Ayşe Ajda Pekkan
(1946-02-12) 12 February 1946
|Residence||Bebek, Beşiktaş, Istanbul|
|Other names||Superstar, Pop diva|
( m. 1973; div. 1973)
( m. 1984; div. 1989)
Ayşe Ajda Pekkan (Turkish pronunciation: [aʒˈda pekˈkan]; born 12 February 1946) is a Turkish singer and actress. She is known by the titles "Superstar" and "Diva" in the Turkish media. Pekkan, who started her professional career as a movie actress, first came to attention as a singer in 1964 with the release of the song "Göz Göz Değdi Bana", followed by her first solo single "Her Yerde Kar Var", which earned her critical acclaim. The success of her album Süperstar in 1977 made her commonly known as Superstar in Turkey. Three further albums with the same title have been released throughout her career. Her songs "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti", "Bambaşka Biri", "Hoşgör Sen" and "Uykusuz Her Gece" made her an influential figure in Turkish music industry.
During the time of the 33rd government of Turkey and with the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture, Pekkan was honored with the title "State Artist" in 1998. Pekkan has performed in many places inside and outside Turkey, and in addition to Turkish, has sung in English, French, Italian, and Japanese. Pekkan is recognized as the Turkish pop diva by the public. She was awarded the honorary distinction of Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2013 by the French government.
Ajda Pekkan was born on 12 February 1946 in Istanbul. Her father Rıdvan Pekkan was a marine major, and her mother Nevin Dobruca was a housewife. Pekkan and her family later moved to Gölcük, Kocaeli, due to her father's work. Pekkan, who always wanted to have a child, married for the first time in her 20s and as her husband wanted her to finish her career in music, she got divorced and later cited not having children as the greatest sacrifice she had made to continue her career. She had her first cosmetic surgery at the age of 22 and has said: "Even if I get 100, I'll still do cosmetic surgery". Sezen Aksu, who is a close friend of Pekkan, said about her influence on her: "She has opened this way to us, thanks to her I am here too. Ajda's nickname is Angela. We meet quite often at home. We do not have any hidden secrets. Where Ajda goes or what she eats, I also go there and eat the same thing.".
With the help of her sister Semiramis Pekkan, she met İlham Gencer, the owner of "Çatı" nightclub in 1961 and began her music career by singing Mina's song "Il Cielo In Una Stanza" With the help of "Los Çatikos" music community, she performed at a few places for a while. In 1963, at a singing and acting competition organized by Ses magazine named "Ses Sinema Artisti Yarışması", Pekkan ranked first in women's category followed by Hülya Koçyiğit. By winning the competition and with her modern style, she started to attract attention.
Before starting her acting career, she met Fecri Ebcioğlu, who helped her through her music career and in 1965 arranged Pekkan's first record Her Yerde Kar Var, which is the Turkish version of the song Tombe la neige by Salvatore Adamo. 
Throughout the 1960's, Pekkan and Ebcioğlu collaborated on numerous records, where Ebcioğlu would write the Turkish lyrics for popular French, Italian or English songs and Pekkan would sing them in her own unique style. In 1967, her record İki Yabancı, which is the Turkish version of the song Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra, broke the sales records in Turkey.
She represented Turkey at the International Apollonia Music Festival in Athens, where she performed the son "Ozleyis" and "Perhaps One Day" in 1968 and 1969, respectively. She also represented Turkey in 1969 at the Mediterranean Song Festival in Barcelona, performing the song "Ve Ben Şimdi". Her songs have been used on the soundtracks of many films throughout the 1960's. She also began to perform with Zeki Müren.
By the beginning of the 1970's, she had stopped working with Fecri Ebcioğlu and started to work with Fikret Şeneş. Their first collaboration, Sensiz Yillarda, broke another sales record in Turkey. This song was released under Philips label, whom had signed her a year earlier. This would also be the turning point of Pekkan's career, where she would start releasing records at countries outside of Turkey. The first two 45 RPMs she released with Philips label, Sensiz Yillarda-Olmadi Gitti  and Yagmur-Tek Yasanirmi  were also recorded in Greek and released in Greece . Although, Philips records moved out of Turkey in 1971, Pekkan was signed with them until 1978 for business outside of Turkey. She would go on to release numerous records under Philips International label around the globe in the 1970's. This included her two 45RPMs in Germany and Spain, three 45RPMs in Japan, and seven 45RPMs in France. Her collaboration with Philips International would come to an end after she released her French Album, Pour Lui in 1978. 
The artist, who switched to İstanbul Plak in 1972, broke yet another sales record with her 45RPM, Dert Bende Derman Sende, which is an arabesque style song. In 1973, her producer Fikret Şeneş was very insistent on her recording the song "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti", although Pekkan thought that the song was not her style.  However, "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti" would become a very big hit in 1973 after it was featured on the B-side of the 45RPM "Kaderimin Oyunu". It has been said by Nino Varon that the song "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti" is the most meaningful song every written in the Turkish. 
Pekkan collected her songs from all previous records, except the one published by Istanbul Plak in 1972, and put them in her first compilation album Ajda, which was published in July 1975. A new song, "Erkek Adın", was also included in the album as well. The album received interest. Cüneyt Türel was featured on the song "Palavra Palavra" in this album.
Pekkan, which was known as "Superstar" by 1977, published her new album Süperstar with different cover designs and production. In the same year, she performed the song "A Mes Amours" at Yamaha Music Festival in Tokyo. Pekkan gave a concert in Tehran at that time and this concert was also broadcast on television and was well-received by the Turkish audience.
