Bülent Ersoy: Bir Tanrıyı birde beni sakın unutma
Here is a remarkable Turkish song ("Never ever forget me") by one of Turkey's greatest and most original singers, along with the fabulous Zeki Müren.
Bülent Ersoy, born in 1950, began her career as a male singer, in the genre of Turkish classical Music, and became an actor early on. Already one of Turkey's most popular male singers and actors, Bülent Ersoy gained international notoriety in 1981 when she travelled to Great Britain to become a woman, a procedure unavailable in her native country. In a further defiance of convention, Ersoy kept the traditionally male name of "Bülent", rather than exchanging it for a female one, as is usual in similar cases. Returning to Turkey, Bülent found herself accused of "social deviance" and her public performances were banned. This actually went against a centuries-old tradition of tolerance in Turkish society, dating back to the days when the Ottoman sultans kept young male concubines, who were often dressed as women. Performances by male entertainers in drag are also a time-honored tradition in Turkish culture. From Ersoy's standpoint, the ban should not have even applied to her, as she was an actual woman and not simply a man dressed as one. To circumvent the ban, she petitioned the Turkish courts to legally recognize her as a woman. The petition was rejected in January of 1982. Days later, Ersoy attempted suicide. In 1983 she left the entertainment industry. Finally, in 1988, the Turkish civil code was revised so that those who changed sex could apply for a pink or blue (pink for female, blue for male) identity card by which they were legally recognized in their new identity. Ersoy soon returned to singing and acting, quickly becoming even more popular as a woman than she had been as a man. Her public even took to calling her "Abla" or "elder sister", an affectionate sign of their total acceptance of her gender. Now semi-retired, she continues to enjoy the love and adoration of her many fans. The attention for Ersoy's special status often distracts one from the fact that she is an extraordinarily talented singer with an unequaled control of her voice.
Judge by yourself and enjoy!