In this article, we want to examine the life and artistic activities of the very famous and popular singer and composer Ahmet Kaya in the field of Turkish traditional and epic music. Ahmet Kaya is one of the Turkish singers whose great love for his homeland has increased his fame and popularity, and he gained fans during the 1980s and 2000s with his unique albums and concerts. After his death, his popularity has not diminished and his name is still alive and popular in Turkey. Kaya was Kurdish on her father’s side, and her interest in Kurds and the Kurdish language also had a profound effect on her popularity.
Life of Ahmet Kaya
Ahmet was born in 1957 as the fifth child in a family in Malatya. His father was working in a factory at the time. Ahmet Kaya spent his early years in Malatya, beginning at the age of six with music with the Baghlama, a baghlama his father had given him. Kaya sometimes fell behind in her studies and started working in a tape shop. Ahmet and his family moved to the Kocamustafapaşa district of Istanbul in 1972 due to his family’s economic situation, and Ahmet Kaya dropped out of school. Ahmet did various jobs as a salesman and apprentice.
Ahmet Kaya, along with other artistic activities in the field of folk art, performed in various Baghlama ceremonies. Kaya met Rohi Su at a ceremony at Baghizichi University and performed Mahsus Mahal. Ahmet began his military service in 1978 and married Amina Kaya after completing his military service, and in 1982 his first child, Chigdem, was born. Ahmet Kaya later divorced his wife due to unemployment due to unemployment.
Ahmet Kaya’s first professional activities
After much effort, Ahmet Kaya released the album Do Not Cry My Child (Ağlama Bebeğim) in 1984, and at the same time gave a small concert at the hanan Theater in Istanbul. The album was banned in 1984, but was re-licensed later. He also released his second album, Living with Pain (Acılara Tutunmak) in 1985. The owner of the studio that released the album, Sezer Bağcan, introduced ٬ Ahmet to Gülten Hayaloğlu.
Ahmet and Gelten got married after the release of Acılara Tutunmak. Gelten gave Ahmet a poem by (Nevzat Çelik) who had been sentenced to death and had met him in prison, and the album (Şafak Türküsü) with Ahmet’s new poems and pieces was released in 1986.
In the same year, they also made the album A Moment Arrives (An Gelir). Melis, daughter of Ahmet and Gelton, was born in 1987. Gelten’s brother Yusuf Hayaloğlu was also a poet, and Ahmet became acquainted with Yusuf and his poems after meeting Gelten.
Ahmet Kaya and Yusuf Hayaloglu
Ahmet and Yusuf have been collaborating since 1978, and the album The Tired Politician (Yorgun Demokrat), most of which is by Hayaloglu, was released that year. In 1988, the album Protest (Başkaldırıyorum) was released. The poems of the two pieces of this album also belong to Hayal Oglu and the poems of the other pieces are from the works of famous poets. Most of the lyrics on the album (İyimser Bir Gül) also belong to Yusuf Hayaloglu. This album was released in 1989.
Continuation of Ahmet Kaya’s activities and albums
The album Resitaller-1 was also released in 1989. The tracks on this album only included the voice of Baghlama and the singer, and the second series of this album was released in 1990. In October 1990, the album Sevgi Duvarı was released. The lyrics of this album were also prepared from famous works. My Songs for the Mountains (Şarkılarım Dağlara) was an album that broke the time record with the release of 2.8 million bands. But later, under the pretext of inappropriate lyrics, this album was collected and no license was issued to perform its pieces in concerts. In addition, Kaya has made other albums for the rest of her life.
Soundtrack movie and TV show Brother Ahmet
The music for the films Tatar Ramazan and Tatar Ramazan Sürgünde, made in 1990 and 1992, was composed by Ahmet Kaya. Ahmet Abi’nin Vapuru was also produced by Ahmet Kaya in 1994 with the help of Gelten Kaya (Hayaloglu) and Yusuf Hayaloglu. The program, which aired in Turkey (Kanal D), aired for only 13 weeks and then stopped production.
Ahmet Kaya style of music
Ahmet Kaya’s style of work can not be considered exactly pop, Turkish folk music (Türk Halk Müziği) or Arabesk, and for this reason his music is known as the epic music (Özgün Müzik) unique to Ahmet Kaya. Kaya herself was opposed to calling her work “protest music.” There are a total of 22 albums made by a Kurdish song called Caravan. When Ahmet Kaya met Rouhi Su and played an instrument with him, Rouhi Su said that Baghlama should not be played so loudly and angrily. In the following years, Ahmet Kaya addressed Rohi Su in one of his concerts, saying, “This is how Baglama can be beaten.”
Death of Ahmet Kaya
Ahmet Kaya was recording the album Goodbye My Eyes (Hoşcakalın Gözüm) in Paris when he died of a heart attack on November 16, 2000 at his home in Paris. Ahmet Kaya’s body was buried on November 17, 2000 in the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise cemetery, and more than 30,000 people attended his funeral.
After the death of Ahmet Kaya
After Ahmet Kaya’s death, he has received hundreds of cultural and artistic awards. In 2002, an album of Ahmet Kaya’s pieces entitled “Listen to My Dear Country” (Dinle Sevgili Ülkem) was made, sung by 20 famous artists. In 2003, his tomb was rebuilt in Per-Lashche Cemetery, and in 2009, during the rule of the AK Party, it was proposed to move the tomb of Ahmet Kaya from Paris to Turkey, but his tomb is still in Paris. Ahmet Kaya was awarded the Music Award at a ceremony held by the President in 2013. “Understand me now, not after I die,” said Ahmet Kaya at every opportunity.