Kobi Farhi, who recently was a guest on A Haber's 'Satır Arası' show hosted by Duygu Leloğlu, sad that he wants to be able to say that he is both an Israeli and Turkish citizen. Farhi also said he wanted to apologize for the Mavi Marmara raid on behalf of the Israeli government.
"TURKEY REPRESENTS GREAT NOTIONS"
"My and the band's relationship with Turkey began 11 years ago. We had never played outside of Israel. However, when we came here we were treated with great hospitality. Turkey was the country we were most successful in throughout the world. Whenever we would come here our fans would greet us by saying, 'welcome to your home my brothers.' We felt at home here. As time passed, we began to receive peace awards from universities, state establishments and even from the prime minister's advisors. Every time we came here, we would feel more and more at home. I also feel that we represent Turkey when we travel all over the world. I think Turkey is a beautiful country. It is a big country and represents great notions. It shows multiple cultural facets, and is a nation that proves that every religion is able to find its own place in every culture. In my opinion, this is what makes Turkey a great country. This is why I want to be a Turkish citizen. I want to be able to go to England, Europe and America and at the same time be able to say that I am a very proud Turkish citizen."
"MY FAMILY USED TO USE TURKISH WORDS"
"I was born and grew up in Jaffa, Israel. The Ottomans reined there for a long time. You can still see photographs of Atatürk in some coffee houses. You can alsosee the influence of Turkish architecture. My ancestors came from Bulgaria, however are still influenced by the Turkish culture. Sometimes my grandmother would use Turkish words. I was highly influenced by Turkish music and Turkish culture. Turkish music used to inspire us. To be in Turkey now feels quite natural for me."
"THE MAVI MARMARA INCIDENT BROUGHT ME TO TEARS"
"The Mavi Marmara raid was a disaster. I was extremely saddened when relations with Turkey soured, because Turkey felt like my home. I thought it was tragic that relations between the two nations had broken apart. I would have wanted to be a Turkish citizen even if the Mavi Marmara incident hadn't happened, because I love Turkey. I love Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. I love that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the ancestor of this nation and the ideas he represents as a leader. I am able to meet with my Arab friends and those from Syria, Iran and Lebanon here in Turkey. I cannot do that in Israel or in Arab nations. The Mavi Marmara raid was an extremely unfortunate event. I wish it had never happened.
Every morning when I get up I do the same thing. First, I put my Turkish coffee on the stove and then I follow the news on the internet. I was drinking my coffee when the Mavi Marmara incident took place. I saw the news and I began to tear up. I knew as I read it that this was a grave mistake and that relations between Israel and Turkey would never be the same. I also thought that they wouldn't accept me anymore in Turkey. My eyes swelled up and I couldn't believe this was happening. A week after this event, we were scheduled to play at the Sonisphere Festival however the security company said they wouldn't be able to guarantee our safety. I said, 'we don't need a security company. Turkey is my home, I don't want bodyguards.' But they said, 'No, we cannot guarantee your safety.' They said, 'If anything happens to you it will affect all of the other shows.' One concert was cancelled for safety reasons. However, six months later we came back to Turkey to play in two different events. They were both really successful and all tickets were sold out. That's when we received our first peace award from a university."
"I APOLOGIZE TO TURKEY ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT"
"Music goes above politics and is superior to it. That is because music aims to unite everyone and musicians have the exception of being able to do so. Sometimes I don't understand the mentality of politicians, or what it is they are thinking. I want to apologize to the Turkish public on behalf of them; I would never have wanted anything like this to happen. I want to say that I am truly sad. Yes, I know I am not the prime minister; however I and my friends in Israel apologize. "
"I HAVE APPLIED FOR TURKISH CITIZENSHIP"
"I applied for Turkish citizenship a few days ago. I haven't received an answer yet. I applied to the Çankaya municipality, but also to my friend Bülent Tanık. I know that he passed on my application to the Minister of Culture. It is now up to the government. My Turkish friends and fans are proud of us. They were all really surprised. They said that no musician has ever wanted to become Turkish up until now. I am not doing this to benefit in any way. I am just doing this because I love you all. "
"I AM NOT AN AGENT, JUST A SINGER"
"One journalist insinuated that I am a CIA or Mossad agent. This is ridiculous. It's the most absurd thing I have heard in the entire 37 years I have been alive. I am not a politician or an agent. I am just a singer. I sing my music for peace. I am not a representative for any organization or political party."
"I WANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY I AM BOTH AN ISRAELI AND A TURK"
"As far as I know, it's possible to become a dual citizen. I know I can that according to Israeli law I can be a dual citizen and I hope that the same is possible in Turkey. I want to be able to go to America and Europe and say that I am both an Israeli and a Turkish citizen. I want to say that I am a citizen of a Jewish country and a citizen of a Muslim country. My group's vision has a lot of similarity to Atatürk's vision."