• About the Compilation

    Turkish Ladies. Female Singers from Turkey 1974 -1988

    Sony Music Turkey and Ladies on Records present the very first compilation of Turkish female singers from 70s and 80s.

    Official release date - 11th May 2018

    Vinyl, CD and digital


    Female singers embody everything that is the most spectacular and precious in music. Their style reflects what is glamorous, vivid, important. However, the female music does not only reflect what is visible and accepted. It also mirrors all neglected, undervalued dreams and expectations. Female singers are not only artists. They are messengers.


    "Turkish Ladies" compilation is curated by Kornelia Binicewicz aka Ladies on Records and made of deep and profound listening of the message of Turkish women singers. Created from vast music archives of old Turkish labels under the umbrella of Sony Music Turkey, the compilation catches the diversity of Turkish women music scene – from seductive and charismatic divas of gazinos and pavyons to straightforward and sharp folk singers of tavernas.


    After great interest and revivalism of Turkish music from late 60s, 70s and 80s, it is high time to rediscover and appreciate the women story of this exciting period in music from Turkey. Sweet melodies and heartbreaking dramas are kept in edgy arrangements and compositions with eccentric synthesizers, mesmerizing arabesque string orchestras, waka waka funky guitars and narcotizing rhythm sections of darbukas and drum sets. Get surprised with variety of influences and fusions – from classical Türk Sanat Müziği, Argentinian tango, Spanish flamenco, Egyptian classical orchestras, traditional folk songs to worldwide popular disco, psychedelia, funk in local unique setups from late 70s and 80s.




    Side A

    1 Huri Sapan - Bir Şans Daha Ver

    2 Handan Kara - Aşkım ve Gururum

    3 Gönül Yazar - Sen Bir Yana

    4 Esmeray - Ölmeden De Yaşamak

    5 Neşe Alkan - Tut Kalbimi Tut


    Side B

    1 Gülden Karaböcek – Yanıyorum

    2 Gül Sorgun - Ara Leyli

    3 Ferda Gül - Yar Oy

    4 Dilber Doğan - Yıkılla Köyler


    Compiled, curated and written by Kornelia Binicewicz/ Ladies on Records

    Artwork - Marianne MarpLondon

    Executive producer - Ali Çetinkaya - Sony Music Turkey/ Epic Istanbul





  • Parties & Lectures

    November 10th, 2018 / Warsaw/ Poland

    Bar Targowy/ Hala Mirowska/ Warsaw/ Poland

    Go to the event page


    October 26th, 2018 / Vienna/ Austria

    DJ set at Viennale Festival

    Go to the event page


    October 25th, 2018 / Linz/ Austria

    Lecture about "Turkish Ladies" compilation and DJ party

    Cafe Strom

    Go to the event page


    September 22nd/ 2018/ Bucharest/ Romania

    "Turkish Ladies" - DJ set @ Outernational Days 3

    Control Club, Bucharest

    Go to the event page


    September 22nd/ 2018/ Bucharest/ Romania

    Turkish Ladies - soundlecture @ Outernational Days 3

    National Museum of Contemporary Art of Romania

    Izvor St. 2-4, E4 Wing, Bucharest​

    Go to the event page

    September 9th /2018/ Istanbul/ Turkey

    3. Kadıköy Plak Günleri - DJ Set

    Kadikoy Mesleki Ve Teknik Anadolu Lisesi

    Istanbul, Turkey

    Go to the event page

    September 4th/ 2018/ Bochum/ Germany

    Kalakuta Soul presents Ladies On Records - soundlecture

    Atelier Automatique · Bochum, Germany

    Go to the event page


    September 2nd/ 2018/ Bochum/ Germany

    Kalakuta Soul Picnic

    Schmechtingwiese · Bochum, Germany

    Go to the event page


    June 1st, 2018/ Hamburg/ Germany

    "Turkish Ladies" release party in Golden Pudel

    with Booty Carrell and Ladies on Records

    Golden Pudel, Am. St. Pauli Fischmarkt 27, Hamburg

    Go to the event page

    May 25th, 2018 / Berlin/ Germany

    "Turkish Ladies" release party in Arkaoda Berlin

    with Booty Carrell and Ladies on Records

    Arkaoda Berlin, Karl Marx Platz, Berlin

    Go to the event page


  • Turkish Ladies Music Samples

  • Artists

    Meet the Singers

    Huri Sapan

    Song: "Bir Şans Daha Ver", 1974, Elenor Plak

    Huri Sapan is an Arabesk and a Türk Sanat Müziği singer and an actress. She was born and raised in the Black Sea region, in a conservative Laz family. Started her musical carrer in 1968 with her albums released on a label called Pathe. Before recording for big Turkish labels (Istanbul Plak; Elenor) Huri Sapan had her singles first released in Serbia. Cooperated with the biggest artists of Turkish popular music in 70s. Huri Sapan was one of the female singers performing in many of Ferdi Tayfur's movies. Huri Sapan often appeared in Turkish gazinos (Maxim, Bebek, Lunapark) as well as singer movies (sanatçı film) through all 70s and 80s. The song titled “Bir Şans Daha Ver”, released in 1974 by Elenor Plak, was used in the Oscar winning Alan Parker's “Midnight Express” movie from 1978.

