Northwestern Events Calendar


Protest and Rock‘n’ Roll in Turkey

When: Wednesday, May 1, 2024
3:30 PM - 8:30 PM CT

Where: Harris Hall, 108, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Alicen Collum  

Group: Keyman Modern Turkish Studies (Northwestern Buffett)

Category: Academic, Fine Arts, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity


Join Keyman MTS in on May 1, 2024 in Harris Hall, Room 108 from 3:30- 5:00PM CST for a talk titled "Protest and Rock ‘n’ Roll in Turkey" with Postdoctoral Fellow Kenan Sharpe and from 5:00- 8:00PM CST for a reception to celebrate International Labor Day!


*There is an option to view the talk portion via Zoom. Please register using this link for the Zoom version:

To attend in person, please continue with reserving tickets below.


This talks discusses a tradition of protest music in Turkey from the 1960s and 1970s. This was a period of widespread student protests, workers’ struggles, and peasant organizing. Amidst this turbulence, musicians like Fikret Kızılok, Selda Bağcan, and Cem Karaca combined the countercultural sounds coming from global psychedelic rock with lyrics commenting on political events in their country. Though the initial popularity of rock ‘n’ roll in Turkey was a product of American soft power and cultural influence, by the end of the 1970s Turkish rockers had turned this genre against itself, using guitars and synthesizers to protest what they saw as cultural imperialism. Looking at three key songs of the psychedelic protest rock genre, this talk explores the relationship between popular music and social movements, global circuits of cultural exchange, and Turkey’s place in the worldwide counterculture of the long 1960s.

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