President Abdullah Gül has honored the once-demonized Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya, who died abroad in de facto exile 13 years ago, posthumously granting him the Presidential Grand Art and Culture Award and underlining the “unifying impact” of Kaya’s overall artistic life.
Kaya, who would have turned 56 on Oct. 28, was given the award on the grounds that “through his music, interpretation and discourse, he brought together a lot of people from different views,” according to a written statement released by the president’s office to announce this year’s awards.
Ahmet Sever, Gül’s chief press adviser, said he had informed Gülten Kaya, the singer’s widow, about the award over the phone before the decision was made public.
“Today is Ahmet’s birthday. This is the biggest birthday present,” Sever quoted Gülten Kaya as telling him over the phone.
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