|Born||28 October 1957
|Died||16 November 2000
|Genres||Turkish music, Kurdish music, Azerbaijani music|
Ahmet Kaya (28 October 1957 - 16 November 2000) was a citizen of the Turkish Republic singer from Malatya, Turkey. He identified himself as a Kurd in the Turkish Republic. Some of his most popular songs include "Kurduz Olene Kadar" (Kurdish Until Death) Ayr?l?k Vakti, Söyle, A?lad?kça, Oy Benim Can?m, Birazdan Kudurur Deniz, Arka Mahalle, Kum Gibi, Nereden Bileceksiniz, Hani Benim Gençli?im, Yakar?m Geceleri and ?afak Türküsü.
Ahmet Kaya was the fifth and last child born to his father, a Kurd who had moved from Ad?yaman to Malatya. He first encountered music at the age of six. Ahmet Kaya worked for a while as a taxicab driver in Istanbul before becoming a famous singer in the mid-1980s.
His first album, A?lama Bebe?im, was released in 1985. His popularity continued to rise into the 1990s when in 1994 he released the album ?ark?lar?m Da?lara which sold a record copies. All of his 1990 albums became chart-toppers.
During his career he recorded approximately 20 albums and was known for his protest music and positions on social justice. Recurring themes in his songs are love towards one's mother, sacrifice, and hope.
On 10 February 1999 during the televised annual music awards ceremony, Show TV, at which he was to be named Musician of the Year, Kaya said that he wanted to produce music in his native language, as he was of Kurdish background. He also announced that he had recorded a song in Kurdish (Karwan, released on the Ho?çakal?n Gözüm album in 2001) and intended to produce a video to accompany it.
Following this announcement, he faced massive opposition from Turkish people and celebrities in the event. First, Serdar Ortaç started singing a song with modified lyrics to boost nationalist feelings, then people in the ceremony started singing 10th Year March. Later, Kaya was attacked by celebrities. Kaya's wife describes the attack as "All of a sudden, all of those chic women and men, they all turned into monsters, grabbing forks and knives and throwing them at us, insulting, booing. Imagine the atmosphere changing in just five minutes, almost a Kafkaesque transformation."
The incident led to a prosecution case which made him leave Turkey. Kaya went to France in June 1999, escaping various charges arising from his political views.. In March 2000 he was sentenced in absentia to three years and nine months in prison on the charge of spreading separatist propaganda. Later, however, the mass media allegation showing Kaya in front of the poster was proven to be forged. He died from a heart attack in Paris in 2000, at the age of 43, and is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Many believe that because of longing to his country he had health problems and therefore had a heart attack.
In June 2012 the Turkish Association of Magazine Journalists awarded Ahmet Kaya its Special Prize.