Turkish rock music lost a legend, Erkin Koray

Turkish rock music lost a legend, Erkin Koray

Turkish rock music lost a legend, Erkin Koray

Türkiye’s veteran rock musician Erkin Koray has died at the age of 82. The musician, who left a mark on Turkish rock music with his songs, died in the hospital he was admitted to in Toronto, Canada, where he had been living for a few years.

Hours before his death, his daughter Damla Koray said, “My father was nearing the end of his illness. He was put to sleep so that he would not suffer any more pain. It is a lung condition. I even heard the name for the first time. I can’t say I am surprised that he has an incurable disease. He proved that he is an extreme person in this as well as in everything else.”

Then she made the announcement of his death on her Instagram account. Stating that there will not be a ceremony for the artist at the moment, Damla Koray stated that a commemoration event will be held later for his fans.

“Your works will live on in our language, your love will live in our hearts, always and forever. I hope you find peace and tranquility in another world that you could not find in this world. Honestly, the most solid man I've ever known; the inventor of Anatolian rock, my dear father... I am sure 'your children' will always be grateful for what you have done to advance their country, their culture and the Republic,” she said.

Born in Istanbul in 1941, Koray took guitar lessons after learning piano from his mother, Vecihe Koray, who was a music instructor.

Koray started playing contemporary pieces of the period with the band Erkin Koray and Rhythmists, which he founded with his friends in the 1950s. After his high school education, Koray continued his musical studies as an amateur in the 1960s. After his military service, he took part as a guitarist in the band The Hiccups in Germany for two and a half years.

Continuing his professional work solo, Koray released 45 records of English songs in 1966, but since the record did not sell well, he decided to make his next songs in Turkish.

Koray's album, which was released in 1967 and included the songs "Kızları da Alın Askere" and “Aşk Oyunu” made the famous musician known throughout Türkiye.

Koray also pioneered the underground music movement with the band Underground Quadruple, which he founded in 1969. In this band, he adapted songs from groups such as Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and Cream.

After establishing the psychedelic rock band Super Group in 1971 with bass guitarist Jerzy Ziembrowski, whom he met in Germany, Koray decided to continue his musical studies solo in 1973.

Koray, who released 15 albums from 1973 to 1999 as part of his solo works, became well known with the songs he composed such as "İlla Ki," "Deli Kadın," "Tek Başına," "Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki," "Arapsaçı," "Fesupanallah," "Şaşkın," "Sevince" and "Yalnızlar Rıhtımı" as well as the adaptations such as "Cemalim" and "Köprüden Geçti Gelin."

A month before his death, he made the announcement of a new album on his social media account on July 7.

Inspiring many new generation bands in Turkish rock music, Koray was dubbed as the "father of Turkish rock" by the Israeli heavy metal band Orphaned Land. He also went into the history of Turkish music by producing electric bağlama.

Lots of people from politics to the art world made condolences after Koray’s death. One of them was Orphaned Land, which often perform Koray's song "Estarabim" in their world tours.

The lead singer of the group, Kobi Farhi, said, "Dear Erkin father. You will be remembered as one of the greatest rock heroes of our time. You built the musical path on which we walk freely today."