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In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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True Personal Experiences of Travellers to Turkey

To the Turkish Stars...
The belly dancers, singers, and other entertainers of Turkey

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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An early Zeki Muren album
The fact is I am a bit out of touch with current Turkish music trends. Nowadays I listen to the Sanat Güneşi, Zeki Müren who I've always liked, and Bülent Ersoy -- and more recently Emel Sayın.

Emel Sayın is in her late 50s early 60s. (And, the last thing I heard about her she was trying to divorce her American husband.)
entertainer emel sayin -- traditional Turkish music singer
But her voice, her stage presence, her clothes and command of the Turkish language have led to her being called the Queen and Ambassador of Turkish traditional music.

The first time I heard a Turkish song was way back when I was about 15 (I'm 40 now) and I can still remember the song title: 'İşte Öyle Birşey' by Erol Evgin -- which a Turkish-Cypriot school-friend named Gül kindly lent to me.

After that I didn't hear any more Turkish music until my early-20s.
There used to be a Turkish radio station based in London (whose name I've forgotten) that I came across and it was there that I heard my first Arabesk song 'Yalan' by Ibo (Ibrahim Tatlıses) -- although at the time I didn't know it was him or who he was.

A few years later I went to a Turkish restaurant and they were playing a taverna music tape.
gals of turkish entertainment
I asked the name and where I could buy a copy from. The owner told me of the shop which was just around the corner, so, a few days later I went there and bought a copy of it -- and befriended the young lady (Zerrin) and her mother who ran/owned the shop. It was through these two very nice people and the Turkish magazine Hafta Sonu (which was then a newspaper) that I began to discover a little more about Turkish music.

Back then I listened mainly to Arabesk-Fantasi music plus Oriental (belly-dance) music. Some of the Arabesk musical stars were a bit racy and tragic;
An early Bulent Ersoy Album
Esengül who overheard some Mafia business had the brakes of her car tampered with -- and both she and the car ended up in the Bosphorus. Had she lived she would have been the queen of Arabesk Music.

Another example was Bergen. She lived with her lover who threw acid into her face. She was blinded in one eye hence her wearing her hair over right eye. After the attack, he went to prison, she carried on having hits, then he came out of prison and shot her dead!

Tudanya was another favourite of mine but she doesn't record anymore, why I don't know.
Bulent Ersoy and husband Cem Adlar

I'm really fond of the Turkish Oriental belly-dancers, in general...
From my knowledge, they tend to be younger and a bit slimmer than their Egyptian counterparts plus their dance moves are different and the costumes more revealing. Two of my longtime favorites are Nilüfer Öz (Lilly I call her!) and Burçin Orhon.

Most Turkish dancers (that I'm familiar with) use Egyptian music and may even use music that was specifically composed for the Egyptian dancing stars -- the Turks just change the musical composition titles. An example is Nagwa Fouad's music, which Nilüfer Öz has danced to frequently.
Nilüfer Öz
belly dancer nilufer oz | oriental dancer | turkish belly dancer
Left click for more...

BTW, Lilly was a dancer from the 80s who was once linked to Ibo (İbrahim Tatlıses)...but then, didn't Ibo have 'links' with almost all of the young dancers back then? His more recent relationship with (Oriental dancer) Asena was just a continuation of his natural preference for musical and 'athletic' women, I guess...

Burçin Orhon was one of the few dancers to escape his clutches -- and she became rather well-known in the Irish Republic and the UK in the late 80s for her romance with Johnny Logan. Johnny twice won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland, performing the songs 'What's Another Year' & 'Hold Me Now'. And later in his career, he went on to compose another winning musical entry for Ireland.

I have a couple of Nilüfer Öz (Nilufer Oz) dance tapes and one of Burçin Orhon (Burcin Orhon) and I've sent you computer scans of two of their Super Stereo covers (which were made by a good friend of mine).
Burçin Orhon
entertainer burcin orhan -- oriental dancer | belly dancer
Left click for more...
Plus, I've also got musical tapes of Tudanya and Esengül... Maybe I can have those covers scanned too, for sending later. I don't have any of Bergen at the moment -- but at the end of the month I'm going to get some as a treat for myself because I'm observing lent... (No meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, alcohol, clubs, pubs, parties & I've even cut down the cigarettes!!)

As an aside... it's easier to buy audio music tapes of Turkish music here in the UK than it is music CDs. I even tried searching Online and I still came up empty. I couldn't find music CDs for Esengül, Tudanya or Bergen. But I'm on the trail of info about the dancer Princess Banu. So... stay tuned to this Turkish Entertainment Channel!

With sincere thanks to Kieran Byfield --
an Englishman with a taste for Turkish Delights...
31 March 2006

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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    © Turkish Belly Dancers, Singers, and Movie Stars -- Asena, Emel Sayın (Emel Sayin), Nilüfer Öz (Nilufer Oz), Burçin Orhon (Burcin Orhon), Bülent Ersoy (Bulent Ersoy)