By Cem Genco
ANTAKYA, Turkey (AA) - A veteran soloist with the Civilizations Choir of Antakya, which brings together 200 musicians from three religions and six sects in southern Turkey, sings in 14 different languages, she told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
For the last 12 years, Meltem Bingol Altunay has been a member of the choir, which has performed works in a variety of languages, primarily Turkish, English, and Arabic, since its 2007 founding in Hatay province.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Altunay said she was accepted into the choir after passing an audition. "I've been on stage in many parts of the world and sang works in different languages."
A nurse by profession, Altunay explained that she learns songs in so many languages by constantly listening to them and absorbing them.
Expressing her pleasure at the large following that the choir's weekly performances receive, she said: "Peace is the most important message of our choir and I'm happy to give this message."
Altunay has appeared with the choir 250 times so far, singing pieces in Turkish, French, German, English, Arabic, Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Zazaki, and Circassian, among other languages.