Zeki Müren

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Zeki Müren
Born(1931-12-06)6 December 1931
Bursa, Turkey
Died24 September 1996(1996-09-24) (aged 64)
İzmir, Turkey
Resting placeEmirsultan Cemetery, Bursa, Turkey
EducationBoğaziçi High School
Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts
Musical career
GenresClassical Turkish
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
Years active1950–1996
Zeki Müren signature.png

Zeki Müren (Turkish pronunciation: [zeˈci ˈmyɾæn]; 6 December 1931[1] – 24 September 1996) was a Turkish singer, composer, songwriter, actor and poet. Known by the nicknames "The Sun of Art"[2] and "Pasha",[3] he was one of the prominent figures of the Turkish classical music. Due to his contributions to the art industry, he was named a "State Artist" in 1991.[4] He was the first singer to receive a gold certification in Turkey and throughout his career recorded and released hundreds of songs on cassettes and phonograph records.[5]


Childhood and education[edit]

Müren was born in the Hisar district of Bursa, at the wooden house number 30 on Ortapazar Road[2] as the only child of Kaya and Hayriye Müren.[2][6] His family were originally from Skopje. His father was a timber merchant. He was a small and impatient boy. At the age of 11 he was circumcised in Bursa.[7]

Müren went to the Bursa Osmangazi School (later Tophane School and Alkıncı School). When he was at school, his musical ability was discovered by his teachers and he started to have a prominent role at school musicals. His first ever role was the character of a shepherd in one of these musicals.[7]

He finished his secondary school in Bursa and then asked his father to let him got to Istanbul. There he attended the Istanbul Boğaziçi High School. He finished the school and ended up as the number-one student.[7] After passing his exams, he was enrolled at the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts (now Mimar Sinan University).[7]

Music career[edit]

On 19 November 1953, Zeki Müren gave his first concert at the Great Cinema in Atatürk Boulevard

In 1950, while he was a university student, he took part at TRT Istanbul Radio's music competition and ranked number-one out of 186 contestants.[7] On 1 January 1951, he had his first live performance on Istanbul Radio, which was praised by critics. During this performance, he was accompanied by musicians Hakkı Derman, Serif İçli, Şükrü Tunar, Refik Fersan and Necdet Gezen. Hamiyet Yüceses subsequently called the program and congratulated him on his performance. In those years, TRT Ankara Radio was the most listened radio in Anatolia, and Istanbul Radio could not be heard clearly from all parts of Anatolia. At the same week, the clarinetist Şükrü Tunar, took Müren to his own recording studio in Yeşilköy and he recorded his song "Muhabbet Kuşu" on phonograph record. Thanks to this record, Müren became known all over Anatolia.[7]

After the success of his first live performance and his first record, Müren began to perform different songs on Turkish radios. His radio programs went on air for 15 years, most of which included live performances. Müren subsequently focused on giving concerts and recording new songs. He had his first live concert on 26 May 1955. He would usually wear his self-designed clothes on stage. He brought various innovations such as dressing uniforms and using T podium.[7]

Together with Behiye Aksoy, he performed at Maksim Casino[8] for 11 years.[9] In 1976, he became the first Turkish artist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London.[10]

Throughout his career, Müren recorded 600 cassettes and phonograph records. His first song recorded on a phonograph was "Bir Muhabbet Kuşu" by Şükrü Tunar. With his song "Manolyam" in 1955, Müren became the first Turkish artist to receive a gold certification.[11] In 1991, he was chosen as a State Artist.[12]

Other ventures[edit]

In 1965, he published a poetry book called "Bıldırcın Yağmuru", which contains nearly 100 poems.[7] Among the poems featured on this book are Pembe Yağmurlar, Bursa Sokağı, İkinci Sadık Dost, Çim Makası, Son Kavga, Bu Bestecikler Sana, Alınyazım, Kazancı Yokuşu and Kendimi Arıyorum.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Zeki Müren never married. In the 1950s, with his special patterns of behavior, dressing and his performance on stage, he managed to keep people constantly interested in himself. In the early years of his career, he chose to wear ordinary clothes and hair styles, but later showed a favor for feminine-styled clothes, and performed with new hair styles and make-up. He never commented on his sexual orientation and occasionally his name appeared alongside that of women.[14] The general opinion was that he was homosexual.[15]

