Zeki sings for you

It’s been a while – too long! – since we admired the extraordinary talents and only marginally less extraordinary image of Turkey’s beloved singer Zeki Müren, who died on this day in 1996.

Here we find Müren working a rococo variation on Michael Jackson’s late period crack pixie/rear admiral look, with epaulettes you could doubtless see from space, topped out with a Princess Anne ‘do. And as with Jackson, there is an electric charge which results from the dissonance between image and content. Before you have time to ask “what has she come as?” you find yourself submitting wholly to the unearthly gifts contained in that arresting package.

(And if you’re having a lousy Monday, I guarantee that nothing will cheer you up faster than a Google image search for Zeki Müren.)



  1. Tarpaulin

    Is there ever going to be a Strange Flowers Michael Jackson post? Along with Liberace & Zeki Müren, he seems to qualify wholly as a late-period Decadent icon, whether or not people choose to embrace him as such.

    Can’t stand BHL, but this article is quite good: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/the-three-stations-of-the_b_224224.html

    • Well as inexhaustibly fascinating as Michael Jackson is, I believe there are enough people who have already passed comment on him. By chance I’ve been reading Maureen Orth’s articles about MJ recently – dear God what a dark and twisted world he occupied.

  2. Glamour is right! My only previous exposure to Turkish music has been of the cheesy Eurovison (don’t listen to that unless you’re ready for nothing else to play in your head all day) and Euro disco variety, but this is somehow classier and… oddly soothing?

    • Tell me about it! That bizarre klezmer shanty thing Turkey entered in Eurovision this year STILL hasn’t checked out of my head (conversely I couldn’t quite get the fuss over Sweden, and as far as I’m concerned Ukraine were ROBBED).

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  5. Yet another wondrous being I’ve now been lucky enough to have become acquainted with thanks to Strange Flowers! Zeki reminds me very much of Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado (whose image search similarly yields no end of entertainment potential); he was a staple for years on the primary Spanish-language channel here in the US, & he too took a page from Liberace’s wardrobe handbook in the shoulder-pads-and-jeweled-capes chapter. As soon as I saw him, I recognized that he was My Kind of People…just like Zeki.

    When you mention Ukraine and Eurovision, for this heathen Yank there is Verka Seduchka, and then there is everyone else…but I’m listening to that Turkey song now & can see its definite earworm possibilities!

    • Oooh…Walter Mercado is a new one on me! I can see the similarities although I guiltily admit that my first thought on seeing him was “burns victim”.

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