Turkey, especially after the 1990s, has integrated into the world economy, and this fast integration has caused the country to undergo transformation. Turkey, now, is interacting with countries from all over the world, and this economical, political, social and cultural interaction has caused a variety of changes in Turkish culture, and has even created a new set of cultural aspects. The wide variety of interactions, known as “globalization” has caused Turkish culture to accept new elements from other cultures. The cultural aspects of western or eastern societies are continuously influencing Turkish culture. The fastened effects of globalization, has lead Turkey to be a place of cultural hybridization and has caused a new understanding of music to be formed.
Turkish music, an integral part of the Turkish culture, has also been affected by the cultural globalization. Turkish musicians, especially in the field of jazz and world music, have reflected this effect on their products. Particularly jazz, providing a free ground for musicians to create and compose with very vague boundaries because of its nature has been a very comfortable platform for musicians to work and fuse their cultural heritage with jazz. Starting from the 1970s, musicians have gone to different countries in order to improve themselves and gain experience. Some of them such as Okay Temiz, Burhan Öçal and Kudsi Erguner have connected western forms of music with Turkish music and have created a fusion.
Especially in the 1990s, musicians, who perform in the field of western music, but are influenced from eastern music, have increased. The western cultures have started to examine oriental cultures, and oriental aspects in many fields of western art are being commonly used. Turkey has also been subject to this increase of interest, which lead many foreign artists and musicians to visit the country in order to examine the ethnic background of Turkish culture, art and music. 
Along with musicians in other areas, jazz musicians have also been making research on Turkish classical and folkloric music. Turkish ethnic music, as a whole, occurs as an interesting subject to make a research because of its unique characteristics about rhythm, sound, and orientation. The instruments, performance and especially compositions are points of interest, and western jazz musicians have been trying to capture some possible ideas, sounds, and innovations from Turkish music.
Vice versa, Turkish musicians who are originally into jazz have tried to blend what is resident in Turkish music into jazz in several works. The both sided interactions made the music develop more and more, turning into a definitely new type, a new perspective. This outcome in music could be regarded as one of the most obvious examples of Turkish culture being integrated with other cultures, with the global culture.
The ultimate aim of this paper is to investigate the interaction between Turkish music and jazz, observing this interaction from a social and musical perspective, taking into account the leading Turkish jazz musicians, and their projects that cover these ideas. The examination done on the Turkish musicians is expected to reveal how Turkish culture is under the effect of foreign cultures, and how Turkish music has affected jazz.
Jazz and Its Musical Features
Jazz, a genre of music being one of the quotients of high art as of today, has emerged in the period that covers the end of the nineteenth, and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. The emergence of jazz is a complex topic to discuss, where the origins of jazz are presumed to be in Africa, Europe, CaribbeanIslands, and of course in America. However, it can be thought that jazz, in the United States has been the product of the incorporation of different cultural activities, and the direct causes of various economical occasions. The wave of globalization that had an inevitably great effect on the whole world, starting to occur in the second half of the nineteenth century; has been the most important factor affecting the emergence of jazz. This can clearly be seen from the fact that cultural hybridization has resulted in a totally new culture being formed in the United States, especially in the years that belong to the starting period of the nineteenth century. Also, the technological developments, and the industrialization movements had processed in a way that the world started to converge, creating a more intense web of human interactions, thus a more intense web of cultural encounters, bonds and interactions.
Jazz can be identified by three certain characteristics: syncopation, improvisation, and expression. Each of these musical aspects is essential, and it would not be easy to call a music piece ‘jazz’ without these aspects. 
Syncopation, in simple understanding, is any rhythm that puts an emphasis on a beat or subdivision of a beat that is not usually emphasized. Syncopation provides a feeling that makes the piece ‘out of ordinary’. Classical western music does not consist of much syncopation, whereas jazz’s main characteristics are composed of syncopated melodies.
