Barış Manço, the late popsinger, composer, song-writer and musician, remains one of the most popular public figures of Turkey. One of the ferry boats on the route between Kadiköy , on the Asian side of Istanbul, and Karaköy, on the European side, is named after him.
In the Moda neighbourhood, where he had a mansion, there is a Barış Manço Culture Center. Many parents, all over Turkey, named one of their sons Barış. And a lot of Turks still remember a lot of his 200 songs he composed and sing them during parties.
His older brother, who was born during World War II, was named Savaş (“war” in Turkish) while he was named Barış (“peace”).
Barış Manço was an influential Turkish musician. He contributed to the new genre of “Turkish rock” by combining traditional Turkish music with rock influences. Turkish rock is still one of the main trends of Turkish popular music.
His mansion has become a museum after the lease by the Kadiköy municipality had ended. The municipality had rented the mansion since 1999 after the house was confiscated by a bank to offset the late artist’s debts. According to his elder son the debt stemmed from a credit his father had become a guarantor for. “The people who asked him to sign a contract as a guarantor would have been his partners in establishing a resort in his name. But they defrauded him by taking all the money, and they disappeared.”
When I visited the new museum I was struck by the gates where a live size Barış Manço seemed to greet me. On the left in the front garden there are a lot of statues of children, who were very fond of him during his years when he presented a show on television and showed them and their parents his travels all over the world.
His mansion resembles in a small way the mansion of Elvis Presley. I see his piano, his personal accessories, the music he wrote, the paintings he bought and his famously flamboyant stage costumes.
A visit is a must for all his fans and for those tourists who want to know something more about the history of modern Turkish pop music.
Yusuf Kamil Paşa Sokak No. 5 Kadiköy
Open: Every day from 9:00-17:00