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Pop, Rock, Electronic, Hip Hop & Rap

Turkey's home-grown industry is one of its big success stories. The seal was put on worldwide recognition of Turkish pop in 2003. When Sertap Erener on the Eurovision Song Contest with her hit song 'Every way that I can'

 

Sezen Aksu is widely regarded as the queen of Turkish pop music, but it is Tarkan, the pretty-boy pop star, who has achieved most international recognition. His '94 album, A-acayipsin , sold over two million copies in Turkey and almost a million in Europe, catapulting him to Turkey's biggest-selling pop  sensation. After several more albums and tours all over Europe, he recently released the long-awaited Come Closer, sung entirely in English. 

 

Burhan Öcal  is one of the country's finest percussionists. His latest work, New Dream, is a funky take on classical Turkish music but we daren't box him by this production: his wide-ranging experimentation which all types of Turkish and foreign music genres has earned him due respect. His recent work with the “Trakya All-Stars” is well worth looking up.

 

Turkish rock has long aped the West, but it is finally offering something distinctly Turkish. Look out for Duman, Replikas, 110(electronica) and most definitely Yakup,a blend of East-meets-West oriental rock. Try to catch them live  if you are passing through Istanbul.

 

On a more electronic jazzy theme is Orient Expressions, mixing Alevi and folk with jazzed-up Turkish melodies. Also well worth looking up is Baba Zula, a fusion of traditional Turkish instruments, reggae, electronic, pop and belly-dancing music-and it works! They've started the international touring circuit, so keep an eye out.

 

Turkey has a thriving rap slash hip-hop scene alive in the street of Istanbul. Ceza is the king-he's literally mobbed by fans. Try to catch him live if you are in the city for a once-in-a-lifetime treat you won’t forget.