In collaboration with IDFA the Read My World Festival shows four productions that highlight different topics and themes within Turkish culture.
Zeki Müren Hotline (2016)
Director: Beyza Boyacioglu, Jeff Soyk
The Turkish variety artist Zeki Müren was a national phenomenon. Born in 1931, he began his career as a respectable singer on the radio, before shifting direction and becoming a flamboyant nightclub idol. He would dress effeminately, with lots of makeup and jewelry, and while he was never explicit about it, his homosexuality was a public secret. A talented singer, he attracted a broad audience and became a symbol for Turkish unity.
After his sudden death in 1996 – a heart attack during a TV appaerance – he received a state funeral. Just how deeply Müren affected the lives of different people becomes clear with this interactive telephone hotline. Over 800 people have called in to leave a message for the deceased singer. One seeks support after the bombings in Istanbul, while another thanks him for his inspiring lyrics. These moving, sometimes unintentionally hilarious outpourings (“I was wondering why you wore all these different outfits. I can’t figure it out. So please call me back.”) reflect a nostalgia for a Turkey of bygone days.