The genre got its name in 1964 with the release of duo Tülay German and Erdem Buri's single "Yarının Şarkısı" (Tomorrow's Song). On the record's sleeve they coin the term "Turkish pop music", indicating that their product was indicative of things to come.
Musicologists document that the first original composition was released in 1967 by Paris trained Timur Selçuk, the son of famous classicist Münir Nurettin Selçuk, called "Ayrılanlar İçin" For Those Departed).The vehicle for Turkish pop was often film, and singers such as Gönül Yazar became icons of the time, though their films were rarely seen outside Turkey.
1970s - 1980s
Turkish pop music became very popular in the 1970s with female stars such as Ajda Pekkan and Sezen Aksu reaching superstar status domestically.
With her song writing talent, Aksu is credited with giving Turkish pop its unique sound, which is emulated across the Arabic countries. It was arguably this sound that changed the face of the Eurovision song contest when Sertab Erener won the Eurovision Song Contest 2003. Today Aksu is considered to be the matriarch of Turkish pop music.
The genre took a huge dip in popularity with the emergence of Arabesque music. However, with Aksu backing emerging stars such as Sertab and Tarkan in the early 1990s, Turkish pop came back from the brink. In particular, Tarkan's song Şımarık, which was both written and composed by Aksu, was a hit in Europe and Latin America in 1999.
As in the 1950s, it again took inspiration from newer styles that had emerged, such as hip hop, heavy metal and reggae.Mainstream pop
Turkish pop music is now everywhere, whether it's the latest from Tarkan, female singer/songwriter Sezen Aksu, or the more radical sounds of the Turkish club underground, like Mercan Dede.