Young Palestinian musicians are set to take the stage in Türkiye's capital next week, performing a "Peace Concert" at the country's Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
The Palestinian Youth Orchestra will be hosted by Türkiye's first lady Emine Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex in Ankara before the concert slated for July 19.
Following an invitation and talks with the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, where the orchestra is based, it was decided to organize concerts in Ankara, as well as the metropolis Istanbul, in Türkiye in cooperation with the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
Mariam Afifi, a symbol of Palestinian resistance, will also be attending the concert, first lady Erdoğan said after a phone call with her on the event.
In May 2021, the artist, who was dragged and detained while defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem amid Israeli attacks on Palestinians, became one of the symbols of resistance after her smiling images went viral on social media.
Before coming to Türkiye under the auspices of the country's Culture and Tourism Ministry, the members of the Palestinian Youth Orchestra have been rehearsing hard for the concerts.
The first show, which will also be the world premiere for two works composed for peace, will be held on July 19 at the Ada Historical Hall of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara.
The works "Anatolian Rapsody" composed by Yusuf Yalçın and "Dance of the Altos" composed by Palestinian Bishara Kell will be presented to an audience for the first time at the "Peace Concert," which will feature folk melodies of the two countries.
Fecir Alptekin, a chief advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, told Anadolu Agency that the youth orchestra was created to bring together Palestinian musicians from countries all over the world where they now live since their exile in 1948.
Alptekin said concerts would be organized in Türkiye by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra Chief Cem'i Can Deliorman.
Musicians from countries where the Palestinian Youth Orchestra has performed will also take part in the event, he said, adding: "As in every country, the orchestra, consisting of 80% Palestinian and 20% Turkish musicians, will be on stage with 21 Turkish and 59 Palestinian musicians."
He underscored that Palestinian teenagers from 10 countries had come to Türkiye as part of the concert, highlighting the importance of awareness on the matter.
"It carries global importance that Palestinian young people are in Türkiye. This is an awareness in itself," he said.
Palestinian artist Afifi said Palestinians are fighting against oppression through "the unifying power of music."
"We want to announce the name of our country in Türkiye. We want to make our voice heard by the entire world with the unifying power of music against the boycotts, bans, and attempts to erase the name 'Palestine'," she added.
Deliorman noted that there were very talented young people in the Palestinian Youth Orchestra and that they are very excited to perform music.
He said academics had trained them during their stay in Türkiye and that Palestinian musicians showed very rapid improvement. "I think a very good and high-quality job has been done."
"In the second half of the concert, there is Dvorak's symphony 'New World.' This will be one of the important messages of the peace concert.
"We're sending a message of peace from here, we're calling for peace," he stated.