Contemporary Music / Music

A Turkish Michael Jackson Tribute “They Don’t Care About Us”

turkish versionA group of folk and classical Turkish musicians made their own version of Michael Jackson’s ‘They Don’t Care About Us ‘, release at the end of June 2014.

This reinterpretation by amateur musicians from the western Black Sea port of Ereğli, includes traditional bağlamas, darbukas and violins, Turkish dancing, female musicians and children, it’s a community effort. The video is shot on boats, at lakesides,on buses and in the forest, a scene where the stringed instruments are hung from the trees it is suggested they came from.

The Turkish version also has a great reprise, apparently it took a month to make and has already gone viral on Turkish social media. It is a fan video, but in the end these fans picked this song over all others. If you find too much inference in the suggestion behind their choice of song, remember that one of original videos to the song involves Jackson singing from the viewpoint of a USA prisoner, amid footage of US police violence and the KKK. See it here. This of course created inmate spin off videos like this one from the Phillipines, where the real prisoners are clearly fronted by professional dancers, but still were permitted to take part.

Don’t you black and white me. Tell me what have become of my rights? I’m the victim of police brutality.”

The town of Ereğli was in the news in 2009 when its then mayor Halil Posbıyık spoke about having personally invited Michael Jackson to the town’s annual music festival, to the news:

We met Michael Jackson accompanying an important agency from Turkey in 2008. He said, ‘Dear Halil, my whole program for 2009 is full. But I might think about coming to Ereğli in 2010. Can you prepare the infrastructure?’ I responded, ‘You give me the order and I will make sure to prepare it.’”

“He told me this: The festival is not important for me, but I don’t want to go to the other side (to die) incomplete. That is why I will come to Ereğli. May God rest his soul, but the important thing is that he died without seeing Ereğli. He died incomplete, this is why we are sad.”