Sotiria Bellou was a famous Greek singer and performer of the Greek rebetiko style of music. She was one of the most famous rebetisa of all, mentioned in many music guides, a contributor to the 1984 British Documentary entitled Music of the Outsiders. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Bellou the 22nd top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era. Bellou was born in Halia on the island of Euboia, she was the oldest of five siblings of a wealthy family. Her grandfather Sotiris Papasotiriou, after whom she was named and, fond of her, was an Orthodox priest at Shimatari; as a little girl, Sotiria would go to church along with her grandfather and she would absorb the religious sounds and Byzantine hymns. She began singing at the age of three, was soon making her own guitars out of wire and wood and playing them, her father, Kyriakos Bellos, had a grocery store in Neapolis in the northern part of Chalkida. The movie "The little emigree" featuring the popular singer Sofia Vembo was the catalyst that pushed her to pursue an artistic career.
On hearing of her daughter's ambitions, her mother Eleni beat her because, as a conservative woman of that time, she did not want her daughter to pursue an artistic career. However, her father paid for private lessons. In 1940, she decided to move to Athens, her arrival in Athens coincided with a new challenging period started for Bellou. Her family lost touch with her, they found her again after seven years. In the meantime, she had worked as a servant at a wealthy lawyer's house, as a hawker selling pasteli, as a luggage carrier and in many other different jobs. One night she was working as a waitress in a rebetiko club in the Exarheia neighborhood of downtown Athens and sang two songs after a bet with a customer. Kimonas Kapetanakis recognised her genuine talent, he introduced her to Tsitsanis, who became fond of her powerful and melodic voice, with whom she recorded the first of her many 78 rpm gramophone records. In December 1948, after a beating by a group of right-wingers, she moved from the "Tzimis o Hontros" club to the "Panagaki" where she worked with Markos Vamvakaris.
She sang in the best music clubs of Athens such as the Rosiniol, Tzimis o Hontros, Triana and many more. As the times changed, rebetiko was no longer sought after, like many other artists of her generation, found little work in night clubs; the mid 1960s brought with them a sense of cultural awakening, a new-found interest in rebetiko among young people, which peaked in the 1980s. Sotiria was heard on many recordings, helped usher in a new era for rebetiko. During her career from 1941 to 1976 she collaborated with the best composers of rebetiko; some of her greatest hits were: Synefiasmeni Kyriakh by Vassilis Tsitsanis Kavourakia by Vassilis Tsitsanis Otan pineis stihn taverna by Vassilis Tsitsanis Kane ligaki ypomoni by Vassilis Tsitsanis Pos tha perasei i vradia by Yannis Papaioannou Kane kourayio kardia mou by Yannis Papaioannou Anoixe, anoixe by Yannis Papaioannou O naftis by Giorgos Mitsakis To svisto fanari by Mitsakis Eipa na sviso ta palia by Apostolos Kaldaras Laiko Tsigaro by Apostolos Kaldaras Bellou was a political activist who joined the Greek Resistance against the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II.
She was caught by the Nazis and put into prison. In 1944 she participated in the Dekemvriana as a member of the Greek People's Liberation Army. During the civil war she supported the leftists and she was caught at least once and kept in detention. Members of extreme right groups never forgave her political stance and her participation in the Dekemvriana and in one incident they visited the club "Tzimis o hontros" where she was singing on stage with Peristeris, Keromytis, Stelios and Tourkakis, demanded that she sing a famous right wing song. After her refusal she was beaten by six members of the royalist group X known as'Chites', who threatened to kill her and called her "vulgara". Years afterwards she still expressed her grievance that not one man from those in the club and none of her colleagues stood up to defend her. In 1938, at the age of 17 she met her future husband a bus conductor, her father arranged her marriage despite her objections because he thought that her husband could tame her.
