The Ney Player of the Presidency Fasıl Music Group, Mr.Burhanettin Ökte's Memories


Note: We had a very close friendship with Burhanettin Ökte. I heard some of his memories, which he had he noted down during his membership in Atatürk’s Music Society of Fasıl, from himself. I mention some of his memories with regards, benefiting from his articles in music magazines and bringing them together.

One night, we were in Mr. Celal Bayar’s house. He was the General Manager of Turkiye İş Bank. There was a wedding reception of Mr. Celal Bayar’s brother in law Mr. Muhtar. We were playing joyful parts in a freindly atmosphere. It was nearly about midnight. They said the Pasha was coming.

Really, Atatürk came with some other guests. The joy of the society increased greatly. Everybody felt a great happiness. The Fasıl Music Group was playing continuously one song after another. In the mean time, we were playing the composition of “Darüssıla” of Mr. Ali Rıfak. Atatürk shown great interested in the lyrics and the composition of this marvellous work.

Süleymen Nazif had written the lyrics during his captivity in Malta. A lady told us about a song when Atatürk pointed out that there were few songs on the subject of captivity. If I am not mistaken, it was the work of Kaptan Zade Ali Rıza. Atatürk wanted to listen to the composition sung by the voice of the lady and said to me:

- Please accompany the lady.

The lady started to sing the composition that I had never heard before. The musicians could easily be expected to accompany an unknown composition with an instrument such the “Ney” (a long flute).

Surely, the only thing I could do was to play the parts I could guess at as well as possible. That probably made him nervous and he scolded me. I was ashamed. The lady was also sorry, for being the cause of a difficult situation for me.

We played other compositions...