The Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals brand name was implemented by a cymbal works founded by a couple of cymbalsmiths, Mehmet Tamdeger and Agop Tomurcuk. These cymbals were very first exported to the U.S. in 1984, 1st under the name "Zildjiler", and soon afterward as "Istanbul". Each artisans signed every cymbal.
Many Istanbul Mehmet cymbals have become collectors' items. After Agop's death in 1997, the organization split, with Mehmet setting up his own company and creating cymbals sold as Istanbul Mehmet Cymbal, and Agop's sons Sarkis and Arman organizing their own organization and making cymbals sold as Istanbul Agop.
Mehmet claims to have perfected his art from Mikhail Zilcan (sometimes spelled Zildjian), the grand son of Kerope Zilcan after whom the Zildjian K series is named. In the 1950s, he worked in the Zildjian factory in Istanbul. Agop was the plant foreman at Zildjian K factory.
A few of the existing ranges of Istanbul Agop and Istanbul Mehmet cymbals overlap. Each have lines called Traditional, Turk and Sultan, and among these lines numerous models are in common. Each also have models and entire series of cymbals not replicated within the other's catalogue.
Agop produces a line of drum cymbals under name Alchemy drum Cymbals and creates numerous signature series, such as the Mel Lewis series, Agop series and SE Jazz series. Istanbul Agop moved to a more modern and bigger facility in 2007 mixing its production of hand-made professional and machine-made student cymbal lines in a single location.
Mehmet Tamdeger and Agop Tomurcuk trained Ibrahim Yakici, Hasan Seker, and Hasan Ozdemir, the 3 of whom would ultimately be the creators of Bosphorus Cymbals
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