Their marriage lasted for only six months as he abused her causing her a miscarriage. Being a hot-blooded woman, during one of their fights she reacted by throwing vitriol, a corrosive acid, in his face, she was sentenced to three months imprisonment. She spent three months in prison at Chalkida before the trial and one month at the Averof prison in Athens, she appealed and her sentence was reduced to six months. After paying for bail, she returned to her home town where she was treated with hostility and was beaten by her relatives for the embarrassment that she brought to her family. In her personal life, she had two big weaknesses: gambling and alcohol, which led her to poverty and caused her mental problems, she was treated in a psychiatric clinic on at least one occasion. Sotiria was a lesbian in a t
Natacha Atlas is an Egyptian-British singer known for her fusion of Arabic and Western music hip-hop. She once termed her music "cha'abi moderne", her music has been influenced by many styles including Maghrebain, hip hop and bass and reggae. Atlas began her career as part of the world fusion group Transglobal Underground. In 1995, she began to focus on her solo career with the release of Diaspora, she has since been a part of numerous collaborations. Her version of "Mon amie la rose" became a surprise success in France, reaching 16 on the French Singles Charts in 1999, her most recent creation Myriad Road was released on 23 October 2015. It was produced by French Lebanese jazz musician Ibrahim Maalouf. Natacha Atlas was born in Schaerbeek, Belgium, to a British Ashkenazi Jewish mother and an Egyptian Sephardic Jewish father, born in Cairo and moved to Israel, she has lived in Brussels, Egypt and England. Atlas is of Egyptian and Israeli ancestry, as per an interview she gave to Ha'aretz in 2014.
To confuse matters, Atlas has said: "My Grandfather was born in Egypt, my father was born in Belgium, as he moved to Europe when he was about 20. My mother is English, my father was born in Belgium."It is unclear why Atlas herself has given conflicting accounts of her own heritage. After her parents separated, Atlas went to live in England with her mother. Atlas grew up speaking French and English, learned Arabic and Spanish, she sings in several languages, including in modern colloquial Arabic, although she admits that she is not at ease in it. Atlas returned to Belgium at age 24 and began her career with two jobs: belly dancing and the lead singer of a Belgian salsa band. In April 1989, she made her recording début as guest vocalist on Balearic beat-band ¡Loca!'s "Encantador". In 1991, Atlas co-wrote/recorded the ¡Loca! Single "Timbal" and co-wrote/guested with Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart composing five tracks for their Rising Above Bedlam album. Through recording with ¡Loca!, she met Nation-labelmates Transglobal Underground, a British ethnic electronica band with a Middle Eastern/South Asian focus.
At the time, TGU had a top 40 hit, "Templehead", Atlas became their lead singer / belly dancer. Additionally in 1991, Atlas collaborated with Bauhaus/Love and Rockets/Tones on Tail guitarist and vocalist Daniel Ash on his debut solo album Coming Down, she contributed extensive vocal work as well as keyboards and bass guitar. Most of Atlas' earlier albums were produced by Tim Whelan and Hamilton Lee from Transglobal Underground. Diaspora, Halim and Ayeshteni. Atlas has always spoken her mind about the way both she and Transglobal Underground were seen by the UK press back in the late 90s/early 2000. "Someone from the New Musical Express rang us about a feature we're to do with them and said'We don't want it to be about the multi-cultural angle'. In other words that fad is over, and I'm insulted... What other angle is there for us?! I get sick of it all."In 1999, Atlas collaborated with David Arnold on the song "One Brief Moment". The single featured a cover version of the James Bond theme song from the film.
Two years earlier, Atlas had collaborated with Arnold on the album Shaken and Stirred, recording the song "From Russia with Love" for the eponymous film. In 1999, she collaborated with Jean Michel Jarre for the track "C'est La Vie" on his album Métamorphoses; the track was released as a single. In 2003, Atlas provided vocals for the Kolo folk dance song "'Ajde Jano" on Nigel Kennedy and Kroke's album, East Meets East. In 2005, Atlas contributed the song "Just Like A Dream" to the charity album Voyces United for UNHCR, her music has been used in a number of soundtracks. Her song "Kidda" was featured on the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack and in the 2005 video game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories on Radio del Mundo. In 2003, her voice is heard in Hulk in the song "Captured". Additionally, her song "Bathaddak" is one of the songs included in the 2007 Xbox 360 exclusive video game Project Gotham Racing 4, her cover of I Put a Spell On You was used in the 2002 film Divine Intervention by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman.
