Posted by: bluesyemre | November 3, 2013

Turkey’s ‘Rockin’ Imam’ Inspires Youth, Tests Boundaries

Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer, in white, is lead singer for FiRock, which combines Sufi mysticism and psychedelic rock.


  • At 42, Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer has a modest post as imam in a small mosque in the village of Pinarbasi, near Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, where he serves about 15 Sunni Muslim families. It’s not the kind of place where you’d expect to find an imam attracting attention across Turkey and beyond. But Tuzer is quietly — well, not so quietly, actually — pushing back against Turkey’s religious establishment. He’s attracting a following among younger Turks for his inclusive religious message, and especially for his work outside the mosque, fronting a rock ‘n’ roll band. Tuzer says his new adventure began this summer, when he met veteran Turkish rock guitarist Dogan Sakin and they formed the band FiRock. He says it’s a genre-jumping band. “Rock, Sufi mysticism, psychedelic rock; it’s a bit like Pink Floyd,” he says. “We record sacred songs and originals. We want to embrace everyone, so we don’t limit our music.”


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