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Selim Sesler, troubadour songs and an Alevi ceremony

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 13 February 2010

Istanbul is a European Capital of Culture for 2010 and in the first of two programmes Moshe Morad goes in search of traditional music in this melting-pot of peoples and cultures. Including a live session at Badehane's bar with gypsy clarinettist Selim Sesler, troubadour songs recorded in one of the city's oldest hamams, and a rare recording of an Alevi ceremony. A minority branch of Shia Islam, the Alevis controversially believe in equality between men and women, and meet once a week for music and mass-wailing.
Istanbul is a rich and diverse meeting point for musicians in Turkey, and it's a city where you can find every type of Turkish traditional music represented. It's also a cross-roads between Europe and Asia, East and West. Moshe Morad explores this rich mix and records sessions with many of Turkey's top musicians – including one of the best clarinettists in the world (Selim Sesler), and Saz player Cengiz Ozkan. The music and the city are brought to life in a number of atmospheric settings such as the 15th Century bath-house Cemberlitas, an Alebi ceremony and the tiny bar called Badehane - in a quiet street away from the hustle and bustle of Taksim, it's where Selim Sesler has played every Wednesday night for nearly a decade. Moshe learns about some of Turkey's best-loved traditional instruments such as the kamanche and the saz, hears the stories behind the music, and finds out from the people who live there what Istanbul means to them. Is this vibrant city an island in Turkey, is it in Europe or Asia, and is it secular or religious?

Presented by Moshe Morad
Produced by James Parkin

Tel. 020 7765 4661
Fax. 020 7765 5052
e-mail world.routes@bbc.co.uk

Music and featured items

17 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Turkish and gypsy music

    Turkish musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek describes the essences of Turkish music.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Omar Faruk Tekbilek
      00:00

      Omar Faruk Tekbilek Istanbul

      One Truth, World Class 11309-2

    • Image for Selim Sesler & Ensemble
      00:05

      Selim Sesler & Ensemble Gypsy Medley

      Recorded by the BBC at Badehane’s Bar, Istanbul on 2nd December 2009

  • Selim Sesler

    Selim Sesler discusses his career and reflects on the condition of the Roma people.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Selim Sesler & Ensemble
      00:12

      Selim Sesler & Ensemble The Blue of the Sea

      Recorded by the BBC at Badehane’s Bar, Istanbul on 2nd December 2009

  • Future of Gypsy music

    Moshe talkso to members of the Roma association about the future of Gypsy music.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Selim Sesler & Ensemble
      00:20

      Selim Sesler & Ensemble Gypsy Medley

      Recorded by the BBC at Badehane’s Bar, Istanbul on 2nd December 2009

  • Haman music and Cengiz Ozkan

    Moshe learns how people would socialise, sing and play instruments in a haman.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Cengiz Özkan
      00:27

      Cengiz Özkan Improvised song in the style of Uzun Hava

      Recorded by the BBC at the Cemberlitas Haman, Istanbul on 7th December 2009

  • Cengiz Ozkan and the Saz

    Cengiz Ozkan describes his style of playing the Saz.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Cengiz Özkan
      00:36

      Cengiz Özkan Semah

      Recorded by the BBC at the Cemberlitas Haman, Istanbul on 7th December 2009

  • Alevi ceremony and the saz

    Moshe talks about the Alevi and how the saz is central to the Alevi practice.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Worshippers at Shakulu Dergahi in Merdivenkoy, Istanbul
      00:45

      Worshippers at Shakulu Dergahi in Merdivenkoy, Istanbul Alevi Ceremonial Chant # 1

      Recorded by the BBC, on location, on 6th December 2009

  • Turkish Muslims and the Alevi

    Alp explains the relationship between the majority Muslims in Turkey and the Alevis.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Worshippers at Shakulu Dergahi in Merdivenkoy, Istanbul
      00:51

      Worshippers at Shakulu Dergahi in Merdivenkoy, Istanbul Alevi Ceremonial Chant # 2

      Recorded by the BBC, on location, on 6th December 2009

  • Riza Osku and perceptions of Istanbul

    Moshe and Riza Oksu discuss the contrasting perceptions of Istanbul.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Marc Aryan
      00:57

      Marc Aryan Istanbul

      Istanbul’da, Artist Music ART110

  • Moshe with Omar Faruk Teklibek

    Moshe with Omar Faruk Teklibek

  • Selim Sesler (playing clarinet)

    Selim Sesler (playing clarinet)

    Selim Sesler playing his clarinet with a member of his group during a gig at Badehane's Bar.

  • Cengiz Ozkan

    Cengiz Ozkan

    Cengiz Ozkan playing the Saz in the Cemberlitas Haman.

  • The Cem

    The Cem

    The Cem or ceremony at the Shakulu Dergahi in Merdivenkoy, Istanbul

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