FERHAT TUNÇ DOCUMENTARY “The History has not treated us well”
was born in the place where the sun is blessed,the place where the fire is not extinguished with water the place where the face of earth is the face of God,the place where the mountain, stones, and sky are alive.
He was born in Dersim.
He spent his childhood and adolescence in this city which stands as strong as its nature.Dersim also identifies a history of resistance and uprising against opression as well as a history of massacres and exile. Thus, mourning and sadness have both accompanied and fostered Dersim.If one listen to mountains, waters, and lakes facing the sky, their klams (songs) are heard.Ferhat heard those songs and whispers. He then decided to express those songs and whispers.
Ferhat not only saw which parts of mountain are human, and which parts of human are mountain, he also heard that.In the 1960s, when immigrant workers left for Germany to earn their daily subsistence, Ferhat was also left behind with his grandfather…
For Ferhat, this childhood was a tragedy of waiting for his father every night.Ferhat was raised by his grandfather, and this rich experience made him Ferhat TunçThat grandfather survived the Dersim massacre thanks to a few Turkish words that his mother knew. He was taken as a dead body.
That grandfather was brought back to life by the mother as she gave birth to him before. That grandfather could not find a place to hide these sufferings except his tears.
Ferhat got to know his grandfather from his instince on life despite all of those sufferings.In Ferhat’s life, this experience emerged as a huge suffering as well as tremendous richness.Mournings of the gradfather has guided and still guides Ferhat even today….
For this reason, in his artistic work, Ferhat has supported, stayed and standed with the suppressed, the hurt, the outcasted, the exiled, the humiliatated… This is also the reason that he was outcasted, exiled, and prosecuted.
During the primary school years, on the one hand he was going to school, on the other hand, he was playing his bağlama (a traditional stringed musical instrument) in special organizations. In his language and saz (a traditional stringed musical instrument), sadness and excitement has accompanied each other.
This awareness made him ‘Dersim’s young bard’ at his early age.It is difficult to explain…
At the end of 1979, beginging of the1980s Ferhat found himself in Germany.
This, however, was not a voluntary departure.There was a strom inside of me.This internal flame was burning from inside.
Departing from his rivers, mountains, springs, winters As well as departing from his comrades, And leaving for distant lands were not easy for him.
Winds of September 12th did not hit the doors, break the windows, and scared the children yet.It did not freeze and shatter the men yet, İt did not destroy barricades and walls.It did not uproot the trees and scatter the flowers.
It was before September, death’s name was Maraş, it was also Çorum, and also Malatya. Families were weighing out the life. Not all of those who left home in the morning returned in the evenning. That life was like a destiny left in front of every door.Each parent was rushing to rescue their children from that destiny.
That ‘rush’ was the reason behind Ferhat’s involuntary departure from Dersim for Germany…Instead of melting and getting lost in Germany away from Dersim, Ferhat wanted to focus on music and create sucessful art-works.
This wish made him meet the American musician Darnel Sumers. Sumers shared his experience that he acquired from “reggae” with Ferhat Tunç.
The base of this relation was music, and this relation opened new horizons for Ferhat after his grandfather’s mournings.These experimental works, in which two German and a Greek musicians were also inlvoved, developed and turned into a concert series held at various centers of Europe.
Ferhat Tunç; Turned his musical works into a musical album as a result of a project that he started working on with Orhan Temur in 1984. It was the “Bu Yürek Bu Sevda Var İken” album.The album compiled songs that show his objections to September 12th military regime.
Ferhat; Returned to Turkey, while September 12th standed with all of its results in 1985. And he made a new start and released his first album, “Vurgunum Hasretine.”Album was well received by a wider audience and Ferhat Tunç became a voice of the opposition in Turkey.
Siding with the supressed would make him pay for it. Without any other chance, Ferhat Tunç would pay for it from from day to day. He held hist firt album concert in Emek Movie Theather after Ahmet Kaya.
This was the first time that he came together with his audience. The movie theather was fully packed.Ferhat was also very excited and nervous.
While struggling to overcome his nervousness in the backstage, he entered a room and noticed an old women lying down on her bed.That woman was the mother of the theather manager, Mr. Hikmet.
Ferhat approached and introduced himself to the woman, kissed her hands and received her best wishes. Then, he took the stage alongside cheers.Nobody knows that.Concerts were held one after another, each concert looked like a demonstration.