    Huri Sapan lives in Istanbul and still performs on stage.

    Photo: Elenor Plak


    Handan Kara

    Song: "Aşkım ve Gururum", 1974, Şah Plak

    1939 - 2017

    Handan Kara started her career in TRT Radyosu. She got involved in the film industry since the begining of her musical activity. It was lip-syncing and dubbing of famous Turkish actresses (for example Türkan Şoray) that made Handan Kara recognized and popular in Turkey. She performed also in several Turkish movies as an actress and a singer. One of the most succesful movies of Handan Kara was “İşte Deve, İşte Hendek”, where she appeared together with two other Turkish singers Neşe Alkan and Rana Alagöz. But it was a Turkish blockbuster "Sonbahar Rüzgarları" that made Handan Kara widely recognized and aknowledged as a singer. She used to perform in Bebek Gazinosu. She moved to Hamburg and lived there till early 2000s.

    Handan Kara died in Istanbul in 2017.

    Photo: Şah Plak

    Gönül Yazar

    Song: "Sen Bir Yana", 1985, Elenor Plak

    Gönül Yazar was born as Mürşide Gönül Özyeğiner in 1936. She had been recognised as a talented vocalist after winning a vocal contest at the age of 13. Started her official career in 1954 in TRT Radyosu. Gönül is widely known in Turkey not only for her brilliant music career but also for her vibrant private life. Gönül got married 6 times. Her first marriage was arranged when she was 15. She got married to Neced Yazar, twice older owner of gazino, after secretly going on music tour with him. Her family was sure that that Gönül's reputation was in tatters. The marriage was arranged in order to cover-up the scandal. Since 70s Gönül has been praised as one of the greatests Turkish pop singers. She was a star of the most prestigous music hall of Istanbul - Maksim Gazinosu. Gönül is a sister of popular Arabesk singer – Belkis Özener.

    Photo: Elenor Plak


    Song: Ölmeden De Yaşamak, 1981, Türküola

    1949 - 2002

    Esmeray - Turkish pop singer and one of the very few representatives of Afro-Turks in Turkish show business. She got famous in late 70s and 80s for her TRT television concerts. Esmeray started her career as an actress in 1960. In early 70s she performed with Kim Bunlar band. She won the first and last Toplu İgne Composition Contest – a contest organised by TRT Television Channel (Turkish National Television) in 1974. The song Unutama Beni (Do Not Forget Me) was chosen by the audience as the best song of the competition. The deep sound of the song was based on Arabic maqam. Soon after the success on this contest, the song was censored by the channel. Arabic influences and musical patterns, which were part of Turkish culture for so many centuries, were then perceived as symbols of cultural backwardness. With their eye fixed to the West, TRT’s members considered Esmeray’s music inappropriate to represent the modern Turkish music in 70s. Her outstanding voice is still remembered in Turkey. However many of her songs are still waiting for appreciation and deep understanding. Especially the song titled "13,5" deserves further attention of international audience.

    Photo: Kaan Diriker


    Neşe Alkan

    Song: Tut Kalbimi Tut, 1983, Elenor

    Neşe Alkan is a barely known Turkish female singer, who started her career in 70s. Recorded her first singles on a label named Elenor. As many other Turkish singers she was not only a singer but also an actress. Neşe Alkan got remembered as a beautiful and strong woman of Ala Turka music scene. She got disappeared from showbusiness in 80s just after the release of Tut Kalbimi Tut album. The album is a rare example of autonomy and independence of female artist in Turkey. Neşe Alkan not only brought the album ready to the Elenor, but also took the absolute control over the production process.

    Photo: Elenor Plak


    Gülden Karaböcek

    Song: Yanıyorum, 1976, Elenor

    The birth name of Gülden Karaböcek is Saniye Gülden Göktürk. She was born in 1953. She has two sisters, Neşe and Gülcan, both involved in music business. Started her career with Elenor in early 70s as a young, progressive Türkü singer. She got married to Atilla Alpsakarya, a former husband of her sister Neşe and the owner of Elenor Plak. For years Gülden was stigmatized in the Turkish show business for getting married to Atilla Alpsakarya. Gülden was perceived as a gifted singer and modern interpreter of long lasting aşık tradition. Apart from being a singer she was also known as a guitarist and composer of her own songs. Since the end of 70s Gülden had changed her direction towards very popular musical genre called Arabesk. It was “Dilek Taşı” movie from 1977 that brought her success and appreciation. Gülden worked with the biggest artists and arrangers of Turkish music scene (Onno Tunç and Esin Engin). She still performs on stage in Turkey.

    Photo: Elenor Plak

    Gül Sorgun

    Song: Ara Leyli, 1987, Şah Plak

    Gül Sorgun is an Alevi female singer, known mostly for her folk and Türkü songs. She comes from a family of bağlama musicians. She performed with the biggest stars of the genre - Arif Sağ and Selda Bağcan and made a collaboration with Şah Plak in 80s.

