The 22nd Aydın Doğan Award has been granted to Turkish folk singer Arif Sağ, who will be presented the award at a ceremony in April.
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.