Armenian pop artist calls for peace before concert

Armenian pop artist calls for peace before concert

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Armenian pop artist calls for peace before concert

Nuse Yaseyan says she does not kow either Turkey, Turks or the Armenians of Istanbul, and she is nervous about the reception the concert will receive. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Armenian pop singer Nune Yesayan will appear on stage tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Istanbul’s Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center, despite lingering political strains between Turkey and Armenia, and is issuing a message of friendship.

“Yes, the borders are politically closed, but our hearts are open. I do not believe there are any boundaries in music,” Yesayan, who has given many international concerts in the past, told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Yesayan said she does not know either Turkey, Turks, or the Armenians of Istanbul, and she was nervous about the reception the concert would receive.

“I will remain in Istanbul for four more days. There is a picture of Istanbul I have created in my mind. Whether I will find that or encounter completely different surprises, I do not know. Like all tourists, Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace are the first places I would like to see,” she said, adding that her first concert in Istanbul has great significance for her.

Yesayan has frequently been asked in the Armenian press whether she harbored any fears about going to Turkey, and she said it was one of the greatest dreams of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist who was assassinated in front of his Istanbul office on Jan. 19, 2007, that she should give a concert in Turkey. “I am in Istanbul to realize that dream.”

“There is no point in [harboring] enmity; new generations do not think like the old anymore. Yes, there are great scars among the Armenians in relation to the genocide, but this does not prevent us from looking toward the future,” Yesayan said.

Yesayan is also interested in participating in a joint concert with Turkish artists to be staged in both Turkey and Armenia, and said that she would like to see such a concert dedicated to a peaceful future, which she referred to as the “true victory.”

Proposal for joint concert with Hülya Avşar

She received a proposal to appear in a joint concert with popular Turkish artist Hülya Avşar several years ago, through the Jewish community, but turned the offer down, Yesayan explained. “Of course, I would have liked [to have appeared in such a concert], but why should the Jewish community act as a mediator between two neighboring countries like Turkey and Armenia? That was what I could not get myself to accept. I do not think we should need mediators,” she said.

Yesayan also denounced the rows that have occasionally erupted between Turkey and Armenia over the identity and origins of common songs in recent years, saying that songs have no ownership.
Despite the fact that her roots bear no connection to Anatolia, Yesayan said she still harbors great sympathy for the region. “[My] time is very limited now. I would like to journey eastwards and see those places the next time I come around,” she said.

“What hurts me most deeply are the obnoxious statements [made] against us [the Armenians]. Neither the Turks nor any other nation in the world, not only ours, could accept the use of such obnoxious language,” Yesayan said.