On June 24th, at the "Journalist" Club of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, the book by Meltun Kadioğlu - "Songs Inspired by the Native Land" was presented.

It contains 34 compositions of songs created during the long creative career of the famous composer, musician and conductor. Some "Songs inspired by the native land" are based on his own texts, the fruit of his experiences, others are by his friends - poets from Bulgaria and Turkey. The translations from Bulgarian and the editing are by the famous poet Ahmed Atasoy. The score is by Seval Kadioğlu, son of the Maestro and conductor of the Bursa Symphony Orchestra. The beautiful prepress preparation and printing are by Temiziş Ofset&Dijital.

The evening of the book launch was an inspiring and emotional event, attended by journalists, artists, colleagues, friends, fans… Snezhana Todorova, chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Union of the Bulgarian Journalists, as host welcomed the guests and told about her acquaintance with the Maestro some years ago in Bursa, Turkey, during a visit of Bulgarian journalists in the city on the occasion of an international project. "He was happy to meet compatriots from Bulgaria and during our short stay he tried to show and tell us about his life in Turkey since 1989, full of work, love and drama. For Meltun Kadioğlu, Bulgaria is not only a dear memory. It is in his heart..." And she added: "We call him Maestro with love, admiration and gratitude for the sincere friendship, rich soul and generous kindness that protects and inspires us." "I'm happy to congratulate him on this wonderful publication, which contains not only his compositions, but also many warm photos and paintings from his native land."

This is probably why Snezhana Todorova gave the author a painting on behalf of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists to remind him of Bulgaria. He, in turn, gave the Union another, with an image of the treble clef - a symbol of art that unites people around the world.

Afterwards Meltun Kadioğlu talked about his book, which collects in 80 pages the highlights of his life and creative path so far. It includes the unforgettable native Ardino, the White Birches, Kardjali, Belene, the Rhodope Mountains, the beloved people: parents, wife, children, in one word – Bulgaria; Turkey is also present, with the ideas of Atatürk, with Canakkale and others. There is also a song that seems to sum up everything - "Let there be peace and brotherhood in the world". Most of the compositions are in Balkan style. "I am proud to be a graduate of the Plovdiv Music School. I graduated from the Dobrin Petkov Music School and the Music Academy in Plovdiv. I made my friendships there. As a person who grew up, was educated and worked in Bulgaria, and later lived and gave his modest contribution to my second homeland - Turkey, I consider myself privileged to be a small bridge between the cultures of our two neighboring, friendly countries and peoples.

I love both my countries,

the Maestro sayd. He added that during his creative journey he has met great artists - Mincho Minchev, Emil Tabakov, Maestro Georgi Dimitrov, Teodosii Spasov and others, and he invited them all to tour in Turkey.

Exciting speeches followed from those attending the premiere. Impressions of the book and the Maestro were shared by his classmate from the Dobrin Petkov Music School in Plovdiv, Peter Yankov, a famous Bulgarian musician, son of the legendary performer of Rhodope songs Krum Yankov: "We don't see each other often, but when we do, it's always very nice to share. His choir "Obich" or “Love” performs not only Turkish but also Bulgarian songs. They perform them very well because most of its members are from the Rhodope region, including his wife Refi, who performs as a soloist. Meltun never stopped loving Bulgaria. I am happy to know him and glad that he creates and is not afraid to express his feelings. I wish him a lot of health, success and bold creativity."

The chairman of "Rhodopska Iskra -1921" town of Ardino and municipal councilor - Yüksel İsmail, presented Meltun Kadioğlu with a plaque and a congratulatory address on the occasion of his 70th anniversary on behalf of the mayor of the municipality of Ardino - Eng. Izet Shaban, the chairman of The municipal council - Sezgin Bayram, and the community center. It says: "Rhodopa Mountain has given birth to talents with performances in various fields of art. With your musical talent, you have joined dozens of poets, writers and artists from our region, who have left a mark and glorified the homeland beyond its borders. Along with your versatile musical activity, you also devoted yourself to composing songs. Your book is the fruit of this creativity. May this collection of your works reach musical ensembles and let your songs be sung by generations of performers!". Yüksel İsmail said that it has always been a pleasure for him to work together with conductor Meltun Kadioğlu for more than 15 years.

The representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the Republic of Bulgaria - Muhammet Murat Yagiș, also congratulated Meltun Kadioğlu and expressed his regret that he had not known this exceptional person and artist before. He expressed his willingness to assist in further developing cultural ties between our countries with people like him and for future projects.

Ekaterina Kyuchukova, member of the Board of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists and Chairperson of the Committee on Communications, Projects and Programmes, shared her impressions of meeting the Maestro in Bursa in 2015 and the subsequent friendship between their families. Sheasked the representative of the Turkish Embassy in Bulgaria to assist in the implementation of future Joint projects with the Union.

Ekaterina Pavlova, editor-in-chief of "Diplomatic Spectrum", said that the Maestro's incredible personality, his dignified creative and human life were presented in Diplomatic Spectrum in 2017. The material can be read HERE.

She continued, "Some time ago Maestro said in a conversation that his favourite cities in Bulgaria are Ardino, Haskovo and Varna. One of mine is also Haskovo. So I am very happy to give him something very dear to me - one of the three copies I have of my book on Haskovo, which came out some time ago. We are happy with our friendship, Maestro!"

The journalist, bard and poet Ivaylo Dimanov, member of the Board of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, greeted Meltun Kadioğlu and his guests with a performance of one of his songs - "The Paradise Bay". Another one, based on his text and Maestro's music - "The Dolphin Womaniser '', is included in the book "Songs Inspired by the Native Land".

"I am touched by the attention and affection you give me. This gives me the strength to continue creating and building cultural bridges between people," said Meltun Kadioğlu excitedly at the end.

Afterwards, the conversations continued over a glass of wine, delicious homemade baklava prepared by his wife and Turkish delight.

Photos: Diplomatic Spectrum

First row: Meltun Kadioğlu at the book premiere with Snezhana Todorova, Chairperson of the Board of the UBJ; with her and Yüksel İsmail, chairman of "Rodopska Iskra -1921" Ardino and municipal councillor; with Muhammet Murat Yagiș, representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the Republic of Bulgaria; with his classmate Peter Yankov, a famous Bulgarian musician

Second row: Meltun Kadioğlu with Ekaterina Kyuchukova, member of the Board of the UBJ and Chair of the Committee on Communications, Projects and Programmes; with Ekaterina Pavlova, editor-in-chief of Diplomatic Spectrum; with Gergina Dvoretska, President of the Europe and the World Foundation and editor of the website; page from the Maestro's book with the song "Let there be peace and brotherhood in the world"

Third row: moments from the Maestro's walk around Sofia