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    Around the World in 80 Songs: Turkey

    Currently, sitting atop the Turkish Pop Chart is a singer called Murat Dalkilic, singing Kasaba.


    The video makes the song seem sufficiently cheesy for pop music, with Dalkilic doing his best to look sexy while being chased through a junkyard by a deranged woman in a wedding dress wielding some sort of sword. But despite the Flashdance feel, I like the music. I’m purposely avoiding a lyrics translation, so I don’t have to discover that the song is not as edgy as I imagine.

    Actually, a lot of Turkish music sounds edgy to me. It’s got a slightly different set of rules than Western music, both in rhythm (Usul) and melody (Makam), which makes it seem darker and somehow more intense.

    A song called Anlamazdin by Ayla Dikmen was last week’s top song. The video makes it obvious that it’s a love song and it has an old-time feel. Listen close and you can hear a little bit of 1950s Hollywood glamour mixed with Bollywood melodrama. Less edgy than Dalkilic, the song is still richly layered with Turkish rhythms.


    One thing that I’ve learned this week is that Turkish women are gorgeous. Take a look at Candan Ercetin, singing Umrumda Degil. The video would be boring if you could take your eyes off Ercetin. But I bet you won’t be able to.


    Another gorgeous woman, Sertab Erener, sings in English a song called Every Way That I Can. It’s pretty standard tortured love song fare but again the uniquely Turkish music gives it a certain edge. And also, the dancing is pretty hot. Sorry, but the embedding is disabled, so you'll have to click the link to check it out.


    Male Turkish pop singers make for some eye candy as well. The next song is Kiss Kiss by Tarkan. His voice is nowhere near as strong as the two women you’ve just listened to, but he’s adorable and the song is fun.


    And finally, for something a little different, here’s Kenan Dogulu with a song called Cakkidi, which is reminiscent of hip hop, only interesting.

    Please don't forget that suggestions for music in other countries is welcome in comments. And if you'd rather write your own blog, check our our new Reader Blogs section, where you can post and critique music of your own choosing (or anything else you feel like writing about)!



    Where's the cranberry sauce?

    The irony is that Candan is singing a tribute to Woody Allen. She has a very knowing, streetwise smile. Sertab's face was more Asian, while Candan seemed more European.

    I was walking down the sidewalk last Fall and a bevy of adorable Turkish women spilled out of a restaurant in front of me. All had black hair, flashing black eyes and all were right around five foot tall.

    I liked ÇAKKIDI, which someone translated in the comments:

    Feeling like I want to go from these parts immediately,
    I have the inclination to start over
    Whatever I have bottled up inside
    (with a *CART) I want to tell
    As you know, we withstand (hardships) like everybody else
    We have our imperfections, our craziness
    *But those who are both bald and vain
    I feel like eating them with a crunch (*HART)!

    I'm just about to crack (with a ÇAT)
    How to get a grip on it and straighten myself out
    I have become a partner (supporter) of the system
    I feel like choking myself

    Never mind, come on get up, let's get friendly girl
    (*ÇAKKIDI ÇAKKIDI) let's play around
    *A little from the top, a little from the bottom
    (*HOPPIDI HOPPIDI) Let's bounce it girl

    Are these my opinions?,Is this my own short film?
    this my knowledge, my science? (What I hold to be sacred and true?)
    I feel like protesting with a *YUH (boo)
    Are these my mind games (Is this my mind playing tricks on me?)
    My official sensations?
    Or me trying to fit in like another sheep in the flock?
    I feel like laughing with a HA HA!

    Is there no hope?
    Is everything empty, meaningless nonsense?
    This whole world, Is it blind drunk?

    *ÇAKKIDI - Loosely translated "Çakkidi" is a vocal imitation of rhythm, or rhythm verbalized (and it's the rhythm that can be clearly heard in the song). Kind of like "chika boom" or if you're more familiar with Middle Eastern music think "doum teka".
    *ÇAT - "CRACK!" Sound something makes when it cracks. Cracking sound.
    *CART- tearing, ripping into sound, here used more to signify inappropriateness (pronounced JAHRT)
    *both bald and vain - Literal translation of the Turkish saying "Hem kel, hem fodul" which refers to people that claim to be great despite their incompetence or wrongdoing.
    *I feel like carving into everybody -- Not literal, kind of like saying "I feel like biting people's heads off"
    *A little from the top, a little from the bottom - Here in a dance sense, in reference to chest and hips
    *HOPPIDI -- Sound for hopping or bouncing, (kind of like "hippity hoppity" in English)
    *HART -- Sound for biting into something
    *YUH - closest translation is "boo", however "yuh" in Turkish has a much stronger connotation and is considered inappropriate in polite company

    Cadikki was my favorite too. I haven't been focusing on the translations because, for me, the lyrics get in the way of the music, and I largely ignore them, except for how the meter of the words adds to the musicality of the song. It's one of the reasons I've never been able to enjoy opera. But I could definitely make more of an effort to find the translations.

    Except had I known about Woody Allen, that song would have never made my list. Woody Allen is gross and his movies are boring.

    The dedication you've put into this series is much appreciated, Orlando, even by those who haven't commented on individual entries. Where to next?

    Hmm. Not sure. Not Anne Murray, though. Sorry. 

    No, even if you focused on Canadian music, I didn't expect you to go the Anne Murray route. I did buy one of her CDs once, but that was to give to my mother.

    Miss Candan Erçetin's family has moved from Macedonia to Kırklareli(a place in European part of Turkey,where the Romans live too).

    And Candan is a Music teacher at one of the best franco highschool in Turkey, Lycee de Galatasaray. She speaks perfect french.


    Miss Sertab Erener is a soprano.She is from IStanbul. And you should watch her show at the Eurovision. there was a great live show. also the video clip is nice,but i always prefer the live ones.


    You should also see HADİSE...she is young,grewn up in Europe (must b Belguim i do not remember), she is gonna compite with the song DÜM TEK TEK (like buka sounds) in Eurovision 2009.

    You should watch the live performance of Hadise ONLY WITH A GOOD KISS, and Deli oğlan.


    Also there is another young girl Atiye Deniz grewn up in Holland i think. She had a nice song on 2006 DON'T THINK YOU GET ME BACK.nice movements.

    :) you can also watch miss Sibel Can, she has grown up this roman place in istanbul Sulukule, she was a belly dancer and now she sings too.

    and as an old dancer Nesrin Topkapı.

    For rightnow i don't remember more names.

    Have a nice week.

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