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Zeki Müren Museum - Home Museum of the Liberace of Turkey

Join us for the most fabulous home museum that you can find in Bodrum, Turkey. The Turkish showman who broke down barriers in his native Turkey, played in Las Vegas, tutored Mick Jagger and rose to be a mythical hero in Turkey with a true Liberacean death on live TV show in 1996.

Zeki Müren, better known in his native Turkey as "the Sun of Art" and "Pasha", was the most prominent figure of classical Turkish music to the extent that he was named a State Artist in 1991 in recognition of his contribution to the arts. He was luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing and loved by his mother. He was accepted by his fans and countrymen for whom he was, to an extent that he wasn’t actually compared to Liberace, but to someone even more barrier-breaking - “the David Bowie of Turkey” (sic!).

When he was 20, he joined the Turkish Radio knowing by heart every standard and classical Turkish ballad, and soon became a fixed star in every Turkish home. He designed his own stage costumes which became more and more Liberacean over the years making his floor shows genuine cult events. He also made 18 films, interestingly most about a singer in search of love.

However, there were more reasons why Zeki Müren became part of what it is to be a Turk. He was a standard bearer of Turkish tradition, known to sing Ottoman classical music with perfect enunciation of Turkish. Parents played his records to teach their kids “good Turkish” which won him an older, conservative audience.

In 1987 Müren retired to Bodrum as he didn’t want his public to see him old and overweight. Ten years later on 24 September 1996 he was invited to the Turkish Radio and Television Company in order to receive an award, the golden microphone he had used in his first appearance on the TRT more than forty years earlier. After Müren received the award, he leaned on the arm of a hostess who helped him back to his chair, where, on live TV, he had a fatal heart attack.

Müren lived in Bodrum in a beautiful two-storey house from 1980 until his death. Right in the heart of the city, the house overlooks the bay and the Bodrum Castle. The house was made his home museum in 2000 and soon became one of the most popular attractions in Bodrum. It is within walking distance not only from the castle but also another main site - the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, see our reviews!

The museum has been kept as it was during Müren’s life other than the walls which are now decorated with his stage costumes. You can sense his refined taste in the furniture, paintings, dishes and other objects of daily life, including his Finnish Tunturi exercise bike! The rooms have been decorated in a traditional way with sofas, rugs, commodes and wardrobes.

There is a small garden in front of the house, now housing his fancy Buick Regal and a bronze sculpture of the Sun of Art by Tankut Oktemmmm that looks as if he were singing for Bodrum. Behind the house, there is a yard which has been converted into a museum café - well worth having a drink after your tour of the house before you move on to the other museums we have reviewed in Bodrum.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of stairs and thus, the museum is not really suited for the handicapped or visitors with a pram. There is no visitors’ loo either.

At the exit from the café there is a small museum shop where you can buy e.g. Mürens recordings.

Kumbahçe, Zeki Müren Cd. No:11, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla


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