At the opposite end of the spectrum from Egyptian style belly dance is the Turkish style cabaret. "Anything Goes" seems to be more of the working philosophy. Dancers are often very flamboyant, with large, earthy movements. Leaps and many pelvic movements are very common. The Karshilama is Turkish and is rarely danced in Egypt, where it was outlawed after the Ottoman Turks were ousted. Turkish dancers are often very scantily clad, but that's not a requirement of the style.
Turkish MusicTurkish bellydance music is characterized by the sounds of the oboe, clarinet, oud, ney, kanoon, finger cymbals and hand drums. Another distinguishing element of the Turkish style is the use of the Karsilama rhythm in a 9/8 time signature, counted as 12-34-56-789. Turkish style dancers often play finger cymbals (aka zills ).
KarshilamaKarshilama is a line dance to an interesting 9/8 rhythm that can be counted 1 2 3, 123 (three slow, three fast movements). To hip and shoulder shimmies are added hops, dips, and jumps for lively change from the usual sultry bellydance.
Chengis DancingIn Turkey , after Fatih sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453, the gypsies settled in the newly titled city of Istanbul. When entertainment was requested for the women, they were amused by female-only dancers and musicians called chengis . The chengis built an artistic style that is the root of many movements in belly dancing today. The complex hip work, shimmies and varied facial expressions, as well as veil dancing and finger cymbal playing, can be linked back to the gypsy chengis , who remained extremely popular until the end of the 19th century. The strength of the dance form gradually failed when the power of the Ottoman Empire began to wane. In Turkey today, chengis dancing has become belly dancing and is primarily a tourist attraction.
ÇiftetelliSome mistakenly believe that Turkish oriental dancing is known as Çiftetelli due to the fact that this style of music has been incorporated into oriental dancing by Greeks and gypsies, illustrated by the fact that the Greek belly dance is called Tsifteteli. However, Turkish Çiftetelli is more correctly a form of wedding folk music, the part that makes up the lively part of the dance at the wedding and is not connected with oriental dancing.
Turkish Roma / GypsyEven though Turkish belly dancing has deep roots in the Sultan's palatial harems of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish belly dance today is closer to its Romany (Gypsy) heritage than its Egyptian and Lebanese sisters, developing from the Ottoman rakkas to the oriental dance known worldwide today. As Turkish law does not impose restrictions on Turkish dancers' movements and costuming as in Egypt, where dancers are prevented from performing floor work and certain pelvic movements, Turkish dancers are often more outwardly expressive than their Egyptian sisters. Turkish dance also remains closer to its Romany roots because many professional dancers and musicians in Turkey continue to be of Romany heritage. Turkish dancers are known for their energetic, athletic (even gymnastic) style, and particularly, until the past few years, their adept use of finger cymbals, also known as zils. Connoisseurs of Turkish dance often say that a dancer who can't play zils is not an accomplished dancer.
Famous Turkish belly dancers include Eva Cernik, Tulay Karaca and Birgul Berai.