Improvisation is where the performing musician plays instantaneously, with or without a process of pre-planning. Many jazz musicians are experts in improvisation, and in compositions, usually there are sections, where the composer allows the player to improvise. An improviser may be planned, and may have a chord scheme to be leaded with, or he may be totally free, or even the whole improvisation could be regarded as the piece itself. Improvisation is very hard, and the improviser’s difficulty with regards to the composer can be dealt with three important parameters:
i. Situation: A musical composition can begin with a motif, chord, or interval and then adapt later moves to the gambit. A compositional practice where the composer is stuck with whatever he has laid down so far after his initial musical brush stroke would be analogous to the situation of the improviser. However, this is not what standard composition is like. A difference between ordinary compositional practice and improvisation is that while the composer can erase moves subsequent to the gambit and redo them, the jazz improviser cannot do so. He can only build upon the steps he has just taken. 
ii. Forced Choice: Composers are allowed to take time out, but the improviser must plunge ahead. He must go on to do something. He can of course fall silent. In composed music, a stretch of silence can clearly be a part of the work. By contrast, a pause in the process of composing the work does not become part of it. However, a pause in an improvisational performance, for whatever reason, goes down as part of the music. There is no taking time out.
iii. No Script: Like the improviser, the performer of a composed work is faced with many possible notes to play, many possible ways of inflecting those notes, and many possible ways of placing them rhythmically. However, the work-performer is guided in the placement of the notes by the highly specific directives prescribed by scores. 
The third distinctive element that is resident in jazz is expression. There are several different ways to name the expression that is in jazz. Some of them could be “groove”, “blues”, and “swing”. They are about the mood, about the feeling, and about the expression of how jazz becomes jazz. “Blues” in fact symbolizes the “blue note”, which is supposedly coming from the African heritage. However, when examining the scale, the blue note cannot be precisely identified. It is because of the sound scheme that the Africans were using. Also, the “groove” or the “swing” points to the rhythmic characteristic of jazz. The beats are usually not coming in the right time, meaning that the right time occurs when the whole beat is divided equally. All these aspects create the unique expression in jazz, which leads to the fact, “You’ve got to feel the blues in order to play jazz.”
Jazz did not come out of nothing; indeed it can also be thought of integration of different musical forms: ancient forms of African tribal music, work songs, blues, Western Classical Music, Caribbean ethnic music, vaudeville, ragtime, and other forms of music that adopted the musical elements such as syncopation, improvisation, and expression. The musical forms except Western Classical Music that are pre-indicated here, are forms that are claimed to be belonging to the cultural identity of Africans. Wagnleitner has estimated this number to “at least twelve million” (21), and this number surely cannot be underestimated; which means that these people brought their cultural identities, traditions, and definitive life styles together with themselves to the mainland.
Jazz in Turkey
Jazz, in Turkey is not a new concept. Orchestras from the United States have come and performed swing in several places of Turkey in the 1960s and the 1970s. Many young Turkish musicians have worked with these orchestras and gained experience in music. Turkish jazz musicians have taken lead in the Turkish arena starting from the mid 1970s, and especially after the second half of the 1990s, jazz has found a wider audience in the big cities. 
İstanbul, the greatest city of Turkey, has been subject to many jazz festivals for more than one decade; the number of musicians of world-wide fame coming to the festivals, and the number of the festivals has increased in accordance with the increasing demand coming from the jazz listeners and appreciators in Turkey. Press has started to give more importance to jazz, it has become easier to arrange sponsorships, and fund concerts with greater budgets.
Live performance, the time where jazz can best be perceived and understood, is being more supported and appreciated. This is seen by the fact that jazz clubs are open in a few cities, and they are able to provide space for jazz musicians, who are trying to develop themselves.
Now, jazz is transforming from being ‘an intellectual music’ to a form, where it is possible to reach more people. This is happening with the help of the musicians who have inserted Turkish cultural characteristics into jazz. An oriental instrument, and oriental rhythm, or an oriental melody is sometimes enough to attract large crowds of people to the music.
