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Sezen Cumhur Ö (from Istambul): "When Sacha came to do a concert in İstanbul, he always sang "La Chanson Orientale"

Tell us about your first memory of Sacha:
Sacha Distel is very important and precious for me. And not just for me. He is important for my country: Turkey. Indeed, our musical collaboration was a turning point in the of Turkey’s Popular Music.
In 1965, in Paris, we had adapted in Turkish one of his songs "La Chanson Orientale". It was called "Kime Derler Sana Derler" and I wrote the Turkish lyrics. This was one of the first examples in Turkish Popular music. I am very proud to have been a friend of his and to have worked with him.
This song that we produced became so popular and well loved in Turkey that the stars of the Turkish cinema such as Ajda Pekkan, Çolpan İlhan, Vahi Öz, Necdet Tosun, have sung it in two films.

Have you met him?
I am the longest serving programmer and presenter for Turkish Radio and Television. It was a pleasure to have Sacha in our music programmes.
Our first meeting was in Paris then I saw him several times in İstanbul.
When he came to İstanbul for a concert, he always sang "La Chanson Orientale" ("Kime Derler Sana Derler" in Turkish). He always introduced me on stage. These meetings have left vivid memories. I’ve always kept the recordings of these announcements...

Which is your favourite of Sacha’s songs?
"La Chanson Orientale" certainly... And after, "La Casa D’Irène", "La Belle Vie", "Scoubidou", "Scandale dans la Famille", "Ma femme", "Le Bateau Blanc"... "When I Fall in love" and "The Good Life" (in duo with my friend Dionne Warwick)... During his visit to İstanbul, I gave the 45 rpm of "Kime Derler Sana Derler" ("La Chanson Orientale") sung by Sacha Distel, to President François Mitterrand le. It’s a lovely memory!
When I received the news of the death of my friend Sacha, I wrote letters of condolence to the French President, Monsieur Jacques Chirac and to the Honorary President of Paris Match, Monsieur Daniel Filipacchi to share their grief...
I was so pleased to receive their replies.

Which is your favourite side of Sacha’s personality?
My friend the great jazzman Louis Armstrong made me love Jazz. I’ve always listened to Sacha, jazz guitarist, with the greatest of respect and with great enthusiasm.
He is above all a musician... He’s very talented. A man of music, a great figure of the French chanson.

If you had to describe Sacha… What words would you use?
Charming, intelligent, chic, a true talent, class...
A good father, a loving husband as he always spoke of his beloved wife Francine.

Sezen Cumhur Ö
Istambul (TURKEY)