Ajda Pekkan

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Ajda Pekkan
Ajda Pekkan 01.jpg
Ayşe Ajda Pekkan

(1946-02-12) 12 February 1946 (age 73)
Istanbul, Turkey
Residence Bebek, Beşiktaş, Istanbul [1]
Other namesSuperstar, Pop diva [2]
  • Singer
  • actress
Coşkun Sapmaz
(m. 1973;div. 1973)

Ali Bars
(m. 1984;div. 1989)
Musical career
Years active1960–present
Website www.ajdapekkan.com

Ayşe Ajda Pekkan (Turkish pronunciation:  [aʒˈda pekˈkan] ; born 12 February 1946 [3] [4] [5] ) is a Turkish singer and actress. She is known by the titles "Superstar" [6] and "Diva" in the Turkish media. [7] Pekkan, who started her professional career as a movie actress, first came to attention as a singer in 1964 with the release of the song "Göz Göz Değdi Bana", followed by her first solo single "Her Yerde Kar Var", which earned her critical acclaim. The success of her album Süperstar in 1977 made her commonly known as Superstar in Turkey. Three further albums with the same title have been released throughout her career. Her songs "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti", "Bambaşka Biri", "Hoşgör Sen" and "Uykusuz Her Gece" made her an influential figure in Turkish music industry.


During the time of the 33rd government of Turkey and with the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture, Pekkan was honored with the title "State Artist" in 1998. [8] Pekkan has performed in many places inside and outside Turkey, and in addition to Turkish, has sung in English, French, Italian, [9] and Japanese. [10] Pekkan is recognized as the Turkish pop diva by the public. [11] She was awarded the honorary distinction of Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2013. [12]

33rd government of Turkey

The 33rd government of Turkey was a government in the history of Turkey. It is also called the first Erim government.

State Artist is an honorary title granted to prominent artists by the government of Turkey for their contributions to the Turkish culture. It was established in 1971 by the President of Turkey and the Minister of Culture and Tourism.

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and its supplementary status to the Ordre national du Mérite was confirmed by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.

Early life

Ajda Pekkan was born on 12 February 1946 in Istanbul. [13] Her father Rıdvan Pekkan was a marine major, and her mother Nevin Dobruca was a housewife. Pekkan and her family later moved to Gölcük, Kocaeli, due to her father's work. Pekkan, who always wanted to have a child, [14] married for the first time in her 20s and as her husband wanted her to finish her career in music, [15] she got divorced and later cited not having children as the greatest sacrifice she had made to continue her career. [16] She had her first cosmetic surgery at the age of 22 and has said: "Even if I get 100, I'll still do cosmetic surgery". [17] Sezen Aksu, who is a close friend of Pekkan, said about her influence on her: "She has opened this way to us, thanks to her I am here too. Ajda's nickname is Angela. We meet quite often at home. We do not have any hidden secrets. Where Ajda goes or what she eats, I also go there and eat the same thing.". [18] [19]

Istanbul Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Istanbul, historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives on the Asian side. With a total population of around 15 million residents, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth-largest city proper and the largest European city. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Istanbul is viewed as a bridge between the East and West.

Gölcük, Kocaeli Place in Kocaeli, Turkey

Gölcük is a town and district of Kocaeli Province in the Marmara region of Turkey. The town is located at the northern gulf of Armutlu Peninsula on the coast of Marmara Sea and south of the province.

Sezen Aksu Turkish pop singer, songwriter, and producer

Sezen Aksu is a Turkish pop music singer, songwriter and producer who has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her nicknames include the "Queen of Turkish Pop" and Minik Serçe.



With the help of her sister Semiramis Pekkan, [20] she met İlham Gencer, the owner of "Çatı" nightclub in 1961 [21] and began her music career by singing Mina's song "Il Cielo In Una Stanza" [22] With the help of "Los Çatikos" music community, she performed at a few places for a while. In 1963, at a singing and acting competition organized by Ses magazine named "Ses Sinema Artisti Yarışması", Pekkan ranked first in women's category [22] followed by Hülya Koçyiğit. [23] By winning the competition and with her new style, [24] she started to attract attention.

Hülya Koçyiğit Turkish movie actress

Hülya Koçyiğit is a Turkish actress. A prominent female lead in the Turkish cinema, she received numerous awards at international film festivals, including the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. Altogether, she has acted in some 180 films.

