Turkish Folk Music: Yücel Paşmakçı


The 2004 Aydın Doğan Award was given in Turkish Folk Music, where Yücel Paşmakçı was deemed worthy of the award for the numerous ballads he has added to the Turkish Folk Music repertoire as a performer, an educator, a manager, a conductor, a researcher and a compiler.

The selection committee for 2004’s Aydın Doğan Award included Muzaffer Akgün, Zehra Bilir, Melih Duygulu, Prof. Dr. Can Etili, Zafer Gündoğdu, Doğan Hızlan, Mehmet Özbek, Arif Sağ, Hasan Saltık, Süleyman Şenel and Neriman Altındağ Tüfekçi.

Yücel Paşmakçı
Yücel Paşmakçı was born in İstanbul in 1935. He completed his primary and secondary education in Moda Primary School, Kadıköy Secondary School and Haydarpaşa High School, respectively, and was accepted to İstanbul University School of Economics. After attending university for two years, he left to pursue his passion for folk music.

Yücel Paşmakçı started working as an Assistant Saz (a stringed instrument) Artist in the İstanbul Radio Voices From The Homeland Band in 1954.

Along with his work at İstanbul Radio, Paşmakçı worked as a Saz Artist of Folk Music at the İstanbul Municipality Conservatory Turkish Folk Music Performance Group between 1961 and 1972. In 1972, he was appointed Director of Turkish Folk Music and Dance at TRT İstanbul Radio. Keeping his administrative position, he managed the Voice From The Homeland Band and gave lectures in repertoire. In addition, he became the chairperson of the Turkish Folklore Institution Foundation in 1974, remaining in the position for a year and a half. When İstanbul Turkish Music State Conservatory was founded and started to accept students in 1975-1976, he acted as a member of the board and Vice President.

Paşmakçı was appointed Director of the TRT Music Division of Turkish Folk Music and Dance in 1976 and at the same time managed the Ankara Radio Voices From The Homeland Band. He worked in a sub-workgroup of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), of which the TRT Institution was a part. He represented the TRT Institution at the meetings EBU held in Genova, Switzerland in 1977 and 1978. He also attended two Rostrums organized by the same union in the city of Yanbol, Bulgaria in 1977 and 1979. In 1976, he directed the Folk Music Choir Concerts at the Peace Festival organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TRT in Cyprus. In addition to this, he has been working for the TRT Music Division Turkish Folk Music Board of Auditors since 1966, and for the Board of Scientific Research and Repertoire since 1972. In 1979, he was appointed to work at İstanbul Radio at his own request. He continued his work as a Turkish Folk Music expert, and was transferred to İ.T.Ü. Turkish Music State Conservatory as an academician in 1983, with the consent of the TRT Institution.

Yücel Paşmakçı is an esteemed performer of Turkish folk music and has added approximately 300 ballads and folk songs to the TRT Folk Music Repertoire with the research he conducted in various regions of Turkey, and his compilations.