The second concert was held in the historical teagarden of Beşiktaş.It was as clear as water, and also ready to break out sudeenly to breathe you in.
A statement left unfinished, a missing chisel touch. Damn! Ferhat had a black-white statue to chisel… Ferhat was crying for others not to cry
Ferhat was crying with himself, He was crying with Ferhat…
Best seller albums and an eminent artist for the opposing circles would pay the price. Of course, that price would be detainments, threats, courts and ongoing concert bans.
Beşiktaş concert marked the begining of such times…
A day after the concert, newspapers accused Ferhat of ‘separatism’ for singing a song in Kurdish.
Yes, Ferhat was a separatist in a country where Kurds live.
Yes, Ferhat was a separatist for singing in his language.
Yes, Ferhat was green to be fair to the tree that has sheltered him.Ferhat was red even when one believes and gives up her/his life while nobody believes.
He was a mother’s breast to feed the children crying. He was the endurance for the children squeezing their fists…While crying, Ferhat was also ready to laugh.
Looking at Ferhat Tunç;
You see that it is impossible to detach Ferhat from his music as well as the music from Ferhat.You hear that he has considered the problems of his region as his own problems and expressed them.
You understand how he has resisted series of supression and prosecution by considering 22 albums that he released.You experience that he opposes to any injustice wherever it happens.
To summarize, Ferhat Tunç is a dissident identity that is created with his songs.You see that he has payed back to Dersim and the dissident culture from which he is originated.
Ferhat was not content only with singing.
In 1992 Newroz celebrations, he was in Cizre, and with other human rights activists , he also felt death on his skin. While children and women were being crushed under tank pallets, he was also standing with them.Dersim was banned to him, the city that he was born and raised.
Each time he wanted to go to Dersim, he was welcomed with the state’s arms and tanks. It was same while the forests were being burnt, villages were being evacuated, and people were rising up against the hunger and poverty that the food blockades caused…
State knew only one language, it was the language of ‘banning.’ Its shadow was fear and death.It was thise times in which the days turned as darker as nights.In those times, through his songs, Ferhat conveyed the experienced sufferings to the humanity. It was the times in which the humanity has become extinct…
Güçlükonak’ta bir münübüsün içinde, on bir köylü yakılarak katledildiğinde de acının peşine düşüp, vardı onların yanlarına Ferhat. When eleven people were burnt to die inside a minibus in Güçlükonak, he followed the suffering and standed with them. The grabed hands were suddenly smashed to smithereens.
At that day, teardrops suddenly froze on the eyes.Crying went over its borders and turned to a useless scream, searching for a sky to resonate.The sky kneeled down and mourning in human language… Güçlükonak was a place where the children did not see any civilians but only soldiers and paramilitary village guards.
It was just before the tales, just after the oppresion.At that time, Ferhat was there, he was standing with the children…
Ferhat did not just sing his songs; His body was wherever the oppression was His mind was wherever the missing were. His breathing was wherever the death was.Ferhat did not just sing his songs.When what he saw went beyond his songs, he started writing articles.
When his articles remained limited, he rescued himself in his book, “Zor zamanlar ve ince şarkılar [Hard times and fine songs]”
All in all, Ferhat Tunç was a singer, human rights activist, writer, a dissident artist,
a father of a daughter, and a thirty-year spouse.
Not everyone can become a comrade on a path, But one of the comrades’ path can be obstructed by the death.At that moment, one complains that the death for finding the other, but not oneself. For days, one wanders like a dead body.
Whatever one touches, the saz does not talk, it remains silent like death …
The name of all pains turns into Ahmet, and the surname Kaya Maps remain limited, foreign lands turn into a grave…
It is not enough…
There was a person common in both Ahmet and Ferhat’s life.A person who they hardly share in loving…He was not an arbitrary person.His name was Yusuf, the surname Hayaloğlu.For Ahmet, he was “Hani benim gençliğim [Where was my youth]” For Ferhat, he was “Vuruldu bir uçurum derinliğinde [’For Ahmet, he was “Diyarbakılı Bahtiyar [Bahtiyar from Diyarbakır]”
For Ferhat, he was “Şapkasına hicran düşen Baba idi [The father whose hat was hit by sorrow]”It was impossible to deatch one from the other.They were not the good boys, for the state, they were guilty and could never be forgiven.If they waited and left for the streets late, the revolution would have broken out
They rushed and got early …
They knew it, but still they continued.
