Zeki Müren was born in December 1931. He was a famous Turkish singer and song writer. He also composed music, acted and was known for his poetry and painting. In 1991 he became the first singer in Turkey to receive a gold certification and was named a “State Artist”.
Born in Bursa, the only child of Kaya and Hayriye Müren, his father was a local timber merchant. Zeki was discovered at an early age by his teachers and noted as a student of talent. His further education at Istanbul Boğaziçi High School resulted in him being amongst their most talented students. He went on to study decorative arts at the Mimar Sinan University ( previously Istanbul State Academy ) from 1950 to 1953.
Zeki Müren’s rise to fame with a succession of live performances and record albums, appearances on the state owned Turkish Television and Radio channels, his flamboyant costumes and charismatic larger than life personality, would all secure him a place as one of Turkey’s most revered artists. Zeki Muren also performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1976.
With hundreds of recorded cassettes and records to his name, Zeki Müren has earned his place in Turkish history as an eccentric, highly talented and likeable musician. He would dress in feminine clothes and wear make up. The clothes he wore were mostly designed by himself. Zeki Müren was gay but never felt the need to discuss his sexuality openly. He spoke beautiful, clear and concise Turkish, and lived in Bodrum where he was regularly seen on his boat heading back and forth to Bardakçı Cove, one of his favourite spots. His car which is on display at the Museum is a 1976 Buick Regal in Maroon colour.
Zeki Müren died in September 1996 whilst attending a ceremony in his honour at the TRT Izmir Television Studios. Short of breath and clearly struggling, he was led away to the changing rooms where an ambulance was called. He died from a heart attack. He is buried in the Emirsultan Cemetery in Bursa.
All oF Zeki Müren’s assets were left to the Turkish Education Foundation and other charities. The Museum that you see now is the house that he lived in and which remains mostly unchanged since his death. Opened as a museum in 2000 it provides a fascinating insight into the world of Zeki Müren. Artists come and go but Zeki Müren will be remembered for his career that spanned over 40 years in the Turkish entertainment industry. A true legend and Ambassador for Classical Turkish Music.
This two story house in Bodrum was where Zeki Müren lived from 1980 until his death in 1996. Very little has changed on the grould floor level of the house and Zeki’s car takes pride of place at the front of the house. In the front garden there is also a statue of the famous artist. The upstairs part of the house has many photographs, documents, clothing and personal items which belonged to Zeki Müren.
There is a cafe on site and surprisingly no access to CD’s or digital recordings of his work. The museum is closed on Mondays but open between 09:00 am to 19:30 pm on every other day including weekends.
Rest in peace Zeki Müren. You will always be remembered.