Sixteen years ago, Gurkan Ozkan fell in love with the tabla the moment he set eyes on it and is now Turkey's leading tabla expert.

Tabla, a classical drum-like instrument originates from Iran, Turkey and the Arab world and has for long been used in fusion music (File Photo)
Tabla, a classical drum-like instrument originates from Iran, Turkey and the Arab world and has for long been used in fusion music (File Photo)

At the heart of most South Asian music is a classical drum-like instrument, the tabla also known as the queen of drums.

It has been widely used in many kinds of fusion music originating in Iran, Turkey and the Arab world.

Sixteen years ago, Gurkan Ozkan fell in love with the tabla the moment he set eyes on it, and a few years later he travelled all the way to India to meet the renowned tabla master, Sandesh Popatkar.

Popatkar, who is the official tabla artist for All India Radio, became Gurkan's guru. Since then, the two have been meeting up every year.

In this symphonic journey, Gurkan is not alone. His musical partner, Selim Ergen is a master of the classical Indian stringed instrument, the sarod.

Together they perform ragas or ancient melodic structures to create a range of moods.

TRT World's Shamim Chowdhury reports.

Gurkan is also credited with publishing Turkey's first ever book on the tabla that hit the book stores last year.

It's the only source of reference on the instrument at universities across the country.

Over the years, Gurkan has performed in 30 countries with some of the world's most respected musicians and is no doubt Turkey's leading tabla expert.

Source: TRT World