative way to send your formatted comments/articles:

All the best