11 March 2007

TurkTube Open for Business

The AP reports today that YouTube is back in business in Turkey. Two days after the popular online video service was banned from the country for carrying videos that allegedly insulted Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the head of Turk Telecom said he'd received a court order to lift the ban.

SoundRoots leans more towards free press than restrictions on content, particularly regarding insults of politicians. Respect should be earned, not legislated. And while YouTube certainly has some less-than-uplifting content, Turks and others can take comfort in the many positive expressions of culture available there. Like these:

Mercan Dede is a Canada-based Turkish musician/DJ who combines traditional roots with electronica. His latest album is Breath



Burhan Ocal is one of our favorite percussionists, hands down. His breathtaking darbouka (dumbek) skills are often on display with the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble. He also has collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Natacha Atlas, Kronos Quartet, and Paco De Lucia.


Omar Faruk Tekbilek is another Turkish ney player, whose albums enjoy wide distribution in the US. His latest release is Tree of Patience.


Finally, a scene from the film Crossing The Bridge: The Sound Of Istanbul:


Welcome back, Turkey.


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