Derya Türkan was born in 1973 in Istanbul and studied kemance with İhsan Özgen at the Istanbul Technical University Conservatory between 1984 and 1994. He performed as a guest artist with the 'Istanbul State Classical Turkish Music Ensemble' between 1990 and 1997 under the guidance of the general artistic director Prof. Necdet Yasar.He also performed with the famous Kudsi Erguner Ensemble in many countries since 1992.
Türkan entered the TRT Istanbul Radio in 1991 and became a permanent artist there in 2000.
He has attended seminars, workshops and gave lectures in many universities including San Francisco, Santa Cruse, Harvard, M.I.T and New England.
He recorded on muliple albums, including 'Letter from Istanbul' (1997) and 'Letter from Istanbul Vol. 2' (2018) with the skillful Greek kemance player, Socrates Sinepoulos, 'Ahenk Volume 1' (1997) and 'Ahenk Vol. 2' (2006) with the Tanbur player Murat Aydemir and 'Fuad' (2001) with the Armenian duduk player, Djivan Gasparyan and the famous Turkish musician, Erkan Oğur. He recorded Renaud Garcia Fons's 'Silk Moon duet' and Kudsi Erguner's 'Chemins' in France. He also recorded his solo album 'Istanbul Kemencesi' from MMT Records.
He has performed as a guest artist in Jordi Savall’s 'Orient – Occident, La Sublime Port and Mare Nostrum' albums. He has also performed many times with the band, 'Hesperion'.
Türkan is a founder of the well-known band, Incesaz, with Cengiz Onural and Murat Aydemir in 1997. The band has released eight albums and one DVD until now.
'Minstrels Era', the album which he recorded with Renaud Garcia Fons and Uğur Isik, was released in 2006 by Kalan Music and made a hit. Simon Broughton from Songlines Magazine wrote 'Turkan’s playing has a precocious expressive power; he is accompanied by Işık on cello and the French bassist Renaud Garcia Fons, forming a tight instrumental trio.' Türkan and his trio gave concerts at prestigious venues and festivals all around Europe, including Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Essen Philharmonic Hall, Utrecht Vredenburg, Amsterdam Concert Gebouw, Ljubliana Druga Godba Festival, Madrid and Zaragoza.
Some notable mentions in the press:
NY Times: 'That vocal quality came through strongly in Darya Türkan’s soulful improvisation — which included the same languid oscillation of pitch that had struck me as so oddly expressive in the Pomo d’Oro concert'
ZEAL NYC: 'Türkan led off on the kemençe, with a blazing solo that Jimi Hendrix might have envied.'
Türkan continues to give seminars in Ross Daly’s Labyrinth Musical Workshop school in Crete since 2004.
He has worked as the musical director of the well-known Turkish movie “Yahşi Batı”, directed by Cem Yılmaz and performed for the score of the movie “Argo”, compose by Alexandre Desplat.
He continues to give concerts and make projects with the artists, such as Jordi Savall, Bojan Zulfikarpasic, Renaud Garcia Fons, Vincent Segal, Ross Daly, Enver İzmailov, Alim Kasimov, Erkan Ogur and Jon Balke.