Patients with mental illnesses form Ottoman army band in Turkey’s west
Patients at a mental institution in the western Turkish province of Manisa have formed an Ottoman army band.
Private news agency İHA reported Feb. 5 that the 15 patients of the Manisa Mental Health and Diseases Hospital who formed the band recently gave their first concert in the institution’s garden.
Health officials who spoke to the agency said that the activity is part of the patients’ treatment using music.
Named “the Raiders,” the group's performance was mostly based on Ottoman military music played traditionally by the janissary band, which was also known as the Mehteran.
“Let’s fight in the battle for God, let’s acquire fame! The Almighty is promising us victory in the Quran,” the lyrics of the popular Mehter anthem go.
The mental patients’ repertoire includes lighter tunes, too, as they also played in their first concert some cheerful folk songs, like Erik Dalı (Plum Branch).
Chief physician Huseyin Ilter told the agency that the new band trains for more than three hours for three days every week.
“Such activities are beneficial to prepare our patients for life more efficiently. They are very happy now,” he said.