The 22nd Aydın Doğan Award was presented to Turkish folk musician Arif Sağ in an event in Istanbul on April 5.
The award ceremony was organized by the Aydın Doğan Foundation at the Hilton Convention Center in Istanbul.
“Our people have always spoken about their love and sadness through Turkish folk songs. Folk songs are the mirror of the society. Social change throughout the centuries can be traced through folk songs,” Doğan Group Honorary Chairman Aydın Doğan said in booklets handed out before the ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, Aydın Doğan Foundation Chairwoman Hanzade Doğan Boyner said the foundation took on the award ceremony as a mission.
Meanwhile, Sağ stressed the importance of receiving an award from an NGO, the Aydın Doğan Foundation.
“It is very important for me that the Aydın Doğan Foundation has graced me with such an honor. The artists are all brilliant. They all have their own professions. Some make beautiful paintings, some write good poems, some write good novels, some make good music. Everyone does something. But they are all artists. I’ve I accepted this award because the Aydın Doğan Foundation is a civil society organization. That’s why it’s very significant,” Sağ said.
Born in 1945 in the eastern province of Erzurum, Sağ came to Istanbul aged 14 and became the student of Nida Tüfekçi at the Aksaray Music Society. He released his first album in 1963 and joined the Istanbul Radio team in 1965 as a bağlama artist.
Sağ was one of the most famous names of the 45-rpm record period, which lasted about 20 years. He released some 50 records and made more than 200 compositions during those years.
He started working as an academic at the Istanbul State Turkish Music Conservatory, which was founded in 1975. He made academic researches on bağlama and folk music. He was also the first folk singer appointed as a parliamentarian, serving in the Turkish Parliament between 1987 and 1991.
Considered one of the most respected awards in Turkey, the award has been issued since the establishment of the foundation in 1996. It aims to encourage and reward individuals who have committed their careers to contributing to humanity in the fields of arts, science and culture.
To date, the award has been issued to individuals and institutions who have excelled in, or contributed significantly to, fields such as novel writing, social sciences and the humanities, visual arts, poetry, history, music, archaeology and architecture.