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index / “Tears in the picture” and... Cem Karaca
There are songs that grow on you. Wherever you are, whoever you’re with, they turn up suddenly when you’re least expecting them, calling you to account for the way you’ve lived your life. This may sometimes take a while since the breaking point usually occurs when the singer dies. Just like now. There’s no way I can listen to ‘The Tears in the Picture’ nowadays without my eyes misting over, because the singer of this song, Cem Karaca, is gone. Gone way too early, at 59, when he might still have sung so many more songs. And we are reminded of our own past and of Turkey’s introduction to Anatolian Rock, protest music and pop, its argument, and eventual reconciliation, with it.

Karaca was born in 1945. His family, especially on his mother’s side, were actresses, or singers--Grandmother Mari, Great Aunt Roza, mother Irma, whom you know not as Irma but as Toto Karaca, because when she married she took the name of her husband, theatre actor Mehmet Karaca, an Iranian Azeri like herself.

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