A dissident Turkish singer. Cem Karaca, the rock singer who had a voice of extraordinary forcefulness became successfully a leader of the left, a fugitive from Turkey's military government of the 1980s, and finally an advocate of coexistence between Turkey's secularists and Islamists. Karaca who was a phenomenon who for nearly four decades mirrored the transformations of Turkey and through his music he reached out to the people and bridged the gap between the people of Anatolia and the musical life of Istanbul's western-oriented middle classes. Karaca and his group, the Apaslar, won a song contest, in 1967, and went professional and became most popular singers in Turkey. One of his best known albums was entitled Poverty Isn't A Destiny. Karaca moved to Germany as exiled left-winger, in 1979, and was stripped of his Turkish nationality in 1980 and there he lived until 1987. Cem Karaca was the son of actors who began his life in Istanbul. He died of a heart attack and his funeral was shown on Turkish television - his mourners ranged from youths with facial piercing to bearded Islamists.
Compiler: M. Nauman Khan