Atlas was billed to star in and provide the soundtrack to the film Whatever Lola Wants, directed by Nabil Ayouch. However, shooting delays caused Atlas to only be involved in the film's soundtrack, her song "Gafsa" was used as the main soundtrack during the Korean film Bin-Jip by Kim Ki-Duk. She participated in the piece "Light of Life" for the soundtrack of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven. In 2007, Atlas collaborated with Belinda Carlisle for Belinda's seventh album Voila, she contributed additional vocals on songs "Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp," "La Vie En Rose", "Bonnie et Clyde" and "Des Ronds Dans L'Eau." Voila was released via Rykodisc in the U. K. on 5 February 2007 and in the U. S. the following day. The 2007 film Brick Lane features four songs with vocals by Atlas, "Adam's Lullaby", "Running Through the Night", "Love Blossoms" and "Rite of Passage". On 23 May 2008 Atlas released a new album, Ana Hina, well received by critics. In 2008, two of Atlas' songs, "Kidda" and "Ghanwa Bossanova", were used in Shamim Sarif's romantic comedy about two women, I Can't Think Straight.
In 2008, she sang lead in the song "Habibe" from Peter Gabriel's long-awaited album and project, Big Blue Ball. On 20 September 2010 Atlas released Mounqaliba. Co-produced by Sam
Manos Hatzidakis was a Greek composer and theorist of Greek music. He was one of the main proponents of the "Éntekhno" form of music. In 1960 he received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his song Never on Sunday from the film of the same name. Manos Hatzidakis was born on 23 October 1925 in Xanthi, Greece to lawyer Georgios Hatzidakis, who came from the village of Mirthios, Agios Vasileios in the Rethymno prefecture in Crete, his musical education began at the age of four and consisted of piano lessons from the Armenian pianist Altunian. At the same time, he learned to play the accordion. After the separation of his parents, Hatzidakis moved permanently to Athens in 1932 with his mother. A few years in 1938, his father died in an aircraft accident; this event, in combination with the beginning of World War II, brought the family into a difficult financial situation. The young Hatzidakis earned his livelihood as a docker at the port, an ice seller at the Fix factory, an employee in Megalokonomou's photography shop and as an assistant nurse at the 401 Military Hospital.
At the same time, he expanded his musical knowledge by studying advanced music theory with Menelaos Pallandios, in the period 1940-1943. At the same time, he studied philosophy at the University of Athens. However, he never completed this course. During this period, he met and connected with other musicians and intellectuals. Among these were Nikos Gatsos, George Seferis, Odysseas Elytis, Angelos Sikelianos and the artist Yannis Tsarouchis. During the last period of the Axis occupation of Greece, he was an active participant in the Greek Resistance through membership of the United Panhellenic Organization of Youth, the youth branch of the major resistance organisation EAM, where he met Mikis Theodorakis with whom he soon developed a strong friendship, his first work was the tune for the song "Paper Moon", from Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire staged by Karolos Koun's Art Theatre of Athens, a collaboration which continued for 15 years. His first piano piece, "For a Small White Seashell", came out in 1947 and in 1948 he shook the musical establishment by delivering his legendary lecture on rembetika, the urban folk songs that flourished in Greek cities Piraeus, after the Asia Minor refugee influx in 1922 and until had heavy underworld and cannabis use connections and were looked down upon.
