Starting with the so-called migrant »guest workers« in the early 1960s, the largest Turkish community outside Turkey formed in Germany, growing up to three million people today. Yet, German music history is mainly written without considering Turkish music in Germany, and when it comes to Turkish record labels in Germany, they are almost totally neglected. As these labels had no access to the German record industry’s relevant official distribution channels (hit charts, media, stores) they had to invent their own distribution channels, with grocery stores and general stores as main selling points and Turkish newspapers as media displays. Combining perspectives from media and cultural studies as well as musicology, we propose to analyze the discourse (or the lack of it) about these labels and the music linked to them in order to understand why these independent labels were blocked from the official distribution channels and why they are written out of cultural and music history until today.

The international colloquium will be held online via zoom on the 22-25th of June 2021 with a soon to be announced program schedule. Starting from broader discussions about the relationship between the local and the global in music production, this colloquium proposes a discussion on the impact of independent music labels with a focus in contexts, such as the portuguese, that are similarly located outside the main production centers.

Publication: The hidden history of Turkish independent labels