Jazz, Turkish Folkloric Music and Turkish Classical Music
The features of Turkish classical music should be investigated deeply in order to understand how Turkish classical or folkloric music coincide with jazz, and how it is possible to use western instruments, or western ideas when performing or composing Turkish music. Being one of the most complex music systems of the world as of now, Turkish classical music reaches back to the 15th century, and the musical traditions have been traveled throughout more than five centuries. The music’s compositional values have kept their importance, and have slightly changed over this time. Even in the 13th century, early Turkish musicologists have written books on Turkish music, reflecting its theory and practice. However; the most detailed and scientific information about the sound system has been given by Saadettin Arel, and therefore the sound system is called Arel-Ezgi sound system. 
In Turkish music, an octave note is divided into 24 unequal sounds, whereas in western music, it is divided into 12 equal sounds, called the temperament system. The space between two contiguous notes is divided into four unequal parts, each note being located on the places with values 3/9, 4/9, 8/9, and 12/9. Each 1/9th place is called a koma. Whereas in western music, two whole notes are divided into two equal parts, the note being located in the middle of the other two. This leads to the fact that there are tens of different scales with different sounds in Turkish music, each having a different color and feeling. Another major difference between western music and Turkish music is that western music tends to be based on a scale, whereas Turkish music is based on a makam. Each makam is constructed by a tetrachord and a pentachord of different order, and the direction of the melody determines which makam should be applied next. 
Western music makes extensive use of chords, which are constructed according to certain rules from the notes in the scale that the song is in. However, Turkish music does not use chords–when multiple instruments play, then at least one instrument carries the primary melody, while the others either constitute the rhythm or help the soloist by producing melody scraps.
The rhythmic structure of Turkish classical music, too, is complex and is created by characteristic units called usul. Each usul consists of rhythmic pulses that constitute the beat itself. The three kinds of pulses, being weak, normal, or strong, define how the usul is constructed. The normal pulses create the rhythm, whereas the strong or the weak pulses give the emphasis, which creates the feeling of the usul. The number of beats in a usul can range from 4 to 24, 32, and even 120. However, in the western tradition, the number of beats varies in a narrow scale ranging from 3 to 12. 
It would seem that because of its richness of sound and rhythm, Turkish music is much more colorful and full of feeling. However; western music constitutes its color in orchestration and in chordal structures. By using more than one note at once, a more complex feeling is achieved, and a level of richness in music is provided.
Orchestration techniques have been established and used by different composers in the last few decades, but they were not successful as the structure of Turkish classical music is not appropriate for orchestration, as well as it is not perfectly suitable for most of the western instruments. One type of a Nihavend (a makam that is one of the most playable makams by western instruments) with koma values 9-4-9-9-4-9-9 resembles a minor scale. However, the most important difference is that in a minor scale the second and the fifth komas are of value 4.5. Although it would seem that a slight difference would not make much change, but a trained ear would easily identify the fault, and would recognize that the komas are not used in a right way. That is exactly the reason why instruments such as keyboard or guitar cannot play the right tune without the proper modification. Instead, wind instruments such as trombone, trumpet, saxophone or string instruments such as double base, violin can succeed in playing Turkish classical music as they are able to produce sounds between whole notes.
Jazz and Turkish classical music have common characteristics at several points. First of all, syncopation is used in Turkish music. The rhythmic structure is also complex in jazz, and both with the rhythms and the syncopated melodies, Turkish music –especially folkloric music- would sometimes resemble jazz in these ways.
Improvisation, as explained before, constitutes a major point in jazz. As well, improvisation is very important in Turkish classical and folkloric music. In Turkish classical music performances, the players chosen before have some time on their own to improvise before the piece starts. Taksim, meaning this improvisation, can also occur in the middle of two pieces of different makams during the performance. The musician making the taksim starts off with the makam of the last song, plays for some time, and then he has to finish in the makam of the next song so that he have prepared the audience and the other musicians for the incoming song. During taksim, the musician improvises according to the rules prescribed in the present makam, and as he ends the taksim, the piece starts over from where it was left before. 