He was known to speak Turkish with a viscous accent. Referred to as the "Pasha of Music", in 1969, after his Aspendos concert, for the first time, he started being favored by the people of Antalya. He explained that although he was delighted because of their support, he still did not know why he was that much favored.[16] He served as an assistant officer in Ankara Infantry School (6 months), Istanbul Harbiye Representative Office (6 months) and Çankırı (3 months) in 1957-1958.[7] With Onur Akay's suggestion on TRT Music, Müren's date of birth (6 December) has been celebrated as the Turkish Art Music Day since 2012.[17][18][19]

Illness and death[edit]

One of the clothes exhibited at Zeki Müren Art Museum in Bodrum

During the last 6 years of his life, Müren was away from the scenes and the media due to heart disease and diabetes. He was retired at his house in Bodrum. He described this period as a time for "listening to oneself".[20] On 24 September 1996, during the ceremony held for him at TRT İzmir Television, he had a heart attack and died. His funeral ceremony was attended by a large number of people. His body was taken to his birth place, Bursa, and buried in Emirsultan Cemetery.[21]

He left all his assets in his will to the Turkish Education Foundation and Mehmetçik Foundation.[22] TEV and Mehmetçik Foundation built Zeki Müren Fine Arts Anatolian High School in Bursa in 2002. In a statement on 24 September 2016, TEV Bursa Branch President Mehmet Caliskan said that the Foundation had helped 2,631 students with the Zeki Müren Scholarship Fund over the last 20 years.[23]

After his death, the house in which the artist lived in Bodrum for the last years of his life was transformed into Zeki Müren Art Museum by the order of the Ministry of Culture and was opened to the public on 8 June 2000.[24]


On 6 December 2018, a Google Doodle was displayed to celebrate his 87th birthday.[25]


Albums published during his lifetime
  • 1970 Senede Bir Gün
  • 1973 Pırlanta 1
  • 1973 Pırlanta 2
  • 1973 Pırlanta 3
  • 1973 Pırlanta 4
  • 1973 Hatıra
  • 1974 Anılarım
  • 1975 Mücevher
  • 1976 Güneşin Oğlu
  • 1979 Nazar Boncuğu
  • 1980 Sükse
  • 1981 Kahır Mektubu
  • 1982 Eskimeyen Dost
  • 1984 Hayat Öpücüğü
  • 1985 Masal
  • 1986 Helal Olsun
  • 1987 Aşk Kurbanı
  • 1988 Gözlerin Doğuyor Gecelerime
  • 1989 Ayrıldık İşte
  • 1989 Karanlıklar Güneşi
  • 1989 Zirvedeki Şarkılar
  • 1989 Dilek Çeşmesi
  • 1990 Bir Tatlı Tebessüm
  • 1991 Doruktaki Nağmeler
  • 1992 Sorma
  • 1996 Belgeseli
Albums published posthumously
  • 2000 Muazzez Abacı & Zeki Müren Düet
  • 2005 Selahattin Pınar Şarkıları
  • 2005 Sadettin Kaynak Şarkıları
  • 2005 Zeki Müren: 1955–1963 Kayıtları
  • 2006 Batmayan Güneş

In addition to these, there are 12 other albums attributed to Zeki Müren published during 1968–1974 by Grafson Plak.


International titles are given in parentheses.

