13 September 1902
Istanbul, İstanbul, Turkey
14 January 1998 (aged 95)
Safiye Ayla (1907-1998) was a Turkish singer.
Ayla was born in Istanbul. Her mother died when she was three years old, and the little girl was brought up in an orphanage in Istanbul. When she finished primary school, she enrolled in Bursa Teacher Training School. Having completed her education, she began to work as a teacher, but she gave up her career after six months.
Having been encouraged by her friends, Ayla joined the Eyup Music Society ,and became the student of Rebabi Mustafa Sunar. Later, she studied the classical style with Udi Nevres Bey, who was a great musician of his time. She joined the Daru't-talim-i Musiki Ensemble, a very prestigious music society of the 1930s, and began working with Fahri Kopuz. In her formative years she benefited from Ahmet Irsoy (Zekai Dede's son), Yesari Asim Arsoy, Sadettin Kaynak, Selahattin Pinar, and Rakim Elkutlu, and improved her musical knowledge.
In 1931 Safiye Ayla made her musical debut, appearing at the Moulin Rouge night club in Istanbul. For many years she gave numerous concerts in almost all the famous music halls and theatres of Turkey. She also sang for Ankara and Istanbul radio stations. In the early 1940s, when Hüseyin Sadettin Arel was the head of Istanbul Conservatory, she joined the ensemble of the conservatory. She married the well-known ud player Serif Muhittin Targan in 1950 and performed with him till his death in 1967. She sang in many styles: classical songs, semi- classical songs, popular songs, kocekces (dance songs), Istanbul and Rumeli (European provinces of the Ottoman empire) folk songs, and even gazels. She made more than 500 records. She died on 14th January 1998.
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