Ajri Demirovski

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Ajri Demirovski (Macedonian: Ајри Демировски, Turkish: Hayri Önder) (born 1 January 1927 in Bitolj, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, died 22 October 2009 in Karşıyaka) was an ethnic Turkish singer from Yugoslavia.

Early life and career[edit]

Demirovski was born to a poor family and started working in a barber shop when he was young. After his graduation, Ajri worked in the Zagreb printing houses of "Kermpuh" and "Rojamkovski". He also worked in Pula, Rieka and Skopje before returning to his native town of Bitola in 1949. Ajri was not accepted a role at the printing house in Bitola, "Kiro Dandaro" and so became a security guard at the newly established "Radio Bitola" radio station.[1]

The opportunity to work alongside some of the greatest Macedonian singers and songs inspired Ajri to create his own Macedonian folk songs. It is believed that Ajri created over 80 folk songs in the Macedonian language. Despite the fact that Ajri was an ethnic Turk, none of his songs were written in the Turkish language.[2]

During his time at Radio Bitola, Ajri produced his most famous song to date "Bitola moj roden kraj" (Bitola, my birthplace).

Due to mass emigration in 1955, Ajri Demirovski returned to Turkey to spend the next 50 years of his life. He worked in publishing and printing, making music in his free time. In 2000, Ajri returned to Bitola to be awarded the first ever honorary citizenship of Bitola for his contribution to Macedonian music and folklore, and also the bond created between Macedonian and Turkish culture. His song "Bitola Moj Roden Kraj" was voted the song of the century by the citizens of Bitola at the same time.[3]

Ajri Demirovski (22 October 2009 Saturday Day) at home in the district of İzmir, Karşıyaka died. Other than Turkish and Macedonian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Italian leader who knows the Ajri, was the father of three children.


Picture of Ajri Demirovski by Bojan Mitkovski

Ajri Demirovski in Bitola, singing "Bitola Moj Roden Kraj"