In 2002, Pekkan was cast in a leading role in the movie Şöhret Sandalı alongside Ediz Hun and Halil Ergün. The film, which was produced by Oya Demirtok and directed by Ayşe Ersayın, has not been released to this day.
In 2011, Pekkan released her single Yakar Geçerim, written by acclaimed Turkish singer Tarkan. A month later the single was followed by her album, Farkin Bu, which was another major hit. In 2013 she released another single, Ara Sıcak. The song was written by Gülşen.
On 17 November 1973, Pekkan married Coşkun Sapmaz. The marriage lasted for only 6 days. She married for a second time in 1979 to journalist İzmir Fuarı. The couple's engagement rings were presented to them by Metin Akpınar and Zeki Alasya.
Pekkan, who appeared in many movies in the 1960s, was criticized by some men in the media for her new style and physics, and in the second year of her acting career she published a sensational article on the magazine Bikini, titled "I destroy the idols".
Pekkan, who had become known for her songs and new style, was also much talked about in the media due to her fashion sense. In an interview, she said: "How I have been seen until today, I continue to be like that in the future. As a soldier's daughter, I can not do anything that is different from my style." Naim Dilmener published a book titled Hür Doğdum Hür Yaşarım in 2007 about Ajda Pekkan's life and music career. Pekkan's views on feminism are included in her biography.
Pekkan is an activist for women and has spoken against issues such as domestic violence, abuse of women, illiteracy, discrimination, and has released a music video addressing the issue of "violence against women". In 2013, Hürriyet prepared a report for Istanbul Pride in which Pekkan was featured, and she also participated on a TV commercial about liberty for all and performed the song "Hürriyet Benim" (Liberty is Mine).
In the album Güldünya Şarkıları, which various artists prepared for the purpose of helping the Domestic Violence Emergency Helpline, Pekkan performed the song "Kadın Dediğin", and together with Aynur Doğan she promoted the album by performing the song "Keçe Kurdan", which had previously been banned by a court decision. Pekkan was the first artist to support to the democratic initiative proposed by the 60th government of Turkey.
Relationship with other musicians
Ajda Pekkan, who is among the respectable names of Turkish pop music, has a number of connections with many other Turkish artists. As a part of Güldünya Şarkıları's project, she visited Bakırköy Women's Prison, where she also met and comforted Deniz Seki who was being held in captivity.
Pekkan, who is a close friend of Sezen Aksu, is also known for her friendly relations with Nilüfer and Nükhet Duru. Sertab Erener, Funda Arar and Bengü are said to be her favorite artists. Like Hande Yener and İzel, Pekkan continues to release songs that are similar to her previous works in terms of style and arrangement.
Pekkan, who is a supporter of animal rights, participated in a meeting in February 2011 to meet Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and discuss issues surrounding animal rights. She has adopted and cared for a number of street animals, including a cat named Beyaz and a dog named Apple. On 7 May 2013, Pekkan visited the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and saw a discussion about animal rights which took place in the assembly.
In August 2011, together with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a group of artists, Pekkan visited Somalia. In October 2011, she gave a concert to help Somalians who had settled in Istanbul. In April 2018, she and a number of artists accompanied President Erdoğan on a visit to Hatay to meet soldiers who had participated in Operation Olive Branch.
- Ajda Pekkan (1968)
- Fecri Ebcioğlu Sunar: Ajda Pekkan (1969)
- Ajda Pekkan Vol. III (1972)
- Süperstar (1977)
- Pour Lui (1978)
- Süperstar II (1979)
- Sen Mutlu Ol (1981)
- Sevdim Seni (1982)
- Süperstar III (1983)
- Ajda Pekkan ve Beş Yıl Önce On Yıl Sonra (1985)
- Süperstar IV (1987)
- Ajda 90 (1990)
- Seni Seçtim (1991)
- Ajda 93 (1993)
- Ajda Pekkan (1996)
- Cool Kadın (2006)
- Aynen Öyle (2008)
- Farkın Bu (2011)
- Ajda Pekkan & Muazzez Abacı (2014)
- Yakarım Canını (2015)
- Ayrılık Ateşi (2016)
- Düşman mısın Aşık mı? (2017)
|As an actress|
|Kendini Arayan Adam||Gönül|
|Öpüşmek Yasak||Sema Selamet|
|Plajda Sevişelim||Ressam Lale|
|1965||Artık Düşman Değiliz||Alev|
|Cici Kızlar||Nermin Gürsoy Çiftbaş|
|Kart Horoz||Hizmetçi Fatoş|
|Kolla Kendini Bebek|
|Şaka ile Karışık||Ayla|
|Yabancı Olduk Şimdi|
|Bir Caniye Gönül Verdim|
|Helal Adanalı Celal|
|Bir Gönül Oyunu|
|Lafını Balla Kestim|
|Sevinç Gözyaşları||Filiz Erkmen|
|1966||Avare Kız||Ayla Doğanoğlu|
|Şoför Deyip Geçmeyin|
|Dağda Silah Konuşur|
|1967||Harun Reşid'in Gözdesi||Dilaram|
|2013||Romantik Komedi 2||Herself (Guest)|
Awards and honors
|Ribbon||Award and order||Country||Date||City||Note||Source|
|Art-Cultural and Human Artist Awards||Azerbaijan||14 July 2013||Baku||The award was given by the International Eurasian Institute, headed by Ganire Pashayeva.|||
|Ordre des Arts et des Lettres||France||1 November 2013||Istanbul||The French Ambassador to Turkey, Laurent Bili, was introduced.|||
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- Kadına Şiddeti Reddet!, Hürriyet, 2012
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