Top 10 of Modern Turkish Music

Featuring some of the best music to come out of Turkey in the last few years, including rock, electronica / industrial, rap, traditional Turkish and Sufi songs, and more.

Got more Turkish songs to recommend? Let me know using the comments section below.

10. Mercan Dede – İstanbul

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Istanbul - 800

Mercan Dede brings together electronica, traditional Turkish music, rap / hip hop and elements of Sufism (the mystical branch of Islam – “Dede” means “elder” in the Sufi tradition) to create a deeply mystical, evocative musical style. This song was featured in the excellent film Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul.

9. Mor ve Ötesi – Cambaz

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Cambaz - Dünya Yalan Söylüyor

This music video is a commentary about the way the media influences our lives (“Cambaz” means “distortionist” in Turkish) by the popular alt rock band Mor ve Ötesi.


8. Sıla – …Dan Sonra

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...dan sonra - Sila

This dark electronica/industrial track rocked Turkey, and went international, in 2007-2008.


7. Üçnoktabir – Değişmem

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A music video by the alt rock band from Istanbul (formerly known as “Spitney Beers”).


6. Yüksek Sadakat – Döneceksin Diye Söz Ver

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A bittersweet ballad, here featuring a fan-made music video which, though unofficial, still provides a nice frame for the song.

5. maNga – Bitti Rüya

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Bitti Rüya - maNga +

maNga combines electronica, traditional Turkish-Anatolian musical style and rap into hard hitting, heavy songs.

4. Ceza – From the Film “Crossing the Bridge”

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Crossing the Bridge (The Sound of Istanbul) - Various Artists

Ceza spits Turkish rap at a blistering pace – check out the cut to live at around 1:25 in the video. Featured in the excellent film “Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul” by German / Turkish director Fatih Akın.

3. Kenan Doğulu – Çakkıdı

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Çakkıdı - Festival

A musical prodigy and the son of another well-known Turkish musician, Kenan Doğulu enrolled into music school at age 5, and studied piano, flute and guitar, among others. Check out some of the dance moves in this music video.

2. Mustafa Ceceli – Unutamam

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Unutamam - Güldünya - Erkekler Kadınlar İçin Söylüyor

A heartfelt Turkish ballad, “Unutamam” means “I cannot forget”.

1. Doğa İçin Çal! 2 – Uzun İnce Bir Yoldayım

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This environmental musical collaboration (“Doğa İçin Çal” means “Play for Nature”) brings together dozens of artists from all over Turkey, performing a well-loved traditional Turkish song. See also the first and third songs performed as part of this project.