The art of Turkish cymbal making dates back to the 16th century; the time of the Ottoman Empire. The very first cymbals manufactured in Turkey were actually bells, created for the use in churches.

Later on, as the story goes, cymbals were produced for the Ottoman Army band. In 20th century, it had become a well-known fact that Istanbul, Turkey had evolved into the cymbal making capital of the world. Generations of master cymbalsmiths developed, refined and redefined this art in their endless search for perfection. They formulated the most musical alloy, developed and tested hand crafted methods which have been used for centuries.

As the 20th century drew towards its close, the traditional Turkish method for hand crafting cymbals had all but been abandoned due to the efficiencies and mass production facility provided by machines. In 1980, the very first Istanbul Cymbals began to enter the market place and the drummers around the world took notice immediately. What they heard and what they saw was the work of our founder, Agop Tomurcuk, who had been developing his skills since the age of 9 and had worked at the original K factory in Istanbul as the foreman until the factory”s closure in 1978.

He started this new venture in 1980, with his partner Mehmet Tamdeger under the name ‘Zilciler’. Shortly thereafter, the legendary name Istanbul was founded. In the following years, the name of the brand; ‘Istanbul Cymbals’ became glorious for creating those unique and classic sounds.

During those years, we also developed many completely original, inimitable, cutting-edge designs, while we were still employing the traditional methods. Many