In Turkish folkloric music, improvisation is even more important. Musicians come together, and interchangeably, each musician answering the previous one, creating the lyrics and the melody instantaneously. This process called atışma serves as a source for entertainment for the audience. This event is one of the most important happenings of Turkish culture.
Okay Temiz, the first musician to work in the field of Turkish jazz, is a percussionist who has been on the world jazz arena for the last 30 years. Along with his original compositions and collaborations in many projects, he is appreciated especially with his innovation, which led him to carry out Turkish folkloric music to Europe and performed it with foreign jazz musicians from many countries in Europe.
Migrating to Sweden in 1967, Temiz worked with many jazz musicians of world wide fame, and has proved himself to be one of the most creative and talented percussionists of the world. Having introduced Turkish music and its wealth to Europe, Temiz brought up a new perspective of Turkish music, and performed his own interpretation with great jazz musicians throughout the years.
Temiz had played in Turkey as a drummer until he had the chance to reach Europe and stay there. After getting adapted to the environment, he introduced his own thoughts on music to other musicians. Okay Temiz tried to insert the characteristics of Turkish folkloric music and sofu music in jazz.
“The Swedish musicians were especially looking for new ideas in music, and I was lucky to be there at that time. I had carried all my transcriptions there, and they all sounded very interesting for the European musicians. Especially Don Cherry, also known as one of the pioneers of world music, then settled in Sweden. We modernized all the Turkish songs and experimented on our own pieces.
We worked on how we could improve the songs, how we could improvise, and how we could use jazz to make them work better. Sometimes, we went far away from the song itself, sometimes it became avant-garde, and sometimes we totally added a new dimension to the music.”
It seems to Okay Temiz that it sounds great to play Turkish music with instruments such as saxophone, trumpet, or piano. The foreign musicians try to play the music precisely, by showing attention to the komas, and they also try to fit to the rhythm of the song well. According to Okay Temiz, the syncopated rhythms such as 7/8 or 9/8 are played in Turkey by local musicians without the right syncopations. It seems that the Turkish musicians are used to continue this faulty rhythm. However, the foreign musicians, as the music is new to them, work on the rhythm and the sound well and follow the rhythm without any errors.
The three things that Okay Temiz accomplished in order to grasp a good Turkish jazz were the production of the right notes with the right komas, the production of more shiny sounds with western instruments such as guitar, and horn sections, and the production of the right syncopated rhythms. Throughout these three ways, other musicians were more adapted to Turkish music, and the music could develop by itself to being more jazzy. Even great jazz musicians like Art Farmer, Chet Baker and Don Cherry were very interested in Turkish music and worked with Okay Temiz in Sweden.
The orchestration of the Turkish jazz was mostly developed because of the foreign musicians. As they were adapted to making orchestrated music, they could develop a new orchestration for Turkish folkloric pieces. 
Temiz has brought many local musicians to the world music arena, and has played with them. He implies that it was not easy to break their musical habits. Musicians were causing problems as they were having difficulties adapting to the multi-cultural sounds and pieces. For instance, most of them were rejecting to improvise instantaneously with other musicians, or were having a hard time in playing jazz.
Temiz’s performance with his band “Oriental Wind” that took place in Montreux Jazz Festival in 1982 is a perfect example on how jazz has fused with Turkish music and has created a totally new sound and a totally new understanding. The instrumentation, the rhythmic structure, and the sounds are implemented just as Okay Temiz had mentioned, and it is seen that the other jazz musicians have well adapted to Turkish folkloric music. The improvisation parts that were played by different musicians are accomplished according to the characteristics of both jazz and Turkish folkloric music.
Burhan Öçal, a percussionist of great talent, has been one of the few musicians that have been able to spread Turkish folkloric and classical music around the world. His style, technique, and perspective have become a great influence for many young percussionists, as well as many other young musicians who are trying to survive in the competitive global music arena. Öçal has worked with many musicians, ranging from Joe Zawinul to Kronos Quartet, and from Jamaaleddeen Tacuma to Sting.