First record: "Her Yerde Kar Var"

Before starting her acting career, she met Fecri Ebcioğlu, who helped her through her career and in 1965 arranged Pekkan's first record Her Yerde Kar Var. In addition to recording many songs in Turkish, she performed songs in foreign languages, many of which were arranged by Ebcioğlu. She also recorded a song by Salvatore Adamo, which she performed with French accent. [26] In 1967, her record İki Yabancı broke the sales records in Turkey. She continued to release many records and songs, including Dünya Dönüyor, Saklanbaç, Boş Sokak, Boşvermişim Dünyaya and Üç Kalp, and in 1968 and 1969 she performed at the International Apollonia Music Festival in Athens. She later represented Turkey at the Mediterranean Song Festival in Barcelona, performing the song "Ve Ben Şimdi". Her songs have been used on the soundtracks of many films. She also did casino programs with Zeki Müren. [27]

Salvatore Adamo Italian musician and singer

Salvatore, Knight Adamo is a Belgian musician and singer of Italian origin known for his romantic ballads. Adamo grew up from a very early age in Belgium and has made that country his homeland. He first gained popularity throughout Europe and later in the Middle East, Latin America, Japan, and the United States. He has sold more than 80 million albums and 20 million singles making him one of the most commercially successful musicians in the world. He mainly performs in French but has also sung in Dutch, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Turkish. "Tombe la neige", "La nuit", and "Inch'Allah" remain his best known songs. He is currently the best selling Belgian musician of all time.

İki Yabancı is a 1990 Turkish drama film, directed by Halit Refiğ and starring Hakan Ural, Brıgıtte Braun, and Kuzey Vargın.

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

1970s onwards

The artist, who switched to İstanbul Plak in 1972, [28] broke sales records with her second album, Dert Bende Derman Sende, which includes arabesque songs. [29] The song "Dert Bende Derman Sende" was featured in her collection album, Hoşgör Sen, in 1993. The same song was rerecorded for the studio album Ajda Pekkan 1996. By 1973, Ajda Pekkan was not in favor of continuing her singing career, [30] but with the insistence of Fikret Şenş, she released the record Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti, and the song "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti", which was featured on the B-side of the phonograph Kaderimin Oyunu and sold 65,000 copies. [22]

Pekkan collected her songs from all previous records, except the one published by Istanbul Plak in 1972, and put them in her first compilation album Ajda, which was published in July 1975. A new song, "Erkek Adın", was included in the album as well. The album received interest. Cüneyt Türel was featured on the song "Palavra Palavra" in this album. [31]

Pekkan, which was known as "Superstar" by 1977, published her new album Süperstar with different cover designs and production. In the same year, she performed the song "A Mes Amours" at Yamaha Music Festival in Tokyo, and with its successful result, her records were sold in Germany, France, Japan and Greece. Pekkan gave a concert in Tehran at that time and this concert was also broadcast on television and was well-received by the Turkish audience. This led to the beginning of her career in France, and eventually she prepared a French album, titled Pour Lui. [32]

At the Eurovision Song Contest 1980, Ajda Pekkan and her group represented Turkey Eurovision Song Contest 1980 postcards - Ajda Pekkan 15.png
At the Eurovision Song Contest 1980, Ajda Pekkan and her group represented Turkey

On 19 April 1980, Pekkan represented Turkey with the entry "Petr'Oil" at the Eurovision Song Contest in Den Haag, the Netherlands. [33] [34] [35]

In 2002, Pekkan was cast in a leading role in the movie Şöhret Sandalı alongside Ediz Hun and Halil Ergün. The film, which was produced by Oya Demirtok and directed by Ayşe Ersayın, has not been released to this day. [36] [37]

In 2011, Pekkan released her single Yakar Geçerim, written by acclaimed Turkish singer Tarkan. A month later the single was followed by her album, Farkin Bu, which was another major hit. In 2013 she released another single, Ara Sıcak. The song was written by Gülşen.

Personal life

On 17 November 1973, Pekkan married Coşkun Sapmaz. The marriage lasted for only 6 days. [38] She married for a second time in 1979 to journalist İzmir Fuarı. The couple's engagement rings were presented to them by Metin Akpınar and Zeki Alasya. [6]

Pekkan, who did not finish her education at Çamlıca Girls High School, [39] started her music and acting career early and took singing lessons from Leyla Demiriş. [40]

Other ventures


Pekkan performing at a concert in 2009 Ajda Pekkan konser (3).JPG
Pekkan performing at a concert in 2009

Pekkan, who appeared in many movies in the 1960s, was criticized by some men in the media for her new style and physics, and in the second year of her acting career she published a sensational article on the magazine Bikini, titled "I destroy the idols". [41]

Pekkan, who had become known for her songs [42] and new style, [42] was also much talked about in the media due to her fashion sense. In an interview, she said: "How I have been seen until today, I continue to be like that in the future. As a soldier's daughter, I can not do anything that is different from my style." [43] Naim Dilmener published a book titled Hür Doğdum Hür Yaşarım in 2007 about Ajda Pekkan's life and music career. [44] Pekkan's views on feminism are included in her biography. [45]


