Kaya, a singer best known for using music as a form of protest, was accused of separatism after announcing at an MGD event on Feb. 10, 1999 that he was going to sing and film a music video in Kurdish.
World Bulletin / News Desk
The Entertainment Journalists’ Association (MGD) has decided to grant an annual Ahmet Kaya Award in memory of Kurdish singer and composer Ahmet Kaya, who was attacked 13 years ago at an MGD event after he announced that he was going to include a Kurdish song in his next album.
The first award will go to Ümit Yılmaz, an orchestra conductor who accompanied Kaya in his performances on the traditional bağlama, the Sabah daily reported on Monday. The award will be presented by journalist Savaş Ay, a close friend of Kaya.
Speaking to Sabah, Gülten Kaya, the widow of Kaya, expressed her pleasure over the MGD’s decision to give a special award in memory of her late husband. “Ahmet Kaya was a man of music and a great composer. The decision [to give a special award in his honor] is a belated one, but still significant,” she said, adding that she was glad that Yılmaz would be the first recipient of the award.
Kaya, a singer best known for using music as a form of protest, was accused of separatism after announcing at an MGD event on Feb. 10, 1999 that he was going to sing and film a music video in Kurdish. Some of Turkey’s biggest celebrities protested his decision by swearing at him and throwing objects at him, including the forks that were on their dinner tables. Kaya was protected from injury by a couple of friends and waiters. Soon after the incident, he went abroad and died of a heart attack in France, on Nov. 16, 2000.