Hatzidakis focused on the economy of expression, the deep traditional roots and the genuineness of emotion displayed in rembetika, exalted the likes of composers like Markos Vamvakaris and Vassilis Tsitsanis. Putting theory to practice, he adapted classic rembetika in his 1951 piano work, Six Folk Paintings, also presented as a folk ballet. In 1949 he co-founded the Greek Dance Theatre Company with the choreographer Rallou Manou. At this point he began writing immensely popular "pop" songs and movie soundtracks alongside more serious works, such as 1954's The C. N. S. Cycle, a song cycle for piano and voice recalling the German lied in its form, if not in style. In 1955 he wrote the score for Michael Cacoyannis' film Stella, with actress Melina Mercouri, singing the movie's trademark song "Love that became a double-edged knife". Hatzidakis always maintained that he wrote his serious pieces for himself and his less serious ones to make a living. In 1958, Hatzidakis met Nana Mouskouri, his first "ideal interpreter", a skilled vocalist who shaped the sounds of his music.
It was 1960 that brought him international success, as his song "Never on Sunday", from Jules Dassin's film Never on Sunday, won him an Academy Award and became a worldwide hit. In 1962, he produced the musical Street of Dreams and completed his score for Aristophanes' Birds, another Art Theater production which caused an uproar over Karolos Koun's revolutionary direction; the score was used by Maurice Béjart's 20th Century Ballets. He wrote the music for a song which Arthur Altman added English lyrics to and gave to Brenda Lee; the song was "All Alone Am I". In 1964 he released the album 15 Vespers with the famous song "Mr Antonis. In 1965, his LP Gioconda's Smile was released on Minos-EMI. In 2004, it was re-released, digitally remastered as an audiophile LP and a CD in the EMI Classics collection. In 1966 he travelled to New York City for the premiere of Illya Darling, a Broadway musical based on Never on Sunday, which starred Mercouri, he did not return to Greece until 1972 due to his opposition to Greece's military dictatorship.
While in the United States he completed several more major compositions, including Rhythmology for solo piano, his compilation, Gioconda's Smile, the song cycle, Magnus Eroticus, in which he used ancient and modern Greek poems, as well as an excerpt from the Old Testament book "Song of Songs". His LP Reflections with the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble contained several of his most beautiful songs, either in orchestral form or with English lyrics written by the band – a record that preceded fusion trends by several decades. Hatzidakis returned to Greece in 1972 and recorded Magnus Eroticus with opera-trained alto Fleury Dantonaki and singer Dimitris Psarianos. Follo
Laïkó, is a Greek music genre composed in Greek language in accordance with the tradition of the Greek people. Called folk song or urban folk music, in its plural form is a Greek music genre which has taken many forms over the years. Laïkó followed after the commercialization of Rebetiko music, it is dominated by Greek folk music and it is used to describe Greek popular music as a whole. When used in context, it refers to the form it took in the period from the 1950s to the 1980s; until the 1930s the Greek discography was dominated by two musical genres: the Greek folk music and the Elafró tragoudi. The latter was represented by ensembles of singers/musicians or solo artists like Attik and Nikos Gounaris, it was the Greek version of the international popular music of the era. In the 1930s the first rebetiko recordings had a massive impact on Greek music; as Markos Vamvakaris stated "we were the first to record laïká songs". In the years to follow this type of music, the first form of what is now called laïkó tragoudi, became the mainstream Greek music.
1920s–1950s Attik Nikos Gounaris Tony Maroudas Giorgos Mouzakis Michalis Souyioul Danaë Stratigopoulou Sofia Vembo 1930s–1960s Markos Vamvakaris Manolis Chiotis Roza Eskenazi Vassilis Tsitsanis Giannis Papaioannou Panagiotis Toundas Kostas Skarvelis Classic laïkó as it is known today, was the mainstream popular music of Greece during the 1960s and 1970s. Laiko music evolved from the traditional Greek music of the ancient and the medieval Greek era and was established until the present day. Laïkó was dominated by singers such as Stelios Kazantzidis. Among the most significant songwriters and lyricists of this period are George Zambetas and the big names of the Rebetiko era that were still in business, like Vassilis Tsitsanis and Manolis Chiotis. Many artists combined the traditions of éntekhno and laïkó with considerable success, such as the composers Stavros Xarchakos and Mimis Plessas. 1960s–80s Contemporary laïkó can be called in Greece the mainstream music genre, with variations in plural form as Contemporary laïká.