Pekkan is an activist for women and has spoken against issues such as domestic violence, abuse of women, illiteracy, discrimination, and has released a music video addressing the issue of "violence against women". [46] In 2013, Hürriyet prepared a report for Istanbul Pride in which Pekkan was featured, [47] and she also participated on a TV commercial about liberty for all and performed the song "Hürriyet Benim" (Liberty is Mine). [48]

In the album Güldünya Şarkıları, which various artists prepared for the purpose of helping the Domestic Violence Emergency Helpline, Pekkan performed the song "Kadın Dediğin", and together with Aynur Doğan she promoted the album by performing the song "Keçe Kurdan", which had previously been banned by a court decision. [49] Pekkan was the first artist to support to the democratic initiative proposed by the 60th government of Turkey. [50]

Relationship with other musicians

Ajda Pekkan, who is among the respectable names of Turkish pop music, has a number of connections with many other Turkish artists. As a part of Güldünya Şarkıları's project, she visited Bakırköy Women's Prison, where she also met and comforted Deniz Seki who was being held in captivity. [51]

Pekkan, who is a close friend of Sezen Aksu, is also known for her friendly relations with Nilüfer and Nükhet Duru. Sertab Erener [52] , Funda Arar and Bengü [53] are said to be her favorite artists. Like Hande Yener and İzel, Pekkan continues to release songs that are similar to her previous works in terms of style and arrangement. [54]

Gay icon

Ajda Pekkan is accepted as a gay icon within Turkey's LGBT community. [55] In a survey done by KAOS GL in 2007, she was chosen as the second most popular gay icon of Turkey. [56]

Supporting animals

Pekkan, who is a supporter of animal rights [57] , participated in a meeting in February 2011 to meet Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and discuss issues surrounding animal rights. [58] [59] She has adopted and cared for a number of street animals, including a cat named Beyaz and a dog named Apple. [60] [61] On 7 May 2013, Pekkan visited the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and saw a discussion about animal rights which took place in the assembly. [62]

Political trips

In August 2011, together with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a group of artists, Pekkan visited Somalia. [63] In October 2011, she gave a concert to help Somalians who had settled in Istanbul. [64] In April 2018, she and a number of artists accompanied President Erdoğan on a visit to Hatay to meet soldiers who had participated in Operation Olive Branch. [65]



As an actress
Kendini Arayan AdamGönül
Adanalı TayfurFiliz
Şaşkın Baba
Öpüşmek YasakSema Selamet
1964Abudik Gubidik
Çanakkale Aslanları
Plajda SevişelimRessam Lale
Kaynana ZırıltısıFatma
Hızır Dede
Koçum Benim
Sokakların KanunuEmine
1965Artık Düşman DeğilizAlev
Cici KızlarNermin Gürsoy Çiftbaş
Kart HorozHizmetçi Fatoş
Kolla Kendini Bebek
Pantolon Bankası
Şaka ile Karışık Ayla
Şepkemin Altındayım
Yabancı Olduk Şimdi
Bir Caniye Gönül Verdim
Şehvetin EsiriyizSevim
Babamız EvleniyorLeyla
Sevdalı Kabadayı
Taçsız KralHülya
Dalgacı Mahmut
Berduş Milyoner
Helal Adanalı Celal
Bir Gönül Oyunu
Lafını Balla Kestim
Sevinç GözyaşlarıFiliz Erkmen
1966Avare KızAyla Doğanoğlu
Kara TrenTürkân
Şoför Deyip Geçmeyin
Seher VaktiAjda
Ümit Sokağı
Düğün GecesiGüler
Siyah OtomobilSelma
Dişi Düşmanİren
Dağda Silah Konuşur
Günah Çocuğu
Affet SevgilimLeyla
Ayrılık Şarkısı
Erkek SeverseSerap
1967Harun Reşid'in GözdesiDilaram
Düşman ÂşıklarGonca
1968Kalbimdeki Yabancı.
1969Tatlı Günler
2002Şöhret SandalıYelda
2013Romantik Komedi 2Herself (Guest)

Awards and honors

RibbonAward and orderCountryDateCityNoteSource
Ribbon of People Artist of Azerbaijan.png Art-Cultural and Human Artist AwardsFlag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan Baku The award was given by the International Eurasian Institute, headed by Ganire Pashayeva. [66]
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Chevalier ribbon.svg Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Flag of France.svg  France Istanbul The French Ambassador to Turkey, Laurent Bili, was introduced. [67] [68]

See also

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  67. "Ajda Pekkan, Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Istanbul, le 1er (...)". La France en Turquie.
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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Nilüfer & Nazar
with "Sevince"
Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Ayşegül Aldinç & Modern Folk Trio
with "Dönme Dolap"