Müzeyyen Senar: Diva of the Republic

What an artist Such who inspired many others! She was born twice; her real birth and her musical birth. She is called Diva of the Republic, she is Müzeyyen Senar.

Müzeyyen Senar is a prominent figure in Turkish musical history. She had such a strong voice and talent. She contributed to the Turkish classical music with her compositions as well as her cover songs. Words are not enough to express how wonderful she is.

Müzeyyen Senar was born in 1918 in Bursa. As a child, she used to stutter. This condition had lasted for more than a decade and when it ended, she was 15. At this point, singing was her saviour because as we all know, stutterers do not stammer while singing. There are many examples such as Elvis Presley, BB King, and Ed Sheeran etc. Müzeyyen Senar was one of them and luckily this ailment didn’t last long. Here is what she said about this situation: “If I hadn’t been stutterer, I couldn’t have been Müzeyyen Senar.” (https://www.ensonhaber.com/biyografi/muzisyen/muzeyyen-senar-kimdir)

She was so talented as a child that when she became six, she knew almost all the popular Turkish folk songs. Everyone around her noticed her affinity to music and thanks to her music teachers; she was able to show her talent.


When her parents couldn’t get along, her mother moved to Istanbul. Little Müzeyyen stayed with her father for a while but she ended up stealing 5 liras from her father and escaped to Istanbul.   when she was just 11.Istanbul was a milestone in her life. When she moved there, she enrolled in two schools: Anatolia Musical Society and Society of Oriental Music. She learned many things and had the opportunity to meet with prominent composers of the period such as Osman Nihat Akin, Asim Arsoy, Selahattin Pinar and many others.

Her popularity was heard by authorities on the subject and this gave her the opportunity to take the stage at an early age. She was only 15 when she first performed on the stage. She had to lie about her age in order to get permission to appear on stage because it was illegal to do so under 18. She had one condition: going on stage solo. This condition started the soloist movement in the casino history.

She was one of the few people who had the chance to meet Ataturk in person. Ataturk noticed this talented woman as she gradually became more popular. Müzeyyen gave concerts for Ataturk. She expressed her feelings about Ataturk as “My knees were trembling with excitement and I felt like I was flying.”

What makes her so special is that she witnessed all periods of the Republic and she sang for Ataturk during her unique career.

She was so productive that she had more than 30 albums, 120 records and 300 songs. What a brilliant career! Turkish classical music traditions raised a talented woman and now we have many precious songs sung by her. Thank you, Diva!

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