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An Artist Who Blends Music Culture With Gastronomy

 

ZEKİYE YÜREKLİ and GALATA GAZİ

 

Interview by Zennup Pınar Çakmakcı

 

 

Her interest in art (music, painting, literature, craftsmanship) goes back to school years. When failing the class for two consecutive years at the second grade of high school, she is expelled from school despite good efforts of music and art teachers, who, most sincerely, wanted her to get into conservatory. Having been kicked out of school, she inevitably gets a start in business at seventeen. She works at a phone shop, textile stores and a hospital. In the evenings she studies to retake failed courses to be qualified for a high school diploma.

When she works at the hospital she meets the Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Ali Rıza Bilginer and has a unique opportunity of working with him, who has a vast knowledge in music. Her only dream is to get into conservatory, which seems barely possible at the time.

Dr. Ali Bilginer introduces her to classical Turkish music. He talks Zekiye about classical western music, classical Turkish music and world music that plays on his radio at the internal medicine polyclinic.

In 2009, Gürmen Türkan (father to Derya Türkan) spares time to give Zekiye some guidance, who is admitted to Istanbul University Municipality Conservatory and also to Istanbul University Faculty of Forestry. As Gürmen Türkan has retired from the Presidential Classical Turkish Music Choir, he frequently takes Zekiye to the classical choir rehearsals and concerts.  Zekiye carries on with her studies in difficulties for two years. Eventually her love for music outweighs, and she suspends her studies at the Faculty of Forestry. She begins to have tambour courses from Murat Aydemir, her favorite tambour virtuoso. When she takes leaves of Istanbul she will be utterly sad to say goodbye to tambour courses.

Towards the end of 2011, she meets Dimitris Bousounis. They figure out that they have many things in common now that music is at the heart of their life for both of them. These things in common pave the ground for love over time. Dimitris settles down in Istanbul for his love. Two souls in love produce music projects in Greek-Turkish, and also take the stage. For Cafe Aman Istanbul band, Dimitris plays guitar and bouzouki while Zekiye is the soloist.

They get married when Zekiye finishes her studies in 2014, and they decide to move to Athens after a year. As soon as they settle down in Athens, they get to work, and successfully give the very first concert of “Ala Turka Ala Greka” project with an eight-member orchestra. Just as they show up at a number of festivals in Greece and their project yields at a great pace, they need to take a quick break because their son Ali Leon was born and also because Galata Gazi is being repaired.

The break is over. Their great project “Galata Gazi” is once again with us.

Here you go with the great story of courageous Zekiye Yürekli, and the story of Galata Gazi…