Renowned Turkish actor Levent Kırca died of liver cancer early on Oct. 12 in Istanbul. He was 67.
Kırca had been undergoing treatment for liver cancer at Marmara University’s Pendik Training and Research Hospital since July.
Speaking to members of the press in front of the hospital, Kırca’s son Umut Kırca said he had been in critical condition in hospital for the last 10 days. “He was a very important artist and did a great job for 50 years. We had known his condition for three months but it progressed too fast; we did not expect it,” he added.
As part of the 5th Bodrum Turkish Films Week, Bodrum Municipality, Bodrum Cinema and Cultural Association and the Magazine Journalists Association decided to give a lifetime achievement award to Kırca last week. Kırca, who was not able to attend the ceremony due to his declining health, sent a touching farewell-like letter to the attendees.
Kırca’s award was presented to his son Oğulcan Kırca, who also read his father’s letter to the audience.
“I came into your life in 1974 with TRT [Turkish National Television]. I thank you for making room for me in your memories… I have received numerous awards in my life… Among them are the gold ones, which means nothing, and the tin ones, which are priceless… Be fair, be patient. Hope to see you in a better world. Stay with Atatürk, stay with the Republic. Goodbye,” the veteran actor said in his letter.
Born in 1948 in the Black Sea province of Samsun, Kırca began his stage career at the Ankara State Theater in 1964, after which he appeared in numerous plays and movies.
However, he was primarily known for his satirical TV sketch called “Olacak O Kadar,” touching on the public’s problems in a critical and comedic way. The series aired on various channels for 22 years.
In addition, Kırca was a columnist and a member of the central decision board of the Homeland Party (VP).
In 1998, Kırca received the title of State Artist from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, but the title was withdrawn in April this year. The Republican People’s Party Head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu delivered a message following Kırca’s passing.
“We lost a great public artist; a free and self-respecting Republican,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Levent Kırca was a real laborer, who mirrored our society and reflected the beauty of our people, the richness of our pure and clean satire. We have unfortunately come from a Turkey where artists like Kırca who were able to make fun of politicians were treated with great respect to a Turkey where politicians make fun of society. Kırca was the power of society. We have experienced a great loss. Let’s keep his art, memory and works alive. God rest his soul.”