Hurriyet Daily News: Turkish deputy PM rejects song for lyrics mentioning national alcoholic drink ‘rakı’



Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. DHA Photo

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç asked a local singer not to sing the folk song “Vardar Ovası” because the song contained the word “rakı” in the lyrics in a meeting with the Bursa-based Balkan Immigrant’s Culture and Support Association, or Bal-Göç, on Aug. 9.

A local folk singer, Fahriye Güney, asked Arınç for support to attend cultural events abroad, during the deputy prime minister’s visit to Bal-Göç for Eid-el-Fitr. Arınç asked Güney to sing and evaluated her performance.

When some people in the room asked Güney to sing the famous Balkan song “Vardar Ovası” (Vardar Valley), Arınç said jokingly that “this song’s lyrics include rakı [a local alcoholic beverage]. Sing a different song.” “Sing it when I am not here,” he added. Güney skipped the song and sang a different one upon Arınç’s demand.

However, Arınç posted a tweet in 2011 saying that he was listening to the song with pleasure.

“Atatürk’s favorite songs are playing. My wife and I are listening that magnificent song ‘Vardar Ovası’ with great pleasure,” he wrote.

9 August 2013