Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya’s widow still at odds with Turkey

Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya’s widow still at odds with Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya’s widow still at odds with Turkey

Gülten Kaya says she does not want her spouse’s remains repatriated. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Iconic Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya’s widow, Gülten Kaya, said she had not accepted the apologies made to her 13 years after his death.

Ahmet Kaya had been subjected to heavy criticism and protests when he said he would record a Kurdish song and make a music video for it at an award ceremony in 1999. After the incident, he moved to Paris and eventually died in 2000 at the age of 43. His body was buried in Paris. While public figures who criticized him in 1999 recently apologized to the deceased singer with the introduction of the recent peace process, Kaya said she did not accept these apologies.

“In 1999, my school-age daughters were isolated since they were regarded as ‘the daughters of a traitor.’ What apology could pay for the traumas my children had? Our experiences are too bitter to express in words,” Kaya said.

“Ahmet Kaya had a unique ability of perception and foresight that is peculiar to an artist. He wanted to change the bare truths in the country. He did not want to live with a history that is lying. Exile is a truth here since this country does not love its intellectuals,” Kaya said.

Solution could come with social consesus: Kaya

Asked in which ways Ahmet Kaya would contribute to the peace process if he were alive, Kaya said, “If all the values we lost so far were with us now, we would doubtlessly be stronger in the face of the dilemmas we experience. We will always need the healing power of art and music. There is no use in crying after breaking the wings of a bird.”

Kaya said the 30-year issue between Turkey and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) could be resolved with a social consensus.

“As the country, we are trying to progress under a heavy burden. Every government would face difficulties in solving dozens of problems accumulated throughout history. Social consensus is required for that. True diagnosis and recognition are also necessary,” Kaya said.

“We are still far from the truth, since no one could say, ‘We have lied for a century,’ when society is preparing to hear the facts,” she said, adding that it would be very optimistic to hope for a healthy solution to the Kurdish issue.

“If you define the party you would like to make peace with as a ‘terrorist organization,’ this language creates problems. Also, if you call the families of the organization members “my Kurdish brothers,” the paradox will grow even further.

Attention and sensibility are compulsory in this long and mined terrain. When you are facing a regional fire, you cannot build self-confidence through the language of politics alone,” Kaya said about the peace process.

In recent years negotiations to bring Ahmet Kaya’s remains to Turkey have been conducted. However Gülten Kaya does not favor the transfer because she believes that his personal history should not be changed or deleted to confront the consequences of exiles.