Pop singer and jazz artist (B. 10 October 1929, Yeşilköy / Istanbul – D. 20 April 2012, Istanbul). She first was introduced to music by İlham Gencer while she was a student in Nişantaşı Girls High School and started to sing English songs at first. Later her family sent her to Erenköy Girls High School and she completed her high school education there. After high school she started to present a program at Istanbul Radio upon the suggestion of İlham Gencer to her about being a singer. The first song she sang in the radio within this extent was “You Are Always In My Heart”.
Ayten Alpman appeared for the first time in the stage in a Medical Ball organized by Taksim Municipality Casino. Later she met Arif Mardin who encouraged her to sing jazz songs and she learnt her first jazz songs from him. She started her first professional stage work in Yeşilköy Deniz Park Hotel in 1952. After working there for three months, she first transferred herself to Kervansaray Night Club. She married İlham Gencer in 1953. After her husband-founded Çatı Night Club she started to appear there.
Alpman released her first record “Sayanora / Passion Flower” in 1959. In 1960, she separated from İlham Gencer and started to work with İsmet Sıral Orchestra after a while. She went to Sweden with the same orchestra to work there in 1963. She worked together with İsmet Sıral for two years in Sweden and one year with another jazz orchestra. Later she returned to Turkey. Upon her return the fashion in Turkey was singing arrangements and not jazz songs. However, she insisted to sing jazz songs and because of that she could not succeed in her stage career for a while. With the encouragement of Fecri Ebcioğlu, pioneer of musical arrangements in Turkey, she started to sing Turkish songs in this genre. Her first product in this genre was her extended-play titled “İnan Bana / Ayrıldık Yalnızım”. However these first works of 45’s records did not attract much attention. She produced a few more extended-plays with Sezen Cumhur Önal. She managed to sing songs, which were in harmony with all streams of “Light Music”.
Ayten Alpman married Ümit Aksu in 1968. She achieved her first hit with her extended-play “Sensiz Olamam” which she released together with Fecri Ebcioğlu . Her record titled “Bir Başkadır Benim Memleketim” she produced in 1972 and whose lyrics were written by Fikren Şeneş attracted a great interest. After the Peace Operation in Cyprus in 1974 her song “Memleketim” was often played in TRT radio and television. Thus this song was released again as an extended-play in the market and reached great sales. This song, which was vocalized by Mireille Mathieu in French, was identified with Ayten Alpman with Turkish lyrics written by Fikret Şeneş and it almost became a national hymn. Also, her other songs such as “İstersen”, “Sensiz Olmam”, “Tek Başına”, “Yanımda Olsan”, “Ben Varım” “Ben Böyleyim” and “Yaz Yağmuru” became hits even if they were not as famous as “Memleketim”.
Later she released two long plays and Ayten Alpman professionally went onstage for the last time at Istanbul Yeniköy Bilsak Club in 1990. She spent her life afterwards with festivals, concerts, galas, signature days and TV programs. She was operated in 1995 because of the nodules in her vocal cords. In 1999 an album of her, which consisted of her hit songs, was released by Ada Music Company. After this she did not continue her stage career in a professional way but continued to hold private jazz concerts only from time to time. She was hospitalized to Istanbul Şişli Osmanoğlu Hospital for lung failure and there she passed away on the 20th of April 2012 at the age of 83.
REFERENCE: Türkiye Ansiklopedisi (c.3, 1974), Cemil Yener / Müzikte Kim Kimdir? (1987), Metin Solmaz / Türkiye'de Pop Müzik - Dünü ve Bugünü ile Bir İnfilak Masalı (1996), Vural Sözer / Müzik Ansiklopedik Sözlük (2005), İlke Boran - Kıvılcım Yıldız Şenürkmez / Kültürel Tarih Işığında Çok Sesli Batı Müziği (2010), Sanatçı Ayten Alpman hayatını kaybetti (Radikal, 20 Nisan 2012), Türkiye Yazarlar Birliği / Türkiye Kültür Sanat Yıllığı (2013), Ayten Alpman (aytenalpman.com, erişim: 2 Ocak 2016), Ayten Alpman ile geçmişe yolculuk (cazkolik.com, erişim: 2 Ocak 2016), Ayten Alpman’ın vasiyeti (sabah.com.tr, erişim: 2 Ocak 2016), Ayten Alpman (odeonmuzik.com.tr, erişim: 2 Ocak 2016).