Western Culture Influences Turkey

by Jessica Stone

The most known Turkish music types and popular music genres played in Turkey are:

  • Classical Turkish Music
  • Polyphonic Turkish Music
  • Turkish Folk Music
  • Arabesque / Belly Dance Music
  • Pop, Rock and Jazz
  • Military Music
  • Religious and Sufi Music

However, Western culture has greatly influenced popular music in Turkey.  There are several songs on iTunes Turkey Top 100 songs (updated hourly) that are also popular in the United States.  Besides their cultural music, Turkish people have been downloading songs such as The Monster by Eminem (feat. Rihanna) and Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo (feat. 2 Chainz).  The third most downloaded song is from one of Turkey’s pop artists, Erdem Kinay.

Popular Turkish movies reflect the people and culture of Turkey.  Similar to Americans, Turkish people go to movie theaters in their leisure time.  Here is a link to a blog by an American student studying abroad in Turkey.  In one post he wrote about the distinctions between the process of going to a movie in Turkey compared to America. Although the process is similar in some ways, which suggests the West’s cultural influence, he says the movie-going experience was much more enjoyable in Turkey.

According to Today’s Zaman, “Turkish films are very dramatic — the plot nearly always includes gun chases and romance. They always have a sad ending.”  The columnist also provides a descriptive list of leisure time activities in Turkey, and specific cultural names for traditions and items associated with popular activities.

Wikipedia‘s list of movies filmed in Turkey is actually surprising.  A few films on the list have received exceptional reviews and remain popular in the United States.  For example, two James Bond movies – The World is Not Enough and Skyfall – were filmed in Turkey, as well as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Hitman. 


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