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Re-appreciation of Turkish music


The attitude of appreciating music from other Western countries more than music produced in Turkey changed at the end of the 1990s as local rock, electronic and alternative music began to grow. Bands such as Duman, Athena and Mor ve Ötesi gradually became more mainstream. Rock music was generally listened to in Beyoğlu bars (the ultimate address for culture and nightlife). Especially since pop music had reached its peak, there was more demand for alternatives and solutions were found in rock music.

After 2000s, electronic also became an alternative after it was experienced in Beyoğlu’s underground clubs. DJs such as Yakuza, Tolga Fidan, Onur Özer and composers such Bedük and Portecho started to produce hits that reached the underground and popular scenes of Istanbul.

Rap / hip hop music also found its way through artist such as Ceza, Fuat and Sagopa Kajmer. They replaced arabesque music in the ghettos and especially appealed to people younger than 25. Nowadays, there are hundreds of amateur rap artists who are enjoyed in the underground scene and are not visible to the public eye. This is a culture that is actually widespread but has never caught on mainstream media except in some catchy commercial music.

A recent phenomenon wherein Turkish music begins to play a role is the soap operas, called “dizi” in Turkish. Not only did the love for these series create an obsession with clothes the actors and actresses wear, but also music takes its share in this craze. The soundtracks of these soap operas/series can be heard everywhere, even being used as cell phone ringtones. One band that has become famous after producing the soundtrack for a series (`Kavak Yelleri`) is Pinhani.

Western classical music is still marginal, but recently there has been less state and more private funding. Private orchestras of universities such as Bilkent and companies such as Borusan were founded. Pianist Fazıl Say, who returned to Turkey after establishing himself in the global arena, became a very well-known public figure who singlehandedly popularized classical music.



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