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18.07.06: Livaneli becomes first to receive Theodorakis Award

Mikis Theodorakis congratulates his friend Zülfü Livaneli
Revered Turkish artist Zülfü Livaneli, a prolific composer, singer, writer and film director, has become the first recipient of the Mikis Theodorakis Award, bestowed on those who make contributions in the development of Turkish-Greek relations.

Launched this year, the award is named after the famous Greek composer and singer Mikis Theodorakis, with whom Livaneli has worked together on numerous joint projects that include albums and concerts, all aimed at establishing strong cultural ties between the two countries.

Livaneli received his award from Theodorakis at a ceremony held on Sunday on the Greek island Chios.

Chios Mayor Markos Mennis, who opened the ceremony with a speech, said last September Livaneli and Theodorakis launched a series of activities titled "Theodorakia" with two separate concerts and that the municipality aimed to continue these activities annually.

"Mikis Theodorakis' mother was born in İzmir's Çeşme. Theodorakis was born in 1925 in Chios. Last year the municipality decided to launch the Mikis Theodorakis Award in an effort to reward those who contribute to the development of Turkish-Greek friendship. … I thank Livaneli for the role he has played in the development of Turkish-Greek friendship and hope his contributions will continue", said Mennis.

Later Theodorakis presented Livaneli with the award. Other recipients of the award were former deputy Adil Demir, İzmir's Alaçatı Mayor Remzi Özen and Çeşme Mayor Faik Tütüncüoğlu.

Livaneli said he was pleased to be deemed worthy of the award.

"This beautiful island should be proud of having nurtured a remarkable person like Theodorakis. But Theodorakis does not only belong to Chios Island or the Greeks, but to all of humanity. He is a person who has guided me both in my music and in my life", Livaneli said.

The ceremony was followed by a concert by Greek artists Glykeria and Dimitris Bassis.

İZMİR - Turkish Daily News

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