Manu Chao hails Gezi protests as ‘inspiring fight for change’
ISTANBULAcclaimed musician Manu Chao, who is set to appear in a concert in Istanbul this weekend, has commended last year’s Gezi demonstrations with great enthusiasm and support.
The renowned singer and political activist referred to the protests as an “inspiring fight for change and a better world,” commending the “courage, tenacity and determination” shown by hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets across the country.
“In my opinion, the most important element in the beginning of the movement was the power that took its source from the difference of opinions. People went there for the solidarity. And this doesn’t happen all of the time in other parts of the world,” Manu Chao told daily BirGün in an interview published June 19.
“The demonstrations of leftists sometimes fade and don’t bring results because they are so carried away by the fight for what is right that they fail to see the real enemy in the picture. I can say based on my experience that this occurs most of the time. But the key during [Gezi] was people were able to become one body,” he said.
Always known for his political activism and raising social issues in his songs, the Spanish-origin French musician has shown the Turkish prime minister as the main individual responsible for the current problems in the country.
“Of course, I don’t know sufficiently [about Turkish politics] to say whether he is the problem or not. I want to learn about it more when I come. I send my best wishes to those who are trying to change Turkey’s social and political vision,” he added.
Manu Chao is set to take part in the Ekşi Fest on June 21 at LifePark Istanbul, alongside Turkish Dub and Reggae groups Baba Zula and Sattas. The festival has been organized by the country’s most popular, funny and irreverent online forum, Ekşi Sözlük or “Sour Dictionary,” whose founder recently received a 10-month’s suspended prison sentence on charges of blasphemy.
Manu Chao also said he expected to meet some of the protesters of the Gezi demonstrations, while stressing music should always be similar to reporting.
“As an artist, I don’t see myself much different than a journalist. I want to tell about everything that is happening around me. And of course, when we do this, we have to talk about politics because we face it in every problem,” he said.