Bells ring with melody of Erdoğan campaign song in central Turkish school
KAYSERİ – Doğan News Agency
Students at the Hacı Sami Boydak school start and finish their classes to the rhythm of the Dombra, which also played out to thousands of AKP supporters across Turkey during Erdoğan's recent election rallies. DHA PhotoThe school bell at a primary school in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri has prompted complaints from parents, after its melody was changed to a tune based on a pop song that was the official anthem of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) local election campaign in March.
The song “Dombra,” based on a Central Asian folk tune, became identified with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after singer Uğur Işılak adapted its lyrics into a eulogy for the former prime minister at the request of the AKP.
The song was played repeatedly during rallies held by Erdoğan during both the local and the presidential election campaigns, warming up the thousands of supporters gathered at city squares across Turkey.
However, a number of parents of students at the Hacı Sami Boydak School in Kayseri have expressed their objection to the use of the song as the school bell’s melody, arguing that it politicized schoolchildren. The school’s administration has rejected these claims, saying “Dombra” was chosen to be the bell’s melody long before it became the AKP’s campaign song.
In the adapted version of the song used during the local election, Işılak’s lyrics praise Erdoğan as the “feared nightmare of the oppressor,” “the light of hope of millions” or “the leader awaited for years.”
The original tune is also known as the hymn of Nogais, a Turkic ethnic group living in the Caucasus, and Işılak was harshly criticized by some for using the folkloric tradition for political purposes.