Turkey’s leading folk artist dies of leukemia
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Esin Afşar was called ‘the diplomatic singer’ because she was invited to foreign countries many times. DHA photo
Turkish artist Esin Afşar died in Istanbul of leukemia at the age of 75 on Nov. 14. Afşar died at Şişli Florence Nightingale Hospital where she was receiving treatment for some time.
Born in 1942 in Bari, Italy where her father was a diplomat, Afşar graduated from the piano department of the Bari conservatory.
During her years in the conservatory she had singing lessons from Madame Bohn and Madame Hidalgo. Later she was appointed to the state theater as a pianist. Muhsin Ertuğrul, the general director of the theater, noticed her talent in acting. After passing an examination she became the state actress of the theater. In 1967 after several years in theater she played in the musical “Fantastics.”
In 1969, Afşar received the Dario Morano award with Jacques Brel in Paris. In the same year she also performed in several TV programs for Tele Dimanche and Midi Magazine. Accepting the invitation of Princess Grace Kelly for the 10th TV festival, she gave a concert in Monte Carlo together with Gilbert Becaud and Josephine Baker. In the same year she performed at the international music festival in Brashov, Romania and received the “Critics Award.” She also won the “Best Composition Award” bestowed by the daily Tanin.
In 1970, she was selected as “The Best Singer” in Turkey and she also received the third grand prize at the international music festival “Golden Orfe” in Bulgaria. Afşar was invited to Cuba, Poland and England, but due to illness she could not accept the invitations. She was later invited to Naples, Italy and Hungary, where she went to give several concerts. In Sofia, Bulgaria she performed on a TV program. Because she was invited to foreign countries many times, she was called “the diplomatic singer.” She became the pioneer of modern folk music in Turkey