It is said that everyone departs would leave the remained alone.
But no, that is not the case. Ferhat is walking with their memory, he is not alone…
Ferhat, during his 30-year long art life, realsed 22 albums.
Natural, ordinary, but not obsolete, 22 music albums resisting all the sufferings. Maybe they are a roadmap that leaves opppression for freedom.Maybe a tea as a cure to tiredness…They have signs of a meeting which was informed on. They are two music notes which were seen guilty wherever they fell down…
There is stubbornnes of two elders who never leaves their homes, in these songs…
If you listen, you would hear the voice of unblocked waters.You would find Dersim who does not have sugar when it has flour, who does not have any neighbour when it has the both.
These songs were stopped, went through checkpoints, and were body-searched. These songs carry an incredible longing for Dersim. If you have a longing, you would find it…
Each time we look back, we got startled.Time started crying Gray rivers under the moonlight They loaded their sufferings and left.The reaminings left up in the air, like a deep ‘sigh.’
Looking at the absence of the loved ones Which was an edge, a dumb….
They planted moon, cultivated day Each time we look back, we got startled. Hey!, the climate that makes the rose bloom to the spring Hey!, the great moaning of the silenced soil Hey!, the seed that got cracked…
If he does not sign and write In the country of death,If the living are not alive,
If the dead are not dead…
If he does not love a woman, If he is not a father of a daughter,Would he witness the suffering, would kneel down when he loves If Ferhat does not love….
**On July 11, 2005, Ferhat Tunç and the Human Rights Association’s Diyarbakir Branch’s head, Selahattin Demirtaş, left for bringing back the soldier, Çoşkun Krandi, who was captured by the PKK members.
** The artists’s last album compiled all Kurmanci –his native tongue– mournings and it was named as “Şuware Kırmanciye.” The album was realeased as an international project. The Kurmanci mournings in the album were also performed by the Oslo Church’s chorus in English.
** Ferhat Tunç published a book, titled “Zor Zamanlar İnce Şarkılar,” in 2010. He continues to work on his second book.
** The artist has been the Turkey representative of the FREEMUSE (World Music Forum) based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The artist shared the 2010 World Free Music Award with Iranian musician Mahza Vahdat.
** Ferhat Tunç, who is known with his dissident identity in the field of art, politics and media, has been living under tens of investigations and ongoing court cases. Besides his artictic work, the artist has contunied his struggle for a free, democratic and fraternal life in Turkey as a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK as known in its Turkish acronym).
** Being watered with the rebellious soul of his homeland and embracing that rebellious stance, Ferhat Tunç prefered to walk without compromising his artistic and social life. He summarizes his philosophy: “if we are the children of the same god, and if we live under the same sky, on the same earth and breathe the smae air, why would not we live the same ‘humanity?’
** In 2009, Ferhat Tunç was hosted in the Duke University for two weeks to attend a series of lectures, classes, panels, seminers and meetings on freedom of speech, human rights and censorship in music.
The list of the albums that Ferhat Tunç released during his artictic life since 1985, which was full of constant suppression, bans and attacks. These albums have reflected the social reality in Turkey:
1- “Kızılırmak” Almanya–1982
2- “Bu Yürek Bu Sevda Var İken” Almanya–1984
3- “Vurgunum Hasretine”-1986
4- “Ay Işığı Yana Yana”-1987
5- “Yaşam Direnmektir”-1988
6- “İstanbul Konserleri–1”-1988
8- “Gül Vatan”-1990
9- “Ateş Gibi”-1991
10- “İstanbul Konserleri–2”-1992
11- “Firari Sevdam”-1993
12- “Özlemin Dağ Rüzgârı”-1994
13- “Kanı Susturun”-1995
15- “Kavgamın Çiçeği”-1999
16- “Her Mevsim Bahardır”-2000
17- “Şarkılarım Tanıktır”-2002
18- “Nerdesin Ey Kardeşlik”-200
19- “Sevmek Bir Eylemdir”-2005
20- “Ateşte Sınandık” -2007″
21- “Çığlıklar Ülkesi” -2010
22- “Şuware Kırmanciye”-2012