A tribute to one of Turkey’s most famous folk singers is to be held on 31st October under the municipal building on the Erkan Yucel Stage at 8pm.

Known as the “Plectrum of Steppe” (“Bozkirin Tezenesi” in Turkish), Neset Ertas is seen as the last great proponent of a genre called “Abdallik”, a name referred to bards dealing with folk music in his hometown.

At the age of five, he started to play first the violin and then the baglama, the Turkish national instrument. His father earned his living by playing at wedding ceremonies in Central Anatolian villages, and for eight years Neset accompanied him. As a result, he was not able to finish primary school.

At the age of fourteen Ertas went to Istanbul, where he played at a night club in Beyoglu.  After two years, he moved to Ankara to continue his stage career there. He applied to the state-owned Turkish Radio (TRT) station in Ankara and began performing Turkish folk songs on a daytime programme called Yurttan Sesler (literally: “Sounds of Hometown”) .

His popularity gre however, in 1978, his fingers became paralyzed.  He soon became penniless and had no means of paying for treatment, since he had no other marketable skills.  In 1979 he went to Germany, where his brother was living.  There, he recovered from his paralysis, and started again to perform music at wedding ceremonies and local events attended by members of the Turkish community in Germany.

After 23 years, he returned home and was welcomed by huge crowds.  The audience at his first concert, which took place at the Harbiye Open-Air Theatre in Istanbul, gave him a standing ovation to his great surprise, a great success after years of absence. This was followed by tours around the country and free concerts and he experienced again the pleasure of meeting the people of his homeland.


Source:  Ege Eye


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