Burhan Öçal was born in Turkey, and he has learned to play percussion instruments along with other ethnic Turkish instruments in his childhood. After performing in Turkey, he had the opportunity to live in Zurich, where he could develop his music. Staying in different places of Europe and USA, Öçal has once more seen the importance of Turkish cultural and folkloric music in the world music arena. Thus, he had decided to develop a modern understanding of music without breaking apart from his roots.
Öçal’s album, “Groove Alla Turca”, is maybe the best example of his understanding of music, especially because it, as a whole, is neither Turkish music, nor jazz. The album covers many classical compositions along with Öçal’s own compositions, all blending many types of music into each other, and creating a unique atmosphere of westernized classical Turkish music.
Nihavend Longa, the first piece of the album, is in fact one of the most heard and known Turkish classical music pieces. The type of piece known as “longa” shows many characteristics in the composition. The piece contains a fast beat, and is written with the makam “nihavend”, which is one of the makams that can perfectly be played by western instruments. Therefore, the piece could well be adapted to a whole orchestra containing many horn instruments, keyboards, and even base guitar.
Between 0:00 and 1:00, it is possible to hear a free improvisation part that is common to both Turkish classical music, and to jazz. This type of introduction has the duty of creating the right mood before the chorus starts, while all the musicians have the free space to get themselves ready for the piece.
Also, as Turkish classical music and folkloric music are not originally played with an orchestration, the chorus is played as unison. However, just as the chorus is finished, the piece adapts an ultimate characteristic of jazz: improvisation. A pre-selected musician improvises as the piece moves on according to the chord schemes.
The piece shows the original characteristics of both jazz and Turkish classical music; however, it is presented as a whole and the intonation of the instruments are arranged so good that the eastern instruments such as the kanun, oud, or the diwan-saz perfectly fit with the western instruments such as trombone, trumpet and saxophone. The advantage of using trumpet or trombone is that they are wind instruments, and are able to produce sounds that are not included in the western sound scheme, and are essential in the concept of Turkish music.
Just as Nihavend Longa, the ninth piece, Katibim is a well known Turkish song, which has been played over and over throughout hundreds of years. However, Öçal and Tacuma have presented the song both as a hip-hop and a groove piece. After the entrance of the chorus, the female vocal leads the song, in a fashion that is mostly seen in rap music. It is impossible to see jazz and Turkish music overlap, however the blended structure is absolutely obvious, leading the song to be a mixture of jazz and hip-hop, produced over the basis of Turkish classical music.
Many other pieces in this album carry the characteristics of both jazz and Turkish music, but the two that are especially important and are original compositions are Saz Caz (Saz Jazz) and Gene Gel (Come Again). Saz Caz, starting with a saz solo, illustrates a typical saz solo that is played by local musicians all over Anatolia, especially in Southeastern Anatolia. However, the saz leaves its place to other instruments in the rest of the piece, working as a whole with the base guitar to create the rhythm, and to indicate the chords. Gene Gel is a piece that contains not only characteristics of Turkish music, or jazz, but also it contains characteristics of Arabic music. The main melody and the female vocal indicate Arabic influences all throughout the song, whereas the male vocals chant about the beliefs and philosophies of the world-wide known philosopher Mevlana. While the typical dervish instrument ney is heard at the background, the rhythm finds its roots in western music, and the female vocal continues to chant Arabic phrases.
Burhan Öçal’s albums, such as Sultan Osman, Sultan Orhan, Grand Bazaar, or Orient Secret possess other aspects of multiculturalism. In each of them, characteristics of Turkish folkloric music are apparent along with other electronic sounds, which make these works classified as ‘world music’. This happens because Öçal uses ethnic instruments, ethnic sounds and ideas while cooperating with foreign musicians from different cultures, and successfully incorporate all of them to create a new understanding.
Having a multicultural piece of music would not necessarily mean that different cultural aspects fit together well and blend to create a new idea. The overall composition, structure, and sound of the piece indicate whether different aspects of music used in the work have fitted together. In the case of Burhan Öçal, it is possible to see that he has got a very clear understanding of how to blend east and west, global and local.
