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Turkish Projects in the Netherlands


The Medcezir Project

In the Medcezir project the cultural heritage of Anatolia comes into contact with modern music. The program consists of new works composed by Turkish composers living in Holland, performed together with the Dutch Axyz Ensemble. During the concert authentic Turkish instruments, western classical instruments and electronical music are used.



Amsterdam Klezmer Band & The Galata Gypsy Band

Stichting Kulsan brought gypsy music from Istanbul and the Amsterdam Klezmer Band together in Balkan music. The gypsy band consists of famous Roma musicians from Turkey, who with their instruments belong to the top of Turkish gypsy music. The Amsterdam Klezmer Band combines Eastern-European Jewish partymusic (?) with some Gypsy- and Balkan music. The result of the collaboration between the two bands was concert ‘Katakofti’, and even resulted in a CD.


Van Soefie tot Flamengo

This Kulsan project is a meeting between Eastern mysticism and the Andalusian reality. The Southern-Spanish flamengo and the mystical Eastern Sufi’s are present in both cultures, since they have influenced one another since the 12th century.

The Ilahi (Islamic hymn) by the Sufi singer from Turkey is effortlessly continued by Martinete and Sequiryas (forms of flamengo) from the flamencosinger from Spain. Together these singers blur the boundaries.

In 2009, the Soefi tot Flamengo tour gave 13 performances in Holland.


Professor Rokus de Groot is a composer and musicologist at the University of Amsterdam. One of his areas of interest is Turkish music. In 2001, in cooperation with the Turkish ud-player Yurdal Tokcan, he wrote Seyir, a piece for ud and Western ensemble. It was performed in the context of a Turkish lute project, co-organized by Foundation Kulsan, the Conservatory of Amsterdam and the Department of Musicology, University 0f Amsterdam. And Zeynep Ozkaya directed a TV program about this Seyir-project for MTNL & SOMMEDIA.

Later in 2006 the pair initiated a festival for on the Turkish-Arabic-Iranian story of Leyla ile Mecnun at the Royal Tropical Institute. Like in Seyir, the concept of mutual learning between musicians from different cultural backgrounds was developed.