Turkish arabesque singer Gencebay composes campaign song for AKP Istanbul candidate Kurum

Famous Turkish arabesque singer Orhan Gencebay has released the campaign song he composed for ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul mayoral candidate Murat Kurum. Gencebay is a long-time supporter of the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Famous arabesque musician Orhan Gencebay and AKP's Istanbul candidate Murat Kurum

Duvar English

Famous Turkish arabesque singer Orhan Gencebay on Feb. 3 released the campaign song he composed for Murat Kurum, Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayoral candidate for Istanbul. 

Gencebay offered the campaign song to Kurum free of charge. The song “Istanbul Again” called the city “a gift from God,” and “the jewel of Turkey.” “All the world has its eyes on you,” the lyrics went.

Kurum shared the campaign song with an accompanying video on his social media accounts. “Have you listened to Orhan Gencebay’s song about the unique beauty of Istanbul? Thank you, Father Orhan,” his message read. Fans often call Gencebay “Father Orhan” (Orhan Baba).  

Gencebay is a very famous figure, especially with his albums produced in the 1970s and 1980s during the arabesque wave in Turkey.

Gencebay collaborated with AKP for the 2023 general elections and adapted a popular song for campaign use. He also made statements supporting President Erdoğan before the elections, where he suggested “foreign powers” were trying to overthrow the government, and congratulated Erdoğan’s “national stance.”