Foreign artists living in Turkey came together in Istanbul to hold a concert to mark World Refugee Day on June 20.
The concert organized by the International Refugee Rights Association was at the Cemil Candaş Şişli Municipality City Cultural Center.
Murat Polat, the concert’s music and art director, said the show was broadcast live on the Refugee TV YouTube channel.
“We began with an idea of how we can create a positive image about refugees in the society,” he said, adding that each of the artists sang popular songs from their country. Those artists included Malik Nour (Syria), Danial Ajdari (Iran), Enzo Ikah (Congo), Keily Fidel (Cuba) and Sarah Atkinson (Canada).
Ajdari, a musician who has been living in Turkey for six years, told the state-run Anadolu Agency that he can express his art better in Turkey.
Moldovan singer Leonida Timus, who has been living in Istanbul for five years, said Turkey was her second home. “Turkey is truly an incredible country. It embraces all foreigners. It treats us as its own children,” she said.
Atkinson stressed that Turkey means a lot to her. “To me, homeland means a feeling of security, knowing that you belong somewhere and feeling that that place belongs to you,” she said.
“I hope we can all work and commit ourselves to create a world where all of us are free and safe in their homeland, in the places where we’ve been born, and in the places where we come from,” she added.
According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, the number of people fleeing wars, violence, persecution and human rights violations rose by 4 percent in 2020 to nearly 82.4 million people.
Turkey has been the country hosting the largest number of refugees in the world since 2014.
Hurriyet Daily News