Music is what makes you feel alive. So, I, personally, have great fun exploring new songs that I have never heard or listened to before. This is, by the way, the same for Turkish music, too. Therefore, making a list that consists of the best Turkish songs is lots of fun!
With golden oldies and newer and modern tunes, Turkish music history has a rich background. You probably should have heard this saying: “The music is universal”. And actually, that’s a fact meaning you don’t necessarily need to understand the lyrics, but feel the spirit. So, based on this ground, we are going to compile some of the best, quality, and internationally-known songs from the past and present.
These are the best Turkish songs that they have been listened to and will continue to have listened to, as well. So, that’s exactly the reason why making such a list is a hard topic. Nevertheless, we tried to do our best and would appreciate it if you share your ideas with us.
Best Turkish Songs List –
Updated and will be Updated
Mirkelam – Her Gece – Everynight
This song was a solid combination of Turkish classic sounds and pop with great battery performance and ups and downs… Mirkelam was the runner… OMG that was a revolution for Turkish video music… So exciting. That oriental percussion, saz, drums… You’ll love it!
Kerim Tekin – Kar Beyazdır Ölüm
The singer was a big star in Turkey during the 1990s. But sadly, we lost him at a very early age (in 1998 when he was only 23). Yet, despite his young age, he is still one of the most unforgettable musicians in Turkey’s pop music history. And he will always be remembered as a kind and handsome legend.
Ahmet Kaya – İçimde Ölen Biri Var
He was the legend of protest rock music in Turkey. The singer left behind numerous songs that are still listened to by the millions.
Üç Hürel – Bir Sevmek Bin Defa Ölmekmiş
The song is definitely the one that is beyond the time. “I drank from the wine of the love unknowingly,…” and more of the lyrics. You will love the tune, too…
Seha Okuş – Hasretinle Yandı Gönlüm
He is a living legend and he is the composer of some of the best Turkish songs ever. It is so difficult to pick one among thousands…
Sezen Aksu – Bir Çocuk Sevdim
“Tiny Sparrow” of Turkish music, Sezen Aksu, is another living legend of Turkish pop music. She brought in hundreds of unforgettable songs. But what’s more, she is a total talent acquisition person who explores young talents and brings in into the music world.
Rehber – Ruh
The band scattered during 2013 and 2014 due to the military service of the band’s some members, yet they left behind some memorable song that they will always have listened to. And the one particular is Ruh (Spirit) and it left its mark on the Turkish music universe.
Gaye Su Akyol – İstikrarlı Hayal
Turkish psychedelic rock star Gaye Su Akyol is the trending name of the last decade. On December 4th, 2020, The New York Times (NY Times) made an interview with the Turkish chanteuse.
Neşet Ertaş – Amanın Leyla
With his music, his style to play “bağlama” (a traditional Turkish instrument), and his gentle personality, he will always be remembered with gratitude. There is a special nickname to define Neşet Ertaş, which is the “plectrum of the steppe” (Bozkırın Tezenesi). Steppe here refers to Central Anatolia as he is from Kırşehir, a central Anatolian province in Turkey.
Müslüm Gürses – Unutamadım
He is another legend in Turkish music. He is the king of fantasy music, yet in the last years before he died, he made an expansion and re-vocalized the rock pieces of music with his own styles. We still listened to him, love him, and miss him…
Müzeyyen Senar – Dalgalandım da Duruldum
Müzeyyen Senar is a name beyond the time. She is the one who made what Turkish classical music is now. So, she completely deserves to be in this content.
Fikret Kızılok – Bu Kalp Seni Unutur mu?
When you start listening to this song, you are not capable of shutting it down anymore! The sound of the music, the rhythm, the spirit, the tune, the will all catch you once you give an ear to it!
Cem Karaca – Resimdeki Gözyaşları
It is totally a classic! In every sense of the word, it has always been on any list that contains the best Turkish songs and the most unforgettable ones. An appropriate translation for the name of the song would be “Tears on the Picture” and it is touching, isn’t it? Yet, it is only one song of the singer, for more, we advise you to go to YouTube and type the name Cem Karaca…
Barış Manço – Dönence
Such a list couldn’t have been thought of without Barış Manço’s name! This legendary representative of Turkish Anatolian Rock is a total legend who touched people’s lives and feelings from any generation. Even though he is not among us any longer, he still keeps doing it!
