Ahmet Kaya would stand next to both Gezi protestors and Barzani, his widow says
Ahmet Kaya would support both the Gezi Park protests and the recent Diyarbakır visit from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader if he were alive, his widow says. Hürriyet PhotoAhmet Kaya would support both to the Gezi Park protests and the recent Diyarbakır visit from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader if he were alive, his widow said, responding to the ongoing political debate over the late Kurdish singer.
“Gezi embodies a spirit of objection; of course Ahmet Kaya would stand with that movement and of course he would stand by dear [Masoud] Barzani as well,” Gülten Kaya said during a live program broadcasted by CNN-Türk Nov. 20.
The Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the iconic Kurdish musician who died 13 years ago a current issue by praising him during the landmark Diyarbakır rally with the KRG Government leader Barzani on Nov. 16.
When he further said “those who attacked Kaya are the same who attacked us during Gezi Park,” during his Justice and Development Party (AKP) group meeting speech, Kaya has become subject to harsh criticism from opposition parties, who accused the prime minister of insincerity.
“How can a dictator mention the name of Ahmet Kaya? If Ahmet Kaya, who was courageous and a revolutionary, was alive, he would side with the Gezi protesters and Erdoğan would be against Ahmet Kaya,” said the main opposition leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
The Kurdish singer underwent heavy criticism and protests when he said, at an award ceremony in 1999, he would record a song in Kurdish and make a music video for it.
Afterward, a group of artists walked on stage after Kaya’s speech and started to sing an anthem and a well-known song called Memleketim (My Motherland) to protest him. Some participants also booed and threw forks at Kaya, which eventually forced him to move to Paris, where he died a year later at the age of 43.
During the phone interview, Gülten Kaya said she has watched the recent developments in astonishment, while welcoming the discussion of the subject “at last.”
“I find the way this subject has been dealt very unserious. It is very normal that this came to the political agenda, because Turkey never discussed this dramatic incident for the past 14 years. Now it has begun to be talked about, as it should be; it’s healthy, and the truth must be confronted. From the Armenian issue to Kurdish issue,” she said, asking for the media to not make the issue void.
After Erdoğan’s remarks accusing the participants of the eventful ceremony, who were mostly prominent artists and famous figures in Turkey, of making excuses to avoid taking responsibility, eyes turned toward those artists.
Particularly, famous pop singer Serdar Ortaç, who kindled the protest against Kaya by starting to sing the 10th year anthem after his speech, has been forced to release statements expressing his regret over the issue.
Speaking at the same television program, Ortaç said he was confused and agitated as a 24-year-old youth. "Now I am disgusted and repulsed as I watch myself,” he added.
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, however, said Ortaç is the scapegoat in this situation and the state is the one that should be questioned.
“For me, Serdar Ortaç is the most sincere. He expressed his regret many times. Ortaç is the most innocent. The media, prosecutors and system is not questioned, but Serdar Ortaç, who apologized, is criticized again and again,” he said.
He also said he thinks the Gezi protests’ participants are the ones who grew up with Kaya’s songs, adding the real question should be where would the prime minister stand while Ahmet Kaya was lynched.