How much does it cost to hire a mehter band?
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) councilors say the expenditure is extravagance, pointing that the municipality’s total debt was 341.925 million liras at the end of 2017. They also remind that the provincial revenue office in Istanbul has placed a lien on the money flow from the Bank of Provinces to the municipality for its tax claims.
A small-scale research
The buyer is happy and the service provider is happier I guess, although we have no chance to receive comments from the audience yet.
I don’t know if these expenditures are within the scope of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to refrain from luxury goods and vanity.
But as a citizen who knows how to taken on a duty from the situation, I dropped everything and made a small-scale research to see if it is possible to reduce the mehter expenditures of the Fatih Municipality.
Mehter bands, which can perform on boat tours or at circumcision parties at a time when a national revival has been triggered across the country, are available to be hired through the websites of event companies.
According to my small-scale market research, done by calling the numbers I found after typing “hire mehter” on a search engine, it costs about 100 liras per band member to hire a mehter band of eight to 10 members. The total cost offers vary from 850 liras to 1,100 liras, and these are all hourly rates. If you wish to have more mehter band members, it costs more.
“We should listen to mehter marching music every single day, we cannot live without it,” some might say.
Then let’s multiply it with the number of days in a year. We find a sum of 365,000 liras.
“One hour a day is not enough, we should listen to mehter marches 24 hours a day,” some may contest.
I do not think so. But, anyway, let’s be generous.
“We have a bevy of mehter players,” they might say.
“Then you got a good deal,” I would respond. What else can I do?