Singer of Turkish classical music (B. 13th October 1907, Istanbul – D. 14th January 1998, Istanbul). Her name was Safiye Ayla, she got Targan as surname when she married Şerif Muhittin Targan, an oud virtuoso and composer. She was the daughter of Mısırlı Hicazizade Hafız Abdullah Bey. Her father passed away before she was born and her mother died when she was three years old. She was grown up in Çağlayan Darüleytam (Orphanage). She began her musical education as a piano student. After having completed primary education, she attended to Muallim Mektebi (teacher's training school) in Bursa and graduated from there in 1920. She was appointed to a primary school as a teacher in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. She studied under Mustafa Sunar and also took lessons from Yesari Asım Arsoy, Hafız Ahmet Irsoy, Selahattin Pınar, Saadettin Kaynak and Udi Nevres Bey. She took to the stage for the first time at Darülttalim-i Musiki Heyeti in 1931. She worked at Istanbul Radio, Ankara Radio and on the Executive Committee of Istanbul Conservatory. She had performed at music halls for a long time. After she appeared at the concerts of Darüttalim-i Musiki Heyeti, she resigned from teaching profession and began to work at music halls.
Her voice was so beautiful that she began to draw attention during her student days. Over the ensuing years, she had become the most noted female singer of the republican era. She gave a performance for Mustafa Kemal in 1932 during a party held at the house of Nuri Bey, the vice governor in Istanbul and became one of his favorite singers... She married the oud virtuoso and composer Şerif Muhittin Targan in 1950. Countless of her concerts were broadcast on Turkish radios, particularly on Istanbul Radio and she made more than 500 recordings. She was the most demanded voice on Istanbul Radio and Ankara Radio and gave numerous private concerts. The fame of her beautiful voice became famous at home and aboard.
Safiye Ayla, who has two compositions “Seninle doğan gündür bu gönül” and “Aşk yaprağına konarak koza öresim gelir”, played the role of Queen Mimoza onstage in the play "Alabanda" of Rey brothers in 1942 and proved she had the talent to act as well. Safiye Ayla, who was one of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s favorite singers, performed “Anam Olasın Ömer” song at a concert held on the name of Mustafa Kemal Pasha and Pasha liked it so much that he asked Safiye Ayla to sing it again. Safiye Ayla passed away at the age of 91 on 14th January 1998 in Istanbul.
Safiye Ayla had her own singing style, distinct from other female performers. That she was somewhat influenced by western styles was a typical characteristic of her style. She paid special attention to pronunciation and had a smooth but also enthusiastic style of singing. She could reach the highest pitches with her smooth voice. Her repertoire included classical, modern, and popular music, as well as Rumelia folk songs, so she was able to reach a broad public. She became famous with her songs “Çile Bülbülüm Çile”, “Menekşelendi Sular”, “Yanık Ömer”.