The Istanbul Traditional Series cymbal sound is suited for pretty much every style of music imaginable. The classic concept of these fully lathed cymbals has proven its value throughout the years, from the earliest Jazz drummers and Be-Bop pioneers, right up to modern Heavy-Metal players.
Never resting on their laurels, Istanbul Traditional cymbals continue to evolve, developing and providing the sounds for the needs of the cutting-edge stylistic and revolutionary players. Traditional Series cymbals continue to explore the musical possibilities derived from the darkest, responsive and pleasingly controllable cymbal sounds.
About Istanbul Mehmet
Mehmet Tamdeğer learned his art from Mikhail Zilcan, the grandson of Kerope Zilcan, after whom the Zilcan K series is named. In the 1950s, he worked in the K. Zilcan factory in Istanbul. At the age of nine, he commenced working for Mikhail Zilcan whom alongside Kirkor Küçükyan, taught Mehmet every aspect of the ancient Turkish art of cymbal making.
Istanbul cymbals were born from the collaboration between Mehmet Tamdeğer and Agop Tomurcuk, now cymbal-smiths with decades of joint cymbal-making experience. Mehmet and Agop named their company after the city that has been home to the epitome of high-quality cymbals for many, many years – Istanbul.
Istanbul cymbals were first exported to the USA in 1984, first under the name ‘Zildjiler’ and soon afterwards, as ‘Istanbul’. Both craftsmen signed every cymbal made and many of these cymbals are now collectors’ items. After Agop Tomurcuk’ s unexpected death in July 1996, Mehmet decided to continue the production of cymbals under his own name, Istanbul Mehmet. A lot has changed since then, but his belief in the richness and the character of a handmade cymbal will always remain:
Machines don’t have ears. That’s why we continue to make our cymbals according to the ancient tradition – with an open eye towards the music that’s being made now, and in the future.