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Artists were intimidated, too!

CHP (the main opposition party in Turkey) offered very high prices to authors of 3 songs but could not get permission to use those songs for their NO campaign. Gürsel Tekin, former vice-president of CHP, claimed that they couldn’t get those songs due to fear of the artists, Cumhuriyet reported.

CHP decided to lead a polyphonic NO campaign for the presidential system referendum, not highlighting the party identity. The joint NO campaign of different groups against Pinochet of Chile in 1988 was adopted. Later, a cheerful, vigorous, non-controversialist campaign which is not taking on the YES supporters of AKP was targeted.

the “NO” song

With this understanding, CHP started to search a suitable song for calling out to different groups and also not pushing away the YES supporters. Writing and promoting a new NO song would cost time, so CHP started to chase a widely remembered, popular song. They decided on 3 viable songs, and one of them was approved by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, president of CHP.

Despite the high price

CHP got in touch with the authors of those 3 songs and asked for the rights to use the melodies with new NO lyrics. Yet, neither of them accepted. Then CHP asked some intermediaries to bargain on their behalf and offered very high prices; still none was accepted. As time was running short, CHP decided to use the “Mavi Boncuk” (Blue Bead) song for the NO campaign.

Gürsel Tekin, confirmed that CHP could not get positive results from their discussions about the songs. He said, their offers were rejected with some unrealistic excuses and that the real reason behind was fear: “We think only the ordinary is intimidated but look, artists and highbrows of this country are also afraid of the government in power. This is a very deep fear. They are especially afraid that their copyright income from the Ministry of Culture will be suspended. Also, the main media is also in the hands of the government, these artists are producing music for many tv serials; so they are afraid to lose these jobs. But the result of the April 16 referendum will be NO and the fear of those artists, as well as Turkey in whole, will be over.”

Güliz Türker

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