Demet Sağıroğlu – Arnavut Kaldırımı
Most Turkish people love the music of 90s pop music. The “Arnavut Kaldırımı” (Cobblestone) song was one of the iconic songs of those times. It was clear from those times that it was a song beyond its time.
Erkin Koray – Sevince
Another Turkish Anatolian Rock Music legend Erkin Koray is one of those who made and improved the rock music tradition in Turkey. And this song of his, “Sevince” (Once You Love) has a very special place in all of our lives.
Tarkan – Oynama Şıkıdım
Turkey’s world-famous music star Tarkan extended his popularity to the world for the first time with this amusing song. It is so much fun and many foreigners know this song from their memory already.
Mor ve Ötesi – Bir Derdim Var
We don’t know what to tell about this Turkish rock band. They are classic. They are incredible. When you listened to this rock band and this song, in particular, you will feel that your heart beats faster. You won’t be able to get yourself rid of the charm of the sound! Luckily, you won’t need to as you will be addicted to this band’s music!
Selda Bağcan – Yaz Gazeteci
There is a thing in the world called the “legend of Selda” that refers to the queen of Turkish Anatolian rock and protest music who left her mark on Turkish music for the last 40-50 years. So, the precious Turkish singer, who is now in her 70s, is still a world-famous Turkish artist. With her velvet voice, sweet out-looking, and her political position, she is an indispensable name for the international musical festivals.
By the way, the world-famous British actor Elijah Wood is the biggest fan of Turkish artists. So, we thought that you may have wanted to know!
Şebnem Ferah – Ben Şarkımı Söylerken
Wow! It is just wow! There is no word enough to define her talent, power of her sound, her uniqueness, … Şebnem Ferah, we can tell this, is the queen of Turkish rock/metal music. She has a unique style and has been active since the 90s. Therefore, you must give her an ear!
Cem Adrian – Summertime
This incredible Turkish musician has a very powerful high and low local and his musical octave is just spectacular! What’s more, you are gonna ask this question to yourself when you listened to this song: “Are you kidding me?” He is not! He is just incredible, that’s it!
Sertab Erener – Everything That I Can
She is the one and only Turkish singer who has ever won the Eurovision song contest. However, apart from her victory in this internationally prestigious musical contest, she has already been one of the most successful Turkish musicians. Yet, this success brought her international recognition. you should check out her other songs on YouTube anyways!
Plus: Ali İhsan – Güneş Toğla Benim İçin
So, this 13- year-old boy fascinates everyone who watches and listens to him. The boy, Ali İhsan, has an incredibly impressive and powerful voice. Therefore, you must listen to this song, which is a classical song Turkey. Furthermore, the lyrics belong to the eminent Turkish poet, translator, and scriptwriter Ülkü Tamer who lost his life in 2018.
Zeki Müren – Here I am Zeki Müren
Zeki Müren is one of the people that Turks know and live very well, enjoying his music but somehow ignoring his sexuality. Müren was Turkey’s biggest star, he was gay which was not quite acceptable to ordinary people but the interesting thing was that his preference was shadow accepted by people and also by the state and state tv TRT. We need to point that Zeki müren was still not known by the western culture… One day they will discover him and probably name him as Turkish Elton John…
Zeki Müren’s voice was amazing, feeling, love, sadness, joy and deep emotional touches were the art of his performing. Tarkan’s first years were very like to Müren’s classical sound, but he turned to pop music then. Most of Zeki Müren’s songs were Turkish classical music on modern tones, however, this song is special because this is his expression of him, like an autobiography, or farewell and the message he gives that “I live in songs”… So touching!
So, hope you like the best Turkish songs list. We would like to learn your opinions and want to know your favourite one if it doesn’t take place on this list.
P.S: Below, you will see the name of the singer and then the name of the song respectively.
P.S II: Translating Turkish songs and not losing the actual feeling of the song is impossible.
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Keşke Mahson ve Tatlıs’ı da ekleseydiniz.