Published On: Tue, Sep 19th, 2017

A very brief look at Turkish Rock & Popular Music




Turkish people mainly used to listen to either Turkish folk music or Turkish classical music with rather oriental tunes, in the past. That was quite a few decades ago though… Then came along western harmonies with western instruments…  That is, as Turkey started to turn its face to the Western world and try to integrate into it more in terms of culture mainly, people in major towns such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir began to get engaged in western type music starting with Paul Anka, Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, the Shadows and then the legendary BEATLES so on…

It was then that young Turkish musicians started to get more involved in trying to play the guitar as well as drums and other instruments like the musicians in the western world did – although it took many years to manage to achieve the quality and the original sound and master the rhythm etc. the way the music was played in the western world.



As for today, Turkey has very talented young people with very good control of instruments used for this type of music to include brilliant guitarists and drummers and very successful music groups as well who can play the rock music in their own style.

The good thing is they have learned to use Turkish tunes in songs and write very good Turkish lyrics to them which has brought about quite a unique but very striking type of music we call “the Turkish rock”.

This journey actually started with bands such as Mavi Işıklar (Blue Lights), Siluetler (Sihouettes), Erkin Koray, Barış Manço, Moğollar (Mongolians) etc. several decades ago…

Then other very talented musicians (now all veterans) came along such as Bülent Ortaçgil (will be referred to as a legend in the future, with no doubt), Mazhar Fuat Özkan (a very successful and legendary trio as well) and Cenk Taner (a true pioneer in Turkish rock music) and Kesmeşeker (the group) etc who took over the mission of this journey on the way formation of Turkish rock music sector.

Today there are millions of people (mainly young) listening to western style rock music and Turkish Rock Music… and it goes without saying there are thousands of youngsters who can play the western musical instruments such as guitar etc. with success.

VIDEO: CENK TANER & Kesmeşeker

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