Barana Turkey tour, day 4 and 5, Adana and Gaziantep

by stevenkamperman on 14/10/2012

After the conservative city of Kayseri, we our now heading for Adana, known for its self assured ‘rough’ people. They say everybody is swearing here constantly. First we have to cross the Toros mountains however, where we see magnificent views everywhere.

Climate wise, Adana is the hottest city in Turkey, with temperatures of 50 C in summer. Since it’s autumn now, it’s not so hot, but nonetheless everybody starts sweating when we get nearer. It’s really humid, everybody takes of their sweaters and is in T-shirt now. Then we go to eat what Adana is famous for: kebap, and a spectacular long one, I might add as well.

Though the hall is not really apt for our kind of music, with an unsubtle sound system, the band is cooking during the concert. We invite people to dance for our last song Dansopolis, and now you see the outgoing character of the people in Adana: all youngsters are rising from there seats, and we find ourselves dancing on stage and in front of it in between about 70 boys and girls. This really is a big party!

After the concert, we meet with our Dutch friend Miriam, and her father, who lives near Adana now. Also we meet with Turkish singer/baglama player Özhan, who moved here a year ago. Suddenly Adana does not seem some obscure city in the south of Turkey, but appears to be the center of the world. Then it is finally beer o’clock.

Day 5, Gaziantep

We are heading east for Gaziantep, which is near the Syrian border in the south of Turkey. Some Dutch friends were a bit worried about that, after the incident with the Syrian bomb that fell on a Turkish city near the Syrian border. But that city was really close, almost on the border; Gaziantep on the other hand is at a reassuring distance. Some Turkish people are indeed afraid that the conflict with Syria might develop into a bigger thing. Personally, I think Syria would be out of its mind to risk messing with the NATO country that Turkey is.

Gaziantep is quite beautiful, it has a lot of beautiful buildings and is pretty green. Some people call it the Paris of the south, but then again I have heard that also say when we were in Beirut and in Damascus, haha. Anyway, it is a rich city, with lots of enterprises. Behsat tells that there is a saying here in Gaziantep: give me your Ferrari, and tomorrow I will have made a second one. Meinrad replies: ‘So, they are the Chinese of Turkey?’, but that was not exactly the image that Behsat wanted to imply…

Without wanting to insult anybody in Adana, nor the rest of Turkey: the kebap in our restaurant in Gaziantep is one of the best I’ve ever had. While eating that, I don’t know yet that Gaziantep is also the city of baklava, so I cannot get away without eating that too. There go all my ideas about eating less food this tour.

The halls are getting bigger all the time. Up till now we had full houses with 400 people, but this university stage has at least 500 seats. Luckily it’s full again, so the atmosphere is very nice. Behsat is shining and Ceylan is singing particularly superbly tonight. Come to think of it: except for one time when she had catched a very bad cold in Holland at the the end of our first tour, I cannot remember any weak moment in her singing. On the contrary, it is like she is getting stronger and more powerful every concert. She is so sincere and open to the public, really showing all of herself, it is truly inspiring. I want to play music with her my whole life!


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