The performance of the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Defense's Mehteran unit

06 september 2022
Mehter band is believed to be the oldest military band in the world. To mark the 30th jubilee of the International Defence Industry Exhibition, the ensemble presented a unique, emotional performance. This was graced with the presence of the distinguished guests: Deputy Prime Minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence and Paweł Soloch, the head of the National Security Bureau and the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Turkey, Hulusi Akar.

On the first day of MSPO, the band performed twice, winning the recognition of the audience. The earliest examples of Turkish military music are displayed on Orhun and Gokturk inscriptions found in Mongolian lands. These date back to the 8th century. They include the word "TUGH" which means standard and drums. The tugh is made of brass and is 2.5 meters long. There are tassels made of horse hair on both sides. Tughs were used as a sign for military campaigns and posts of sultanate and viziership.

The actual foundation of Mehter could date back to the period when a special standard and flag team were founded. These were sent by the Sultan of ANATOLIAN SELJUK GIYASEDDIN MESUD the Second, who was appointed by OSMAN GAZI, the founder of the Ottoman empire as a "bey" in 1289.

Over the years, Mehter band not only strengthened the national identity of Janissaries and raised their morale with music but also intimidated enemies on battlefields. The Mehter band commander, called "Emir-I Alem", commanded janissaries and the Mehter band in the past. Flags are symbols of honour. Red stands for "state", green for "Islam" and white for "independence".

"MEHTERBASI" is the musical director of Mehter band. The band consists of seven groups of instruments. There are seven groups of instruments, including "Cevgen" group with a stick with concealed small bells, "clarions", "trumpets", "small kettle drums", "cymbals", "drums" and "a big drum". The Ministry of Defense's Mehteran unit represents martial music traditions of the Ottoman Empire of the eighteenth century.


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