My Top 5 Podcasts of 2016

I cannot remember how I used to function before podcasts. I listen to them during my runs and walks, when driving, and (wife permitting) when I’m getting prepared in the morning.

Podcasts are radio programs that appear in your phone and patiently wait for you to listen to them in your own time.  They disappear once you finish listening to them.

I cannot remember how I used to function before them. I listen to podcasts during my runs and walks, when driving, and (wife permitting) when I’m getting prepared in the morning.

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Connecting Rebellion

The program’s format goes like this: first you play a song from say Iron Maiden, let’s suppose you play Hallowed Be Thy Name, a song about a man on his way to the gallows. To proceed to the next song, the DJ has to find a connection to another artist. Let’s also assume that you have a schizophrenic taste of music and you are also fond of Michael Bolton’s How Am I Supposed to Live Without You. This is a song about a man who doesn’t know how he’s supposed to live without her.

My friend Tim hosts a radio show in Açık Radyo, the most progressive and diverse of Turkish radios, and he asked me to be a guest DJ on it.  The show is called Connections; the point is playing songs that are somehow (by hook or by crook) connected.

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Protest Music from Gezi Park

In this case when I say Protest Music I mean something else. I’m adding some videos below which are all about the protests but would not be filed under this genre. Maybe it can be said that just like the people, music genres are also uniting to protest against the PM and his government during the Summer of 2013.

If you walk around the music aisles in a Turkish music shop, you’ll come across a section called Protest Music.  Typically, Protest Music bands are leftist bands with a huge following, especially in high schools and universities.  The music is a crossover between folk and rock and the lyrics are about freedom, repression and uprising, capitalism and the oppressed, and the revolution that never comes.  It’s customary to say anti-American slogans here and there.  The male singers always have a what we call Davidian voice (meaning deep and husky a la Barry White) and the females usually sing nasally with a high pitch.

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People’s Republic of Taksim

The Gezi Park was packed, and it looked like a carnival. There were street vendors selling all sorts of food, guitar players with cigarettes in their mouths with the ash almost falling onto their laps, people dancing the halay, voracious readers reading in dim light, a tattoo maker with a sign that said, “Ataturk’s signature tattooed with henna”, more people dancing the halay, people singing songs by Zulfu Livaneli (a popular leftwing singer from the 90’s), people sleeping to get prepared for the long night, occupiers on cleaning duty going around with huge trash bags, a lot of people taking photos and even more people dancing the halay.

Since the #occupygezi demonstrations began on May 31st, I’ve been spending some of my evenings around Taksim Square strolling among the demonstrators in the police-free People’s Republic of Taksim in the centre of Istanbul.

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The Teargas Revolution

I can see a growing interest from the rest of the world regarding the anti government (i.e. anti Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan) demonstrations in Turkey. But the real perplexing thing for us Turks is that the demonstrations have mobilised a previously numb and apolitical fraction of the society.

I can see a growing interest from the rest of the world regarding the anti government (i.e. anti Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan) demonstrations in Turkey.  But the real perplexing thing for us Turks is that the demonstrations have mobilised a previously numb and apolitical fraction of the society.

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