Turkey marks death anniversary of legendary music idol

By Musa Alcan

ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey’s legendary music idol Zeki Muren (1931-1996) was remembered Monday, on the 22nd anniversary of his death.

Also known as the "Sun of Art", or "Pasha, Muren was known for his compelling voice in both traditional Turkish classical and contemporary music.

Nowadays, fans of the iconic Turkish singer are paying tribute him at his mausoleum in the northwestern province of Bursa and at his house in the Bodrum district of southwestern Mugla province.

The legendary artist, considered to be one of the greatest names of classical Turkish music, was born on Dec. 6, 1931.

He completed his primary and secondary education in Bursa and later continued his education at Istanbul Bogazici High School as a boarding student in pursuit of his dreams to become a musician.

He took music lessons from famous musicians of the time, including tambourine player Izzet Gerceker, Agopos Efendi and lute player Kirkor Efendi.

At the age of 17, Muren's first song was broadcasted at TRT Istanbul Radio.

In 1950, he started his higher education at Istanbul Fine Arts Academy, which is now called Mimar Sinan University's Faculty of Fine Arts. The same year, Muren was chosen among 186 people to become a singer at an Istanbul Radio competition.

But what really changed his career was on New Years of 1951, performing a 45-minute astonishingly beautiful live concert on the radio after a fellow artist called in sick, making him a rising star in the music world.

In 1954, Muren first played the starring role on a film of Beklenen Sarki. He played leading roles in 17 more movies.

In Turkey, he was the first singer to receive a golden record award with his work Manolya (Magnolia) in 1955.

After having multiple heart attacks in Kusadasi district in the western province of Aydin in 1980 and in Paris in 1983, he started living at his home in Bodrum.

In 1984, he gave his last concert at Bodrum Castle to donate the concert's income for the restoration of an ancient theater.

Muren was named a State Artist for his works in 1991.

On Sep. 24, 1996, he died from a heart attack during an award program on TRT Izmir Television.

All his wealth was shared by Turkish Education Foundation and Mehmetcik Foundation upon his will.

His house in Bodrum began to be used as a museum in 2000.

His famous albums are: "Senede Bir Gun", "Pirlanta 1-2-3-4", "Hatira", "Anilarim", "Mucevher", "Gunesin Oglu", "Nazar Boncugu", "Zirvedeki", "Sukse", "Kahir Mektubu", "Eskimeyen Dost", "Hayat Opucugu", "Masal", "Helal Olsun", "Ask", "Kurbani", "Gozlerin Doguyor Gecelerime", "Ayrilik Iste", "Karanliklar Gunesi", "Sarkilar", "Dilek Cesmesi", "Bir Tatli Tebessum", "Doruktaki Nagmeler", "Sorma".

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