Adele accused of imitating Turkish song

Turkish social media says world famous British Adele’s song Million Years Ago is inspired by Turkish song

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

British singer Adele performs the song 'Skyfall' at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California.

Similarities between a new song by British singer Adele and famous Turkish singer Ahmet Kaya’s 1985 song are being hotly debated in Turkey where fans have gone on social media accusing Adele copying Kaya’s song.

While several online users said the tune from Adele’s song Million Years Ago resembled Kaya’s song Acilara Tutunmak (Clinging to Pain), others disagreed.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Naim Dilmener, a Turkish music critic and writer of several books on Turkish music, agreed that there were some similarities between the two songs but “not much”.

“I don’t think that Adele listened to Ahmet Kaya’s song and copied it on purpose,” Dilmener said, adding that he thinks that it was “an easy tune to figure out”.

Noting that he also finds Kaya’s song similar to other melodies, Dilmener said that the tune was “a simple combination”.

"This shouldn't be exaggerated," Dilmener said. "The way [to express] the feelings is the same.”

Turkish media also quoted Kaya's widow, Gulten who said she could not believe that Adele would steal a song.

“However, if she consciously did it, then it would be theft,” she said, according to daily Hurriyet.   

Adele’s new album, 25, released in November and selling 3.38 million copies in the U.S. the first week, according to American music magazine Billboard.

The 27-year-old British singer has also been accused of plagiarising American singer Tom Waits’ 1973 song Martha in the album's first single Hello.

Kaya, who sang both in Turkish and Kurdish, and known for his political stance in many issues, died in 2000 in exile in the French capital Paris. He was buried at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.