Turkish Folk Music: The Best Instrumental Songs

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some great Turkish folk music to add to your playlist? Check out our picks for the best instrumental songs from this vibrant and traditional genre!

Introduction to Turkish Folk Music

Turkish folk music is the music of the Turkish people, developed from various influences and flavored by local traditions. It is a fusion of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Caucasian and Ottoman influences, played on traditional instruments with influences from Europe.

Traditional Turkish folk music has two main categories: Greater Anatolian music and Black Sea music. The first developed in the central plains of Anatolia, specifically in Konya province, where a rich tradition of poetry and song helped give birth to Asiatic Turkish music. This type of folk music was further influenced by Ottoman court music, particularly during the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1520–66), when Konya was an important cultural center.

The second tradition, Black Sea folk music, is closely related to Caucasian and Ottoman court music. It developed in the northern coastal regions of Turkey, particularly in Trabzon province. Instruments used in this type of folk music include the kemençe (a bowed string instrument), tar (a lute-like instrument) and kudüm (a type of drum).

The Best Instrumental Songs

Turkish Folk Music has become one of the most widely listened to genres in the world. It has been said that one can hear the Turkish Folk Music from the streets of Istanbul to the small villages of Anatolia. What makes this music so special is the fact that it has been able to preserve its traditional roots while also incorporating modern instrumentation and various styles.

“Karagöz and Hacivat”

Karagöz and Hacivat are two of the best-known and loved figures in Turkish folklore. These characters are traditionally portrayed as puppets, but they also appear in paintings, carvings, and even shadow plays. The two friends are always getting into trouble and their misadventures are a source of endless entertainment.

While Karagöz is known for his quick wit and sharp tongue, Hacivat is the more level-headed one of the pair. Together, they provide a unique perspective on the world around them and their hijinks never fail to make people laugh.

If you’re looking for some great Turkish folk music, then look no further than “Karagöz and Hacivat.” These instrumental songs are sure to please any fan of traditional folk music.

“Çırağan Palace”

Çırağan Palace was built in the late 19th century by Sultan Abdülaziz and was used as a residence for the Ottoman royal family. The palace was designed by Italian architect Valerio Marini and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Istanbul. The palace has a rich history and has been home to many important events over the years.

Turkish Folk Music: The Best Instrumental Songs is a compilation of some of the best instrumental songs from Turkey. The album features a mix of traditional and modern songs, all of which are performed on a variety of instruments. If you’re a fan of Turkish music, or just looking for some good background music, this album is definitely worth checking out.


Bozcaada is a small island off the coast of Turkey that is known for its production of excellent Turkish folk music. The island has a long tradition of music-making, and its folk songs are particularly famous for their beautiful melodies and lively rhythms. Many of these songs are played on traditional instruments such as the kemenche (a type of fiddle), the saz (a lute-like instrument), and the ney (a flute-like instrument). Bozcaada is also home to a number of excellent choirs, which often perform Turkish folk songs in beautiful harmony.

“Giresun Karadeniz”

“Giresun Karadeniz” is a traditional Turkish folk song that originates from the Giresun Province in northeastern Turkey. This region is known for its beautiful Black Sea coastline, and the song reflects the peaceful and calming atmosphere of the area. The melody is very simple and lulling, making it perfect for relaxing or falling asleep to.


Köroğlu is a folk epic of the Oghuz Turks. The central character, Köroğlu, is a heroic figure who fights against injustice. The epic tells the story of Köroğlu’s struggle against injustice and his eventual victory. The epic has been passed down through oral tradition for centuries and has been adapted for different media, including film and television.


In conclusion, Turkish folk music is a beautiful and unique genre that is definitely worth exploring. The best way to experience it is to listen to it in its natural setting – in a small village or town in Turkey. But if you can’t make it to Turkey, the next best thing is to listen to instrumental songs from Turkish folk music on CD or online.

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