One of the defining faces of the sparkling Yeşilçam age of Turkish cinema, Adana-born actor Cem Erman, has passed away at the age of 64.
A decision has been made to honor Erman, who entertained in over 100 films alongside the likes of Türkan Şoray, Orhan Gencebay, Cüneyt Arkın and Ekrem Bora, by naming the award for the best actor at the Altın Koza (Golden Boll) International Film Festival, held annually in his home town of Adana, after the veteran actor, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday.
Festival Director Ozan Aksu revealed that Adana Mayor Zihni Aldırmaz had decided to honor the great actor’s name in the form of the award, adding that to be able to offer this memorial was a great privilege for them.
Erman’s partner of four years, Sevim Demiroğlu, who returned from a holiday to find Erman lying dead in their shared home, said she was touched by Mayor Aldırmaz’s kind gesture but wished that Erman had lived to see the moment, adding that the worth of people is never realized while they are alive. “If Cem had been alive, he would have been so happy to have received such an accolade, but unfortunately he has left us now. When talking he would occasionally say, ‘When I die they will understand my worth’; we can only pray he rests in peace now,” she said.
With the funeral having been held yesterday at the Kabasakal cemetery, Demiroğlu expressed her grievances concerning the lack of respect paid to her late partner, commenting that despite the fact that many newspapers had published news of Erman’s death, none of them thought to ring and offer condolences to her, adding: “In the past Cem and the rest of the actors from his era always had fans running after them; now they have been largely forgotten, which is very disrespectful. For someone who has worked for years and years in a tough industry and has given so many so much pleasure, it was saddening that only a few family members and close friends attended the funeral.”
The Altın Koza film festival will take place on Sept. 17-25 with the award ceremony including the award in Erman’s honor to be held on Sept. 24.