Conveying the viability and safeguarding of the Minstrelsy Tradition from generation to generation
This exclusive music album containing examples of works of Kars Minstrels has been prepared by the UN Joint Programme “Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia” in order to protect and sustain Minstrelsy tradition. Both solo and collective works of 10 Minstrels compiled in this album that was prepared by Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Research and Training and UN Joint Programme. The album that is called Living Minstrelsy Tradition: Masters of Music and Lyrics Minstrels of Kars Region is believed to play an important role for conveying the viability and safeguarding of the Minstrelsy Tradition from generation to generation.
The CD that was edited by Timur Yılmaz, Folklore Researcher from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Research contains works of Minstrels Mustafa Aydın, Bayram Denizoğlu, Ali Rıza Ezgi, Maksut Koca, Emrah Nar, Şeref Taşlıova, Mürsel Sinan Uğursu, Günay Yıldız and Veysel Yıldızer of Kars.
The Minstrelsy Tradition that has been included to the Representative List of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 is a very important part of Turkey’s cultural heritage. Kars is one of the provinces of Turkey where the minstrelsy tradition has remained strong and is still very lively. United Nations Joint Programme also supported 5th International Kars Minstrel Festival in May in Kars within the scope of safeguarding and promoting Minstrelsy Tradition.
ŞEREF TAŞLIOVA Born in the village of Gülyüzü, Arpaçay, in 1938. He developed his skills as an apprentice of Âşık KASIM, the son of Âşık ŞENLİK, who is the most significant name of minstrelsy tradition in Northeastern Anatolia. In 2008 TAŞLIOVA was designated by UNESCO as Living Human Treasure.
MAKSUT KOCA Born in 1961 in Taşdere village of Arpaçay, in Kars. He started to perform the art of minstrelsy by learning it from his father, İskender KOCA.
ALİ RIZA EZGİ Born in Taşdere village of Arpaçay, in Kars, in 1949. He learned the art of Minstrelsy through an apprenticeship with Âşık İlhami DEMİR. He contributed to the continuation of the tradition by training artists such as Âşık Nevruz Ali ÇİÇEK, and Âşık İrfan ERDAĞI.
MÜRSEL SİNAN UĞURSU Born in the village of Dikme, near Kars, in 1956. He began playing saz (a stringed instrument) and singing folk songs (türkü) during his elementary school years. He started learning and performing minstrelsy by serving as an apprentice to Murat ÇOBANOĞLU in the period 1968-1976.
BAYRAM DENİZOĞLU Born in Gülyüzü village of Arpaçay, in Kars, in 1958. He learned the art of minstrelsy from his father and master Minstrel, Âşık DURMUŞ.
EMRAH NAR Born in the district of Akyaka, in Kars, in 1949. He developed a passion for minstrelsy in his early years. He learned music, lyrics and lecture principles by İslam ERDENER, the grand master of the Kars mintrelsy tradition.
VEYSEL YILDIZER Born in Akören village of Sarıkamış, in Kars, in 1970. His admiration for nature was determinant in his decision to dedicate himself to the minstrelsy tradition. Veysel YILDIZER considers all the minstrels of the past as his masters.
SABRİ YOKUŞ Born in Gölbaşı village of Susuz, in 1969. In 1979 he started to develop his skills as a minstrel by admiring masters performing at the Murat Çobanoğlu Minstrels Coffee House. He then learned the art of minstrelsy from Günay YILDIZ.
MUSTAFA AYDIN Born in Gülyüzü village, of Selim Beyköyü, in Kars, in 1963. He learned the art of minstrelsy as an apprentice to Âşık Mevlüt İHSANİ.
The United Nations MDG-F Joint Programme “Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia” is being implemented in Kars by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey and the UN agencies: UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF and UNWTO. The Joint Programme aims at developing and enhancing cultural tourism in Kars Province by highlighting its cultural and natural assets and building local capacities to leverage these assets for social and economic development.