The life of Turkish folksinger Neset Ertas, who died two years ago aged 74 will be commemorated with a state ceremony in his central Anatolian home city of Kirsehir this Saturday.
Fans of the singer and lyricist, who returned to Turkey in 2002 after 23 years living in Germany, have been paying tribute to him by visiting his mausoleum in Kirsehir. They have been coming from all across Turkey and gathering in the city since early Thursday.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will attend the state ceremony and will also inaugurate the revamped former residence of the Kirsehir governor, known as 'Culture House of Neset Ertas' which will be dedicated to Ertas's memory.
Known as the 'Voice of Prairie' ('Bozkirin Tezenesi' in Turkish), Neset Ertas is seen as the last great proponent of a genre called 'Abdallik' -- a name referred to groups dealing with music in his hometown Kirsehir.
Ertas was known for his playing of a musical instrument called saz or ba?lama, a type of long-necked lute.
Ertas was born in the Cicekdagi district of Turkey's central Kirsehir province in 1938. He learned to play the violin then the Turkish three-stringed instrument 'baglama' which is a type of long-necked lute.
He was granted "Outstanding Service Award" by the Turkish Parliament in 2006, and titled as "UNESCO Living Human Treasure and Cultural Heritage Bearer."
Ertas died at a hospital in Turkey's western coastal city Izmir on September 25, 2012 after two-year battle against cancer.