Turkish pop great Kayahan dies at 66

Turkish pop great Kayahan dies at 66

Turkish pop great Kayahan dies at 66

Kayahan has died at age 66 after a long battle with cancer. AA Photo

One of the best-selling musicians in Turkey, pop singer, songwriter and composer Kayahan Açar, who became famous as Kayahan, has died of cancer aged 66.

He was diagnosed with soft tissue cancer in 1990, for which he had been receiving long-term treatment. Though he was able to recover multiple times, he relapsed in 2005 and 2014.

He had been under intensive care at Istanbul’s Acıbadem Maslak Hospital for small-cell lung cancer when he passed away at 7 a.m. on April 3.

Kayahan, who released some of Turkey’s best-selling albums during his career, which spanned more than four decades, was on stage for the last time in Istanbul on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.

Also a guitar virtuoso, Kayahan was accompanied by his wife, singer İpek Açar, and his long-time duet partner, famous pop music singer Nilüfer.

Nilüfer sang Kayahan’s compositions for most of her career, creating some of Turkey’s best-known pop songs.

In a written statement, Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Oncology Professor Gökhan Demir said the artist had responded very well to treatment in the early stages but the disease had begun to resist the treatment and he died of respiratory insufficiency and multiple organ failure.

Kayahan had been getting treatment for small-cell lung cancer for the past year-and-a-half, the statement said.

Born in İzmir on March 29, 1949, Kayahan spent his childhood in the Turkish capital Ankara before moving to Istanbul.

In 1990, he represented Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest with his song “Gözlerinin Hapsindeyim” and ranked 17th.

 “Yemin Ettim,” his very first album, was released in 1991. In 1993, he released “Sarı Şekerim,” which featured 10 songs he had written himself.

Two years later, Kayahan followed up with “Benim Penceremden.” Two songs from that album (“Ben Anadolu Çocuğuyum” and “Allahım Neydi Günahım”) were very popular at the time of their release and were covered by other singers later on.

In 1996, the songs “Emrin Olur,” “Atın Beni Denizlere” and “Şampiyon” were the most prominent songs from his album “Canımın Yaprakları.”

He was married three times and had two daughters.