There is a museum dedicated to one of the most famous names of Turkey, Zeki Muren. He was a great classical Turkish music performer, very important public figure and a serious Bodrum addict.
After having a heart attack in 1980, he decided to live in Bodrum where he found peace and tranquility. His relocation and life in Bodrum had been talked a lot and added a huge value to Bodrum as a brand.
As you might already find in the short bio of Zeki Muren, Although he has gone almost 20 years ago, even children know that you are talking about him if you mention “Sanat Gunesi - The Sun of Art”. Similarly, the word Pasha implies nothing but him for a Bodrumian.
His popularity, which drove tens of millions of people, didn’t come only from his wide range of artistic skills, but also from his private life. Turkey has never stopped talking about if he was a gay and still does. A Bodrumian knew he was.
In fact, Turkey already knew it but it was just hard to accept it in a closed and traditional society like this one. In my opinion, they just preferred to pretend like they don’t know he was a gay so they talked and talked in their offices, houses or bars.
He was a pioneer in expressing himself as he was. He proved that homosexuality is not something to be afraid and can go with the respect of the majority even in a conservative society.
After his death in 1996, his house in Bodrum was restored and opened to the visitors by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2000. It is in the Kumbahce neighborhood on a street named after him.
Address: Zeki Muren Street, No: 11 Bodrum / Mugla
Phone: +90 252 313 19 39
Working Hours: Open every day of the year but on Mondays, between 09:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 17:00.
The museum is on a central location, at the end of Cumhuriyet Street which is also known as bar’s street. Scheduling 30 to 45 minutes for your visit would be just fine. The entrance fee is symbolic and TL 3, which is about USD 1.5 or EUR 1.2.
I think, it is a good opportunity for you to visit and see a real Bodrum house from the inside. Meanwhile you will also have a clear idea on classic decoration of Turkish houses like the one I grew up.
You are free to take pictures so don’t forget to bring your camera. You may find interesting costumes and a great Aegean panorama worth to take some pictures.
I personally have never been interested in classical Turkish music so I have never been a Zeki Muren fan. I have just felt a distant respect for him and his great artistic talents. That is why I was so impressed when I saw the grief on the faces of the other visitors. I saw tears on a young lady’s cheeks, a girl who probably was born after his death.
Zeki Muren museum showed me the love, respect and acceptance he earned over the years with his talent, hard work and commitment. At the end, I am glad to visit this small museum and I hope you will like it too.
Page 1: Zeki Muren Art Museum
Page 2: Inside Zeki Muren Art Museum