Deep Purple's upcoming May gig in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) will be a free-admission concert open to the legendary British rock band's fans from all over Turkey and abroad, not just from the northern part of the divided Mediterranean island.
The concert, part of the KKTC-based Near East University's (YDÜ) 25th anniversary celebrations, is set for May 24 at Park Near East on the YDÜ campus. The 105,000 -square-meter outdoor venue can accommodate up to 150,000 concertgoers.
A specially designed, gigantic 1,250-square-meter stage that is 50 meters wide will be built for the concert, the university's board of trustees, which is organizing the event, announced in a press release issued Wednesday.
“We set [out to organize] a musical event that will be remembered for ages and a special journey that will overcome all barriers and borders. … Deep Purple is a common passion for several generations of people. And we wanted to organize a historical event that will be remembered for generations,” Assistant Professor İrfan S. Günsel, chairman of YDÜ's board of trustees, said during a press conference earlier this week at the university. “To emphasize this, we're saying, ‘Get your sleeping bag and come along'.”
After the group's announcement of the concert earlier this month, Greek Cypriot diplomats allegedly tried to prevent the concert from taking place on the Turkish side of the island, according to reports in the Greek Cypriot media. Cyprus has been divided between the Greek Cypriot south and the Turkish Cypriot north since 1974, when Turkey sent troops to the island in the aftermath of a Greek-supported coup that sought to unite Cyprus with Greece. The Greek Cypriot administration is internationally recognized as representing the entire island, while only Turkey recognizes the KKTC.
“Rock is not only a music style, but a lifestyle. Rock is such a music that rises up against the status quo, [it's] a rebellion against the established order. Rock music is the reflection of freedom and honor. … It is an awakening, a power that lays the word ‘impossible' aside with the power of notes and guitar,” Günsel said.
“The most important reason we have chosen Deep Purple [for this concert] is the overlaps between the vision and principles of our university and the implications of the musical journey of this band. … Deep Purple's principle of holding its head high, reflected in its music style, and its solid approach to perform in our country ... overlap with the academic and social stances of Near East University,” he added.
For more information and updates about the concert, and for reservations, visit the YDÜ website at www.neu.edu.tr.