Turkey’s Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO) on Dec. 3 opened a new concert hall in the capital Ankara.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Presidential Symphony Orchestra building will serve as a symbol of the country's rich culture and art.
He said that the new concert hall will host several kinds of music events and will play pieces from different composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Dmitri Shostakovich and Frédéric François Chopin.
“The world's voice from all languages and genres will gather here; the beauties inside us will reflect on the musical notes here. Tones of Mozart and Bach, rhythms from compositions of Shostakovich and Chopin will meet here,” he said.
'AKP played significant role in breaking cultural taboos in music'
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has played a significant role in breaking many of the taboos in music, such as seeing certain forms of music as superior to others, Erdoğan said.
“This country has gone through absurd periods in which Turkish folk and classical music were banned on the grounds that it was 'oriental music'... Those who thought they can change people with oppression and tyranny also believed at the time that they can change people's music taste with sanctions,” Erdoğan said.
The president said that it is thanks to the AKP's rule that the cultural life in Turkey has now gotten to be “more colorful, unique and authentic.”
Erdoğan was referring to former cultural taboos patronizing so-called Arabesque music. This genre had been for long years excluded from the official canon and from state broadcasting, qualifying as “oriental” music.
"During our term, Turkey broke free not only in politics, economy and defense, but also in culture, art, music, literature," he said.
"We have endeavored to embrace all kinds of works that will add value to the cultural and artistic life of our country and increase the diversity in this field," Erdoğan added.