North Cyprus  

SOS, a Turkish-Cypriot rock music band
"If you can't hear what you are saying, then you  better turn down the volume of our music a bit more."

That is what says on the front cover of SOS' first casette, which was released in 1994. The reason, they say, for inserting a this was as sort of dedication to those who raise voice against the type of rock music they make.

SOS, a Turkish-Cypriot rock music band SOS, the only professional rock group of North Cyprus, was founded in 1987 by a group of friends to foster the development of local Turkish Cypriot rock music. The group, which then consisted of Mehmet Zeyin (the lead singer and guitar), Mehmet Özçelik (base guitar), Kamil Atik (solo/ rhytm guitar) and Muhittin Yangin infused their musical philosophy with the local tunes in the rock style to create their own music which they call Cypriot rock.

According to SOS, rock is a means that signals and stands against the societal depressions, as well as a means to relieve the society from such ills and express one's opinions in a stress-free musical level. Rock, which has been the symbol of protest and dynamic youthful restlessness in the society, is our means to raise our voice and spread our message to the society in general, the SOS says.

Since its establishment in 1987, SOS put more emphasis on giving concerts for its promotion. They say: "the times before the concerts is very stressful for us, and we camp for a week in the studio, working every day until the concert day. This helped us a lot, as we realised our potential was far greater than we previously thought."

SOS, released their first casette in 1987, the year it was established. After its first success with the Cypriot youth, they intensified their efforts on a better organised and produced casette album. During this time, one of the group members started his national service, where he met musician Ersen Sururi, who was also doing his service and who would be the fifth member of the SOS in future.

After the completion of their national services and joining to SOS of Kamil and Ersen Sururi, the goup was strengthened and their music was appreciated by a wider circle of young fans. So accordingly, during this time they gave many concerts throughout North Cyprus. In 1989, the group competed in the Golden Cedar Song Contest in Istanbul which was a success for the SOS, both in terms of result and experience in Turkey.

SOS, a Turkish-Cypriot rock music band SOS's next casette "Kalbimizdeki Prenses'e" (To the Princess of our hearts) came later in that year, with a message of PEACE. But, thr group says the kind of peace they tried to explain in their album, was a peace "within one's own inner self". A peace which stood up to malicious and extreme ideologies which enslave poison the minds and inner-selves of the millions. Perhaps, the cover of their casette with a white dove being freed by a hand-shaped guitar with the emblem of SOS. And the note, this time, on the new casette read:

"If PEACE is our goal for future, then MUSIC must be our key to open the door of peace"

"Kalbimizdeki Prenses'e" (To the Princess of our hearts) included the following SOS songs: Prenses'e, Kollarimda, Tut Canim, Düşünen Hayvan, Bolodin'in Kizlari Dansi, Bir Dalga Gelse, Dünya Gebe, Savaşlar Inadina, and Kardeşliğimiz Sürecek.

  • Article by Eralp Adanir, appeared in Nokta-KIBRIS, 10-16 April 1994, No.7. (Translation from Turkish by Y.Sentürk)