Turkish folk singer Neset Ertas etched in hearts

By Serkan Guner

KIRSEHIR, Turkey (AA) – Six years after his death Turkish folksinger Neset Ertas remains etched in the hearts of his fans.

To commemorate his death anniversary on Sept. 25 several events have been organized across the country.

He died in 2012 in the western province of Izmir at the age of 74 after a battle with cancer.

Fans of the singer and lyricist are paying tribute to him at his mausoleum in the central Anatolian province of Kirsehir.

Ertas was born in the Cicekdagi district of Kirsehir in 1938.

He played the baglama, a traditional Turkish guitar.

Fondly remembered as the "Bozkirin Tezenesi" (Voice of Prairie), ''Turkulerin Babasi" (Father of Songs), "Anadolu Efsanesi" (Legend of Anatolia), and Abdal Muzisyen (Abdal Musician), Neset Ertas is seen as the last great proponent of a genre called 'Abdallik' — a name referred to groups dealing with music in his hometown.

In 1957, Ertas went to Istanbul, where his first record — titled "Neden Garip Garip Otersin Bulbul" — was produced.

After working for two years in Istanbul, he moved to Ankara, where he met his wife Leyla. They married despite his father's opposition. The couple has three children.

In 1978, Ertas moved to Germany for receiving a treatment after his fingers became paralyzed. In 2000, he returned to Istanbul to perform at a concert.

UNESCO recognized Ertas as a living human treasure. The folk singer refused the state artist title, which was offered by then-President Suleyman Demirel.

Ertas was awarded an honorary doctorate by Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory in 2011.

Erol Parlak, professor at Ankara Music and Arts University, published two volumes — titled "Garip Bulbul Neset Ertas — on Ertas' biography and songs.

His famous songs are: "Yalan Dunya", "Vay Vay Dunya", "Kirsehir'in Gulleri", "Neredesin Sen", "Gonul Dagi", "Muhur Gozlum", "Zuluf Dokulmus Yuze", "Yaraladi Bu Ask Beni", "Yolcu", "Iki Buyuk Nimetim Var", "Hapishanelere Gunes Dogmuyor", "Evvelim Sen oldun, Ahirim Sensin", "Seher Vakti", "Askın Beni Deli Eyledi", "Deli Boran", "Dertli Yoldas", and "Dinek Dagi".