Turkey: Deceased Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya still controversial

7 June 2007
Turkish artist Ahmet Kaya (1957–2000) remains controversial seven years after his death. On 4 June 2007 three people in Adapazarı were attacked for wearing a T-shirt with the printing of ‘Ahmet Kaya’

The argument developed into a lynch attempt, reported the Turkish human rights organisation Freedom of Expression Association. One of the three managed to escape, the other two were protected by police. However, one of the two was later on injured under police protection

Kaya was forced to go into exile because of his music. His story, told at the third Freemuse World Conference in Istanbul by his widow Gülten Kaya, is one of the most comprehensive examples of bans and censorship.

Official sales of his albums exceeded 20 million (it should be multiplied by five, to get an estimated number of unoffical, pirate and bootlegged sales). He was one of the strongest opposition artists of his time and also one of the most popular. Yet his life was a story of both political and ethnic repression, as well as mass bias, prejudice and condemnation. Even after his early death in 2000, he remains a controversial figure in Turkey.



Ahmet Kaya

Antenna, Freedom of Expression Association – 5 July 2007:
‘Lynch Attempt over T-shirt with “Ahmet Kaya” Printing’

Ahmet Kaya’s official website:
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