Songs of resistance

The music of Occupy Gezi

From the lyrics of Eyvallah, a song by the rock band Duman.

Last night, protesters faced yet another incident of massive and indiscriminate violence as police raided Gezi Park. A detailed account of the events can be found here and here. Water cannons fired skin-burning chemicals. The police attacked the injured. They prevented doctors from helping, arresting them, and attacking a hospital near Taksim. In the midst of all this unfolding violence however, a more tragicomic event also took place: the piano that was used by Gezi Park protesters for concerts was also arrested.

From the first days of the demonstrations many artists expressed their solidarity with the #occupygezi movement, including celebrities such as singer Sezen Aksu, actor and director Yılmaz Erdoğan, comedian Şahan Gökbakar (see video below), writer Orhan Pamuk and even pop star Tarkan. A blog called ‘Artists in Resistance’ was started, gathering written or video messages from Turkish and foreign artists expressing their support.

Among musicians, rock band Duman was quick to record a dedicated song (watch below), which included the lyrics: “You have pepper spray, you have tear gas, you have batons and strong kicks, eyvallah”. The tune was released on May 31st and it was played more than 1.5 million times on You Tube. Many other famous and anonymous bands and singers released their own songs online. Student musical ensembles and choirs joined them. The blog ‘Music for Gezi’ keeps track of all this musical production.

With the help of our readers, Mashallah News gathered a selection of these ‘songs for resistance’. The diversity of genres, from traditional Turkish music to hard rock, hip-hop and electro, reflects the diversity of the demonstrators. The word “çapulcu” (looter) used by the prime minister makes its way into many lyrics, as does “gas”. The videos that accompany the songs reflect a deep sense of solidarity and derision: mocking with words, melodies and images the power, its lies and abuses. Many include footage of police brutality or mobilizations while others employ more comical backgrounds such as the famous penguins that became symbols of the movement after CNN Türk broadcast on June 2 a documentary about penguins while clashes and demonstrations were going on in many Turkish cities.

New York’lu Capulcular – Simdi Istanbul’da Olmak Vardi Anasini Satayim

Duman – Eyvallah

Boğaziçi Üniversitesi caz korosu – Çapulcu musun vay vay

Kardeş Türküler – Tencere tava havası (Sound of Pots and Pans)

Kesik Çayır (Çapulcu Versiyon)

Hakan Vreskala & protesters – Dağılın Lan

Yok Öyle Kararlı Şeyler – Kökler

EYPİO – Çapulcuyuz

Şahan Gökbakar – Gezi Parki Sarkisi

Ceyl’an Ertem – Bir Başka #DİRENGEZİPARKI

Ege Üniversitesi – Çapulcu Korosu

Quantum – Direniş Çığlığı