  • 1953 Beklenen Şarkı ("Awaited Song")
  • 1955 Son Beste (The Last Musical Composition)
  • 1957 Berduş (The Vagabond)
  • 1958 Altın Kafes (The Golden Cage)
  • 1959 Kırık Plak (The Broken Record)
  • 1959 Gurbet ("Foreign Place")
  • 1961 Aşk Hırsızı (The Love Thief)
  • 1962 Hayat Bazen Tatlıdır (Sometimes Life Is Enjoyable)
  • 1963 Bahçevan (The Gardener)
  • 1964 İstanbul Kaldırımları (Pavements of Istanbul)
  • 1965 Hep O Şarkı ("Always That Song")
  • 1966 Düğün Gecesi (The Wedding Night)
  • 1967 Hindistan Cevizi (The Coconut)
  • 1968 Katip ("Secretary")
  • 1969 Kalbimin Sahibi ("Owner Of My Heart")
  • 1969 İnleyen Nağmeler ("Howling Melodies")
  • 1970 Aşktan da Üstün ("Higher Than Love")
  • 1971 Rüya Gibi ("Like A Dream")


  • "Bıldırcın Yağmuru" (1965)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BBC Türkçenin Zeki Müren mülakatı, 1983" (in Turkish). BBC. Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  2. ^ a b c Sultan Uçar (15 September 2013). "Gizli kasadaki Zeki Müren". HABERTÜRK. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Hangi Zeki Müren şarkısı duygularınızı en iyi ifade ediyor?". CNNTÜRK TV. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Devlet sanatçılığına iptal". NTVMSNBC. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  5. ^ Ismet Göksel Berber (26 September 1996). "Zeki Müren Kimdir?". bilgiustam.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016. "Eserleri hakkında". Türkiye Gazetesi. 26 Eylül 1996. ve İnternet
  6. ^ "TRT - Anasayfa". TRT.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Batmayan Güneş Zeki Müren" documentary. Publisher: Kürşat Özkök. TRT. Release date: 10–12 September 1996.
  8. ^ ""Sanat Güneşi" Anıldı". Onedio. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Maksim Gazinosu sahnelerinde aralıksız 11 yıl Behiye Aksoy ile dönüşümlü olarak sahne almış olan TSM.mizin unutulmaz sanat güneşi kimdir?". Mynet. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  10. ^ ARŞİV ODASI: Zeki Müren, 1976 - BBC TÜRKÇE. BBC Türkçe. YouTube. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  11. ^ Emel Gülcan (24 September 2014). "Sanat Güneşi Zeki Müren'in İlklerle Dolu Rengârenk Hayatı". ListeList.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  12. ^ "1991 Yılında Seçilen Devlet Sanatçıları". T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Eserleri hakkında". Türkiye Newspaper. 26 September 1996.
  14. ^ Zeki Müren'e Sarıyer'de "çakma aşk" Aykut Işıklar. Sariyerhaber.com. Retrieved: 15 April 2012
  15. ^ Sefa Kaplan (15 October 2011). "Türkiye Zeki Müren'dir". Hürriyet. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  16. ^ Yasemin Bozkurt röportajı, 1985 Youtube.com. Retrieved: 17 January 2012.
  17. ^ Gazetesi, Aydınlık. "Veliahtından Sanat Güneşi'ne doğum günü armağanı". www.aydinlikgazete.com.
  18. ^ Kanal, Ulusal. "Zeki Müren'e doğum günü hediyesi haberi - Son Dakika Haberleri". www.ulusalkanal.com.tr.
  19. ^ "İyi ki doğdun Zeki Müren Yaşam Haberi - GÜNEŞ".
  20. ^ "Türk Müziğinin Sanat Güneşi Zeki Müren". Haberler.com. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Zeki Müren mezarı başında anıldı". Sabah. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  22. ^ Turkish Daily Sabah, Sanat Güneşi anılıyor, December 6, 2006. (In Turkish, last accessed July 8, 2007).
  23. ^ "Sanat Güneşi Zeki Müren mezarı başında anıldı - Cumhuriyet Türkiye Haberleri" [Zeki Muren Art Solar grave was commemorated at the beginning - the Republic of Turkey News]. Cumhuriyet. 24 September 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  24. ^ "Sanat Güneşi Şarkıları ile Anılacak". Haberler.com. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  25. ^ "Zeki Müren's 87th Birthday". google.com. 6 December 2018.

External links[edit]