World Bulletin / News Desk
Neset Ertas, Turkish folk music singer and lyrics writer, also nicknamed "the Plectrum of the Steppe" passed away on Tuesday.
76-year-old Ertaş had been in the hospital in Izmir for 17 days.
While in hospital, Ertaş often saw news on twitter about his death. He was rather upset about that and made an announcement on his website: “My dear admirers, I've learnt about my death from the news. Such groundless information makes me very upset. You can learn the truth about me here. Do not worry.”
WHO IS NEŞET ERTAŞ?
Neşer Ertaş was born in 1938 in Çiçekdağı, Kırşehir. He can be called a dervish poet, also known as the Plectrum of the Steppe. He comes from the Kırşehir's dervishes.
His father Muharrem Ertaş was also a musician and played saz. After his mother Döne died, he moved with his father and brothers to the village where he spent his childhood. When he was in primary school, Ertaş learned to play fiddle and later baglama – a three-stringed folk musical instrument. Together with his father Muharrem Ertaş, they started performing at local weddings, playing saz and singing türkü – Turkish folk songs. Ertaş later said that his father was his only strong influence. He would put it this way: “Me and my father are of the same spirit”.
WORKING AS AN ARTIST
Neşet Ertaş came to Istanbul in the late 1950s and recorded a türkü composed by his father named “Nightingale, why do you sing so strangely?”. The record was a great success, and other records and concerts followed. Later Neşet Ertaş moved to Ankara. Due to health problems he visited Germany upon the invitation of his brother. Ertaş stayed in Germany for quite a long time, composing and educating his children. He came back to the scene in 2000 when he gave a concert in Istanbul.
ERTAŞ DID NOT ACCEPT THE STATE ARTIST TITLE
Offered the title of the State Artist under the President Demirel, Ertaş declined the offer saying: “Süleyman Demirel was the President. I was offered the state artists title. I refused, saying that all of us were state artists, and only me having the title would discriminate others. Being the people's artist is my greatest happiness. I did not take a penny from the state, I only received a merit award from the Parliament once. I accepted it in the name of all our ancestors who served this culture.”
Recognized by UNESCO as a living human treasure, Ertaş was granted an Honorary Doctorate degree by the Istanbul Technical University Conservatory.