    Photo: Şah Plak

    Ferda Gül

    Song: Yar Oy, 1988, Şah Plak

    Ferda Gül is an Alevi female singer specialized in Oyun Havaları and Fantezi music. She made a collaboration with Şah Plak in 80s.

    Photo: Şah Plak

    Dilber Doğan

    Song: Yıkılla Köyler, 1988, Şah Plak

    Dilber Doğan is an Alevi female singer, born in Sivas. She initially performed mostly on weddings and other Turkish festive celebrations. She was respected as an uzun hava singer. Dilber Doğan got her recognition as a female singer of Alevi community in late 80s. She was also known for her artistic cooperation with Aşık Mahsuni Şerif.

    Photo: Şah Plak

  • The Artwork

    Designed by Marianne MarpLondon


    Marianne MarpLondon is a photographer, art director and artist. She is a polymath by nature, driven by research led commissioned or self-initiated projects. Her work focuses on portraiture, the space between fact and fiction and social commentary. Her lens seeks to explore the paradoxes of life to get a glimpse of the essence of the human condition. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, including Tate Modern, Arte Institute, Foundation for Contemporary Art and Gallery See Exhibition Space in New York, The Guardian, The New York Times Style Magazine - T Qatar, Lensculture and Snapped Magazine. In 2017 she had her first solo show in Dallas (US) at tAd Gallery and was finalist in Lensculture Exposure Awards 2018 which will be shown at the international photography art fair Photo London at Somerset House.

    Front cover

    Digging through Turkish records and cassettes from 70s and 80s requires a deep exploration of women portraits gazing from the covers. Social and cultural patterns are visible in artworks.


    The image of Huri Sapan on the front cover sits perfectly in the 12 inch square space. Her seductive gaze, the ocean of curls and a vibrant crimson dress match with late 70s style of the music presented on the compilation.

    Gazino Poster

    The inner gatefold of the album is a tribute to gazino poster artwork and the traditional ebru art. "Turkish Ladies" artwork combines the style of vertical gazino poster and pictoresque Ottoman art. Four of the singers from the compilation - Huri Sapan, Gülden Karaböcek, Neşe Alkan and Gönül Yazar represent the glamorous style of gazino performances in 70s and 80s.


    The inner sleeve of the album was designed as a sheet with Turkish lyrics and English translations.

  • Media coverage

    Turkish Ladies in Media

    Polskie Radio Dwójka

    "Nokturn" radio program of Jacek Hawryluk and Bartek Chaciński about "Turkish Ladies" compilation. Polish National Radio - 2.

    Read here


    "Koleksiyonundaki Türk kadın sanatcılar" by Ali Eyüboğlu

    Read here

    Record Collector Magazine

    "For a collection of songs with lyrics largely focusing on heartbreak, betrayel and urequited love, these are some of the funkiest tracks you will ever hear." and "An absolut fireckracker of a compilation from start to finish".

    July 2018 issue #481

    Read here

    The National

    "The compilation offers a chance to re-appraise some wonderful music, and provides a great insight into the lives and careers of the women who made that music​" - An album review written by James McNair. Read here

    Greedy For Best Music

    "Released earlier this year via Ladies On Records / Sony Music Turkey, her "Turkish Ladies" compilation marks the very first and, if we may say, long-overdue selection of female music from Turkey from the '70s and '80s, who were a vital part of the scene, but often missing from the missing from the male-dominated narrative."

    Read here

    Bant Mag

    "“Eğer daha çok şey bilirsek, duyduğumuz müzik de bildiğimiz halinden daha farklı gelecek.”

    Röportaj: Busen Dostgül – İllüstrasyon: Sadi Güran

    Read here

    Groove City Talk

    Vinyl talk about "Turkish Ladies" compilation with Sebastian Reier (Booty Carrell) in Groove Record Store in Hamburg / Germany

    Listen here

    Deutschlandfunk Kultur

    "Von Glamour-Pop bis Folklore: Auf "Turkish Ladies" hat Kornelia Binicewicz neun Songs türkischer Frauen aus den 70er- und 80er-Jahren zusammengestellt. In der Auswahl steckt viel Groove - und sie zeigt wie die Gesellschaft damals tickte."

    Read and listen back here

    Turkish Ladies on NTS Radio

    Listen back a special 1 hour mix for NTS Radio.

    Listen here


    "Feeling good - Outernational sounds" by Harvinder including song from "Turkish Ladies" compilation.

    Read here

    Sophisticated Boom Boom of Sheila Burgel (WFMU)

    Sheila B. - DJ and female music collector features Turkish Ladies compilation. Listen back here

    The Attic Magazine

    Bucarest based The Attic Magazine presents the story behind making of "Turkish Ladies. Female Singers from Turkey 1974 -1988'.​ Read here

    Vinyl Factory

    "Little-known Turkish female singers from the ’70s and ’80s collected in new LP"

    Read here

  • Order Your Own Copy

    Turkish Ladies compilation is officially distributed by Kudos Records

  • Find Us

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