27 Famous Turkish Songs

Turkey is central point between Europe and Asia, and you can see that reflected in its music. Many of the most famous Turkish songs feature a mix of Western and Eastern sounds and elements, creating music that feels new and familiar to people elsewhere.

Here are some of the most famous Turkish songs of all time.

“Seviyorum Sevmiyorum” by Nil Karaibrahimgil

Song Year: 2009

Seviyorum Sevmiyorum is a somewhat unusual song about separation, emphasizing some of the confusion that can occur after separation. However, the focus of Nil’s lyrics is what she’s going to do with all of those feelings, and especially whether she’s going to let herself break after pushing someone else away.

On a secondary level, Nil devotes a few verses to talking about an ex’s new partner and how there’s a tendency to compare one’s previous lovers to their current one. However, Nil also points out that they’re not the same, and there’s no replacement for anyone in a relationship.

“Çakkıdı” by Kenan Doğulu

Song Year: 2006

Çakkıdı is a song about progressing relationships, with enough upbeat charm to at least tap your foot along to. In this song, Kenan discusses the desire to do better than other people, have an intimate relationship, and figure out some answers in a confusing world. The lyrics are just a little lewd, without going to the point of offensive.

“Her Gece” by Mirkelam

Song Year: 1995

Although the lyrics are relatively short, Mirkelam’s “Her Gece” is a somewhat mournful, introspective look at the past of a relationship, likely after a breakup. The lyrics mention the inability to forget things or throw away the relics of experiences gone by.

Although older than some other popular songs on this list, “Her Gece” remains a favorite thanks to its strong instrumentals and Mirkelam’s excellent vocal work.

“Kış Güneşi” by Tarkan

Song Year: 1994

Tarkan is one of Turkey’s most popular singers, and Kış Güneşi remains one of their top hits. The song is essentially a goodbye for a relationship, saying that there’s no turning back and begging won’t do anything to help.

Tarkan also uses an unusual motif, likening love to sunshine in winter. Although we usually think of the sun as a positive thing, the context in this song is that it’s both fleeting and doesn’t provide real warmth, driving home his point about relationships.

“Yaşandı Bitti” by Burak Kut

Song Year: 1995

Songs about love are always popular in Turkey, but not all of them are about happy events. “Yaşandı Bitti” is quite direct, talking about how a relationship can be over if someone discovers their partner cheating. They also mention not caring if someone else is telling the truth because they’re going to believe what they can see with their own eyes.

“Hercai” by Çelik

Song Year: 1995

“Hercai” is a fundamentally upbeat pop song where Çelik talks about waiting for his love to come. However, while he says that he doesn’t care when she doesn’t come, he makes repeated mentions of waiting for numerous nights. In other words, his actions are showing that words alone can be lies, which is an important thing for anyone to consider in life.

“Aya Benzer” by Mustafa Sandal

Song Year: 1997

Often known just as Musti, Mustafa Sandal is one of Turkey’s most influential pop singers of the last few decades. His hit song “Aya Benzer” is about what people can accomplish if they do things together.

Throughout the lyrics, Musti says that sometimes it’s okay to give up on the stars if you can have the moon instead, which he’s using as a metaphor for love and interpersonal relationships. The lyrics repeat several times, which makes this song easy to learn and follow along with even if you don’t speak Turkish.

“Aşk” by Sertap Erener

Song Year: 1999

“Aşk” (translating as “love”) is an exhortation in this song, where they’re asking for love to return and enter their lives. There are plenty of songs about finding love or feeling the pain of separation, but songs that specifically request its return are quite unusual.

Meanwhile, the instrumentals vary between a gentle melody and more up-tempo energy to match the lyrics. It’s not quite easy listening as you might suspect from the start of the song, but it’s a noticeable change from music that keeps a similar pace throughout.

“Acıtmıyor Sevdan” by Yaşar

Song Year: 2001

Yaşar’s 2001 hit talks about some of the complexities in relationships. The central element is how the world can be crazy as it spins, making it difficult to think and keep track of things. However, even within all of the chaos, love can endure without harm.

Yaşar has this song go on for a while as he repeats the lyrics, doing it more than you usually hear in songs. However, that reinforces the feeling he’s trying to convey, with things whirling around outside your control but not as bad as they can seem at first.

“Aman” by Eylem

Song Year: 2006

Aman is a song about moving on. In it, Eylem discusses her feeling that her life is her own and that it’s better to accept a new day and move on instead of being stuck in the past. Throughout the song, she argues that past things can be meaningless memories no matter how strong the feelings were.

However, the important thing to understand in this song is its emphasis on moving on. Letting go doesn’t mean staying in place, and Eylem underscores this with lyrics that change from focusing more on lost love in the first part to forgetting more in the second.

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