The usage of the instruments, instrumentation and orchestration techniques, the appropriate usage of vocals and meaningful lyrics all lead to the conclusion that Öçal has put forth a great effort to create a new music.
Önder Focan, one of the leading Turkish jazz musicians, in the Europe jazz arena, has also worked on Turkish music, and has integrated jazz with Turkish music. However, Önder Focan has not worked on Turkish classical or folkloric music. Instead, he chose to work on a new interpretation of popular Turkish songs in his album “Standard A La Turc”. The album includes many songs that have previously been popular in Turkey, and Focan covers them in his own style.
Önder Focan reports that “just after the ragtime period finished and big orchestras were formed in the United States, musicians started to play popular songs. That was the only way to get the attention of crowds, and to reach people and to make jazz popular. These jazz musicians, however, were not playing the popular songs right from the script. They had re-harmonized the songs, played it with a swing beat, and had used the advantage of the blue notes in order to create the right mood. And as they were playing, they were improvising using the melody and the ideas of the pieces. In my album Standard A La Turc, that was what I aimed for. I re-harmonized the songs, played them in my own fashion, and made use of the power of improvisation. The feedback of the album was great, and I saw that the album reached people who had never heard jazz before. I think this way, we can increase the attention paid on jazz.”
The album itself shows that Focan has perceived the songs, and has recreated them just as how Art Tatum or Oscar Peterson has reached and played the popular songs of their times. However, the most important difference is the pieces themselves. Most of the songs that Focan chose have oriental characteristics, sometimes caused by their rhythm patterns, sometimes caused by their scales, and sometimes by the usage of instruments.
According to Önder Focan, it is not easy to reach a point where it is necessary to combine the characteristics of Turkish music with jazz. Making them blend, and creating a new sound, a new atmosphere needs an extra effort because first of all the instruments must sound in such a way that when the Turkish pieces are played, it will become possible to sound right. The musician should always try to combine jazz and Turkish music in every instrument; the drums should neither be playing only swing nor only a Turkish rhythm. Only that way it can be possible to create a good, innovative music. 
Turkish Jazz: A Product of Cultural Globalization
As shown, many Turkish jazz musicians have done projects that combine Turkish music, either folkloric or classical or even popular, and have contributed to the formation of a new culture, a new understanding of Turkish jazz. But the question is “Are all these products of cultural globalization, cultural hybridization?”
If the start of the most recent wave of globalization is taken as the 1990s, the end of the Cold War, then it is possible to see that most of the musicians have worked on these projects after the 1990s. However, Okay Temiz, as an exception has worked on Turkish jazz starting from the 1970s. Although his projects all were individual, and has never caused a group of musicians follow him until the 1990s, Temiz’s innovations and projects mark the beginning of the integration of Turkish music into jazz and world music. What he has done was considered absolutely exceptional in Turkey, whereas the European musicians were delighted by their new inventions.
It is also very crucial to characterize and categorize each musician with regards to what he has done. For instance, Burhan Öçal, Kudsi Erguner and Okay Temiz have succeeded in their aim of creating a new perspective, whereas Laço Tayfa or Osman İşmen  have not yet created the right spirit for their music to be a successful fusion of jazz and Turkish music.
Turkish music and jazz coincide at some points such as improvisation and rhythm, and these aspects are proved themselves to be the points where musicians use carefully to create the right atmosphere and the correct fusion. The difficulty of the difference between the sound system of jazz and Turkish music could also be almost overcome by wind instruments such as saxophone or trumpet.
The unanswered question about if these projects are products of cultural globalization will definitely be answered automatically in the following years taking into consideration the number and the quality of musicians and the number of projects on Turkish jazz.
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21. See Erpek (2005).
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23. See Erpek (2005).
24. See Temiz (2005).
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26. Oriental Wind, Montreux Jazz Festival. Okay Temiz, 1982.
27. Groove Alla Turca. Burhan Öçal, 2002.
29. Standard A La Turc. Önder Focan, 2001.
30. Focan, Önder. Personal Interview, 08 May 2005.
31. See Focan, Ö. (2005).
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