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    Russian Famous Alexandrov Ensemble Gives First Concert Abroad After Plane Crash

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    The world famous Alexandrov Ensemble of the Russian Armed Forces has performed at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul as part of their first tour since the death of 64 members in the Tu-154 plane crash in December.

    Despite a protests in social media ahead of the concert, which blamed Russia and the Syrian government for the alleged chemical weapons use in Syrian Idlib last Tuesday, without providing any evidence or waiting for the results of an investigation, the event attracted a large Turkish audience.

    The Ensemble performed well-known melodies both in Russian and in Turkish and commemorated the lives of their musicians who died in the plane crash in December and the victims of the terrorist attack in the St. Petersburg metro.

    ​The concert started with the well-known song of the Soviet Army, Invincible and Legendary, a famous World War II song written and performed at the war's end.

    Especially for the Turkish audience, the Ensemble performed some numbers in Turkish – the Ottoman marching song Ceddin Deden and the Cankkale Turkusu ballad, a Turkish folk song about the Battle of Gallipoli, a First World War campaign that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in modern Turkey) in the Ottoman Empire between April 25, 1915, and  January 9, 1916.

    The Ensemble is in Turkey giving its first concert abroad following the tragic airplane crash in December that killed 92 people, including 64 musicians of the Alexandrov Ensemble.

    The performance opens the tight concert schedule for the Ensemble, which is set to embark on a European tour shortly afterwards.

    ​On December 25, the Russian Defense Ministry's Tu-154 plane en route from Moscow to Syria to perform a holiday show for Russian servicemen assisting in the fight against terrorism, crashed shortly after refueling and take-off from the Russian southern city of Adler, near Sochi.

    Among the 92 people onboard were nine reporters, head of the Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity Elizaveta Glinka, and two federal civil servants. None of them survived the crash.

    performance, concert, Alexandrov Ensemble, Russian Armed Forces, Turkey, Russia, Istanbul
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