Turkey has lost a great musician in April. Songwriter, singer, composer, lyricist and performer Kayahan Acar known as Kayahan died on 3 April in Istanbul.
Kayahan was born in 29 March 1949 in İzmir. After spending his childhood in Ankara, he moved to Istanbul.
The Turkish crowds got know him from the songs he composed for Nilufer, particularly from Kar taneleri (snowflakes) and Esmer Günler (the dark days) and the Antalya Altinportakal song competition he won in 1986 with his song “Geceler” (The nights).
In 1991 he released his first album “Yemin Ettim”. All the songs in the album were composed, written and performed by himself. The album was an unparalleled success.
He secured his place in the country’s burgeoning pop music industry as a songwriter and performer in the second half of the 1980s, when he also started collaborating with singer Nilüfer. The two shared the stage in numerous concerts throughout the ’90s and Kayahan wrote numerous songs exclusively for solo albums by Nilüfer during the height of their respective careers. They later fell into a public spat over copyright issues, which was only resolved recently, after 15 years of rivalry.
Throughout his career, Kayahan released around 15 solo albums that have sold millions.
He represented Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990 with a song titled “Gözlerinin Hapsindeyim” (Captivated by Your Eyes), coming in 17th among 22 entries.
His most recent public appearance was in February, in a special Valentine’s Day concert in İstanbul, where he was joined onstage by İpek Tüter, his second wife, who was his former vocalist, and also Nilüfer.
Mainly known as a performer of love songs, Kayahan also wrote children’s songs and he produced a TV show aimed at children during the 1980s for the state broadcaster TRT.
His music could be categorised as Mediterranean-pop but his lyrics had huge Anatolian influence with warm, sincere and intimate lyrics. His hit songs “Allah’ım Neydi Günahım” and “Yemin Ettim” were performed by many other singers.
He was known for releasing music albums with slogans. His slogans ” Yolu sevgiden Geçen herkesle bir bir gün yerde buluşuruz ” which meant “We will meet with each of the one whose path passes through love” and “Allah kimseyi sevgisiz bırakmasın” meant “May God leaves no one without love” reflected his philosophy.
Kayahan was married three times. He made his first marriage to Nur in 1973. From this marriage, which lasted 24 years long, he became father of a daughter Beste born in 1975. Beste was runner-up for Miss Turkey in 1995. Kayahan later married Lale Yılmaz in 1990. The couple divorced in 1996. In 1999, at age fifty, he married to his third wife İpek Tüter.
In 1990, Kayahan was diagnosed with soft-tissue cancer. He caught the same disease in 2005 again. The illness repeated in 2014, and he was under treatment for cancer.
Kayahan officially bid farewell to his fans at a public concert he organized on Valentine’s day – 6 weeks before his death.
Condolence messages poured in following the news of Kayahan’s death, with top level state officials, members of Parliament and artists expressing regret over his loss, while fellow musicians rushed to Kayahan’s home in a housing compound in İstanbul’s Beykoz district.
Suat Suna, one of numerous pop singers whose careers were launched by Kayahan, said on his Twitter account that he has lost his “second father” and “Turkey has lost its great master.”