When you’re in Turkey we think it makes sense to eat the wonderful local food, visit the beautiful and historic places and listen to wonderful Turkish music.
Although we’ve heard some European people admit to finding Turkish music difficult to listen to, we think the poetic language, semi-tones, sliding scales and infectious rhythms and beats, are a glorious vocalisation and evocation of the country that we choose to live and others visit for a holiday.
Of course our choice of music may be different from yours but here are our favourites, as always in no particular order. We hope you enjoy them too.
Erkan Oğur – timeless beauty
Cengiz Özkan – the voice of Anatolia
Sezen Aksu – songs of longing and love
Tarkan – dance your socks off
Bülent Ortaçgil – Turkey’s answer to Paul Simon
Togetherness through Turkish music
Much Turkish music is as old as the hills and everyone has been brought up with it, joining in the songs, word perfect and bursting with emotion. Some Turkish people dance when they hear this music others sway in their seats; sometimes people cry. Songs from the every part of Turkey attract the same enthusiastic response, whether they are songs of love and happiness or melancholic verses of love, death, loss and suffering, each tells a tale about which Turkish people have a deep understanding.
Even if you can’s understand Turkish, the emotion is incredibly powerful. Rather like opera, the sensation is overwhelming and the emotions it stirs go way beyond language. Essentially, like opera, Turkish music can touch the soul and awaken sensations and passions that are instinctual or even primeval.
Seize the moment
Whenever you can, grab the chance to listen to Yavuz Bingol, Zülfü Livaneli, Sabahat Akkiraz, Ahmet Kaya or Grup Kızılırmak, to name but a few. Experience Roma music, from the gypsies of Istanbul, or the strong male voices of Şanli Urfa, to broaden your horizons. The music of each Turkish province reflects the region. In Muğla there is some wonderful music and Fethiye has its own too that nearly always makes dancing irresistible!
Why not try listening and dancing to this wonderful music, even if it’s in the privacy of your own home? With such an incredibly wide range of music in Turkey, it means that there is always something for everybody: from the lively to the melancholic, there is music for every mood. Indeed, for those of us who love Anatolia music helps all of us to understand a little more about its culture and people.
What is your favourite Turkish music?
Do share your favourites with us and our readers.