Along with Modern laïká in Greek is Greece's mainstream music genre. The main cultural Greek dances and rhythms of today's Greek music culture laïká are Nisiotika, Rebetika, Zeibekiko, Hasaposerviko and Syrtaki; the more cheerful version of laïkó, called elafró laïkó and it was used in musicals during the Golden Age of Greek cinema. Τhe Greek Peiraiotes superstar Tolis Voskopoulos gave the after-modern version of Greek Laïko listenings. Many artists have combined the traditions of éntekhno and laïkó with considerable success, such as the composers Mimis Plessas and Stavros Xarchakos. Contemporary laïká emerged as a style in the early 1980s. An indispensable part of the contemporary laïká culture is the písta, "dance floor/venue". Night clubs at which the DJs play only contemporary laïká where colloquially known on the 90s as ellinádhika. Modern laiko is mainstream Greek laïkó music mixed in with modern Western influences, from such international mainstream genres as pop music and dance. Renowned songwriters or lyricists of contemporary laïká include Alekos Chrysovergis, Nikos Karvelas, Nikos Terzis, Giorgos Theofanous and Evi Droutsa.
In effect, there is no single name for contemporary laïká in the Greek language, but it is formally referred to as σύγχρονο λαϊκό, a term, however used for denoting newly composed songs in the tradition of "proper" Laïkó. The choice of contrasting the notions of "westernized" and "genuine" may be based on ideological and aesthetic grounds. Laiko interacted more westernized sounds in the late of 2000s; the term modern laïká comes from modern songs of the people. Despite its immense popularity, the genre of contemporary laïká has come under scrutiny for "featuring musical clichés, average singing voices and slogan-like lyrics" and for "being a hybrid, neither laïkó, nor pop". Anna Vissi Elli Kokkinou Konstantinos Argyros Yiannis Parios Antonis Remos Natassa Theodoridou Elena Paparizou Notis Sfakianakis Kostas Makedonas Christos Nikolopoulos Thodoris Ferris Dimitris Basis Yiannis Parios Sakis Rouvas Thanos Petrelis Giannis Ploutarhos Nikos Oikonomopoulos Katy Garbi Despina Vandi Peggy Zina Giorgos Mazonakis Pantelis Pantelidis Rebetiko Greek folk music Nightclubs in Greece
Music of Israel
The music of Israel is a combination of Jewish and non-Jewish music traditions that have come together over the course of a century to create a distinctive musical culture. For 150 years, musicians have sought original stylistic elements that would define the emerging national spirit. In addition to creating an Israeli style and sound, Israel's musicians have made significant contributions to classical, pop rock and other international music genres. Since the 1970s, there has been a flowering of musical diversity, with Israeli rock and jazz musicians creating and performing extensively, both locally and abroad. Many of the world's top classical musicians are Israeli expatriates; the works of Israeli classical composers have been performed by leading orchestras worldwide. Music in Israel is an integral part of national identity. Beginning in the days of the pioneers, Hebrew songs and public singalongs were encouraged and supported by the establishment. "Public singalongs were a common pastime, were for them a force in defining their identity", wrote Nathan Shahar.
This view of music as nation-building continues to this day. "We are in the midst of creating a culture", says Nahum Heyman, one of Israel's leading music composers and music historians. Jewish immigrants from Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere brought with them their musical traditions and molding them into a new Israeli sound. Many of the Zionist immigrants who arrived before 1935 came from Russia, they brought with them the folk tunes and musical style of Russia. Songs in the early days were contrafacta – Russian folk tunes with translated or new lyrics in Hebrew. An example is Shir Hamitpachat, a Polish song by Jerzy Petersburski with Hebrew lyrics by the Israeli poet and lyricist Nathan Alterman; these Russian-style tunes are in a minor key, accompanied by accordion, or by guitar imitating the sound of the balalaika. Klezmer music was brought to the country by the immigrants of the early 20th century. Many Hassidic and klezmer melodies found their way into the canon of Israeli folk music, with lyrics translated from the Yiddish, or new Hebrew words.
