Derya Türkan was born in Istanbul in 1973. He studied kamancheh with Ihsan Özgen at the Istanbul Technical University Conservatory from 1984 to 1994. From 1990 until 1997 he performed as a guest artist with the Istanbul State Classical Turkish Music Ensemble under the guidance of the general artistic director Prof. Necdet Yasar. In 1991 he entered the TRT Istanbul Radio and became a permanent artist in 2000.
During his career he had the chance to collaborate with respectable artists such as Alaeddin Yavasça, Bekir Sidki Sezgin, Erol Deran, Niyazi Sayin, Mutlu Torun, Inci Cayirli and Yavuz Özüstün. Since 1992 he is performing all over the world with the famous Kudsi Erguner Band and he further more recorded the album “Chemins” with Kudsi Erguner in France. In 1996 he attended the 80th birthday concert of the famous violin player Sir Yehudi Menuhin, which was organized by the President of France at the Sorbonne University.
He frequently attended seminars, workshops and gave lectures at universities across the world including the Universitiy of San Francisco, the Universitiy of Santa Cruse, the Universitiy of New England, Harvard and the MIT a.o.
In 1997 he recorded the album “Letter from Istanbul” with the skillful Greek kamancheh player Sokratis Sinepoulos. The album was released in the U.S. by Golden Horn Records. During the same year he also recorded “Ahenk Volume 1” with the tanbur player Murat Aydemir. Another album called “Ahenk Volume 2” done by the same artists followed in 2006. Both albums were as well released by Golden Horn Records in the U.S., where the duo was also touring twice. In 1997 he also founded the well-known band “Incesaz” with Cengiz Onural and Murat Aydemir. Ever since the band has released eight albums and one DVD.
In 2001 Derya Türkan recorded the album “Fuad” with the Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparyan and the famous Turkish musician Erkan Oğur. “Fuad” was released by Kalan Music.
The album “Minstrels Era”, 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.” Turkan and his trio gave concerts in prestigious venues all over Europe including the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Essen Philharmonic Hall, the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht and the Concert Gebouw in Amsterdam. He also played at festivals including the Ljubljana Druga godba Festival, and festivals in Madrid and Zaragoza.
Since 2003 Derya Türkan is giving seminars in Ross Daly’s “Labyrinth Musical Workshop” school in Crete. He is also performing as a guest artist on Jordi Savall’s albums “Orient – Occident, La Sublime Porte and Mare Nostrum”. He worked as the musical director of the well-known Turkish movie “Yahşi Batı” and performed for the score of the movie “Argo”, composed by Alexandre Desplat. He continues to give concerts and makes projects with artists such as Jordi Savall, Bojan Zulfikarpasic, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Vincent Segal, Ross Daly, Enver İzmaylov, Alim Qasimov, Erkan Ogur and Kudsi Erguner.