Musician and 'wise person' Orhan Gencebay to compose for peace process
Orhan Gencabay is one of the most popular musicians in Turkey. DHA photoOne of Turkey’s most iconic musicians, Orhan Gencebay, who was recently named on the "wise persons" commission to strengthen public support for the ongoing peace process, has told daily Star that he accepted the offer despite having health problems, adding that he is currently composing "songs for peace."
Gencebay, a member of the sub-commission for the Black Sea region, also said in the interview published April 20 that criticism directed at the commission had hurt him a lot.
“We have assumed responsibility, but there is a prejudice that really saddens me. I shoulder the sorrows and burdens for peace and offer you my heart, I said. Let’s live in peace in this heavenly country. No one who suggested we become part of the wise persons commission ordered us to do this or that,” he said.
Unable to participate in the regional meetings because of ongoing heart problems, the popular artist said he had started composing songs for peace as his personal contribution to the commission’s work.
In the interview, Gencebay shared the lyrics of one of the verses he has written: “The fabric of this nation is as sacred as life / The world created by my creator is the motherland / I do not discriminate between tongues, religions, or genders in this foreign place that is the world / They call me Orhan, but my real name is human.”
Gencebay said he had accepted the proposal to join the commission despite the recurrence of his cardiac arrythmia. “When the wise persons commission initiative came up, my illness had recurred. But when our minister made the proposition, I could accept it despite my illness,” he said.
He also said that nationalist leader Devlet Bahçeli’s harsh words against the artists who have joined the commission had “broken his heart.”
“Gencebay will salvage the situation with moving words,” Bahçeli had said ironically, accusing the participating artists of becoming spokespeople for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“After his words, I had to go to my doctor for an examination,” Gencebay said, stressing that every member of the wise persons commission "loved his country."
“I’ll give my life for my land if necessary. But instead of giving our life to our land, we should live for it and make it a better place. It is better to live for a lover than to die for her,” he said.