An example is Numi Numi, a song composed by Joel Engel based on a Hassidic lullaby, with lyrics by Yehiel Heilprin Since the late 1960s, Israeli popular music has been influenced by mainstream pop and rock music from the United Kingdom and the U. S. Iconic Israeli 1970s rock groups such as Kaveret and Tamouz and singer-songwriters such as Shalom Hanoch and Miki Gavrielov, laid the foundations for what is today the rich and varied scene of Israeli pop and rock. Mixing Western pop and rock with the original style of Israeli folk music and Oriental Jewish music Yemenite and Andalusian-Moroccan, creates together the original and unique sound of Israeli music today. Among the leaders in Israeli music are singers and bands such as: Etti Ankri, David D'Or, Aviv Gefen, Shlomo Artzi, HaYehudim, Ivri Lider, Dana International. Both Lider and International sing songs dealing with their own sexual preferences – Lider's song "Jesse" is about unrequited homosexual love, International, a transsexual, began her singing career as a drag queen.
Other pop stars include Ninet Tayeb, Harel Skaat and Shiri Maimon – all winners of the Israeli talent search TV show Kokhav Nolad. Maimon represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, reached top 4 out of over 25 countries, with her ballad "Hasheket Shenishar". In 2013, there were many collaborations between young artists. Corinne Elal, Arik Einstein, Chava Alberstein, Yehoram Gaon, Allon Olearchik and Shlomo Gronich all paired up with musicians of the younger generation. Most Netta Barzilai won Eurovision's singing competition, showcasing her diverse approach to songwriting and performance; the earliest composers of Hebrew folk music were influenced by the sounds of the local Arab music. Oriental musical traditions were brought by Jewish immigrants from Other Middle Eastern countries – from Morocco, Iraq and elsewhere; these immigrants developed an eclectic Mediterranean style called "Muzika Mizrahit", which became popular in the early 1960s and was influenced by popular Greek music, whilst at the same time, influencing Israeli pop and rock.
Muzika Mizrahit combines eastern and western elements: the ensemble includes Middle Eastern instruments, such as the oud, the kanun, the Eastern violin, the darbouka and the Greek bouzouki, alongside electric and acoustic guitars and other western instruments. The singers add Arab-style melismatic ornamentation, sing in a nasal tone, similar to Arab music; the melodies are modal, swinging between major and minor, diction is guttural. While Arab music is traditionally homophonic, based on melodic patterns called maqamat, Muzika Mizrahit is closer to Greek music, has harmonic accompaniment and uses a western, 12-tone scale; the distinctive East-West sonorities of Muzika Mizrahit have left their imprint on Israeli popular music. An example is Zohar Argov's HaPerach BeGani, with lyrics and music by Avihu Medina; the music of Yemenite Jews was influential in the development of Israeli music because it was seen by early Zionists as a link to their biblical roots. The music of the ancient Hebrews, wrote the musicologist A.
Z. Idelsohn, "is preserved in memory and practice in various Jewish centers... Yemen, in South Arabia, a community that lived pr
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately
Tel Aviv is the second most populous city in Israel—after Jerusalem—and the most populous city in the conurbation of Gush Dan, Israel's largest metropolitan area. Located on the country's Mediterranean coastline and with a population of 443,939, it is the economic and technological center of the country. Tel Aviv is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, headed by Mayor Ron Huldai, is home to many foreign embassies, it is ranked 25th in the Global Financial Centres Index. Tel Aviv has the third- or fourth-largest economy and the largest economy per capita in the Middle East; the city has the 31st highest cost of living in the world. Tel Aviv receives over 2.5 million international visitors annually. A "party capital" in the Middle East, it has 24-hour culture. Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University, the largest university in the country with more than 30,000 students; the city was founded in 1909 by the Yishuv as a modern housing estate on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa part of the Jerusalem province of Ottoman Syria.
It was at first called'Ahuzat Bayit', a name changed the following year to'Tel Aviv'. Its name means "Ancient Hill of Spring". Other Jewish suburbs of Jaffa established outside Jaffa's Old City before Tel Aviv became part of Tel Aviv, the oldest among them being Neve Tzedek. Immigration by Jewish refugees meant that the growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced that of Jaffa, which had a majority Arab population at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the Israeli Declaration of Independence, proclaimed in the city. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of International Style buildings, including Bauhaus and other related modernist architectural styles. Tel Aviv is the Hebrew title of Theodor Herzl's Altneuland, translated from German by Nahum Sokolow. Sokolow had adopted the name of a Mesopotamian site near the city of Babylon mentioned in Ezekiel: "Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel Aviv, that lived by the river Chebar, to where they lived.
The name was chosen in 1910 from several suggestions, including "Herzliya". It was found fitting. Aviv is Hebrew for "spring", symbolizing renewal, tel is a man-made mound accumulating layers of civilization built one over the other and symbolizing the ancient. Although founded in 1909 as a small settlement on the sand dunes north of Jaffa, Tel Aviv was envisaged as a future city from the start, its founders hoped that in contrast to what they perceived as the squalid and unsanitary conditions of neighbouring Arab towns, Tel Aviv was to be a clean and modern city, inspired by the European cities of Warsaw and Odessa. The marketing pamphlets advocating for its establishment in 1906, wrote: In this city we will build the streets so they have roads and sidewalks and electric lights; every house will have water from wells that will flow through pipes as in every modern European city, sewerage pipes will be installed for the health of the city and its residents. Jaffa, now a part of Tel Aviv, was an important port city in the region for millennia.
Archaeological evidence shows signs of human settlement there starting in 7,500 BC. Its natural harbour has been used since the Bronze Age. By the time Tel Aviv was founded as a separate city during Ottoman rule of the region, Jaffa had been ruled by the Canaanites, Philistines, Assyrians, Persians, Ptolemies, Hasmoneans, Byzantines, the early Islamic caliphates, Crusaders and Mamluks before coming under Ottoman rule in 1515, it had been fought over numerous times. The city is mentioned in ancient Egyptian documents, as well as the Hebrew Bible. During the First Aliyah in the 1880s, when Jewish immigrants began arriving in the region in significant numbers, new neighborhoods were founded outside Jaffa on the current territory of Tel Aviv; the first was Neve Tzedek, founded by Mizrahi Jews due to overcrowding in Jaffa and built on lands owned by Aharon Chelouche. Other neighborhoods were Neve Shalom, Yafa Nof, Ohel Moshe, Kerem HaTeimanim, others. Once Tel Aviv received city status in the 1920s, those neighborhoods joined the newly formed municipality, now becoming separated from Jaffa.
The Second Aliyah led to further expansion. In 1906, a group of Jews, among them residents of Jaffa, followed the initiative of Akiva Aryeh Weiss and banded together to form the Ahuzat Bayit society; the society's goal was to form a "Hebrew urban centre in a healthy environment, planned according to the rules of aesthetics and modern hygiene." The urban planning for the new city was influenced by the Garden city movement. The first 60 plots were purchased in Kerem Djebali near Jaffa by Jacobus Kann, a Dutch citizen, who registered them in his name to circumvent the Turkish prohibition on Jewish land acquisition. Meir Dizengoff Tel Aviv's first mayor joined the Ahuzat Bayit society, his vision for Tel Aviv involved peaceful co-existence with Arabs. On 11 April 1909, 66 Jewish families gathered on a desolate sand dune to parcel out the land by lottery using seashells; this gathering is considered the official date of the establishment of Tel Aviv. The lottery was organised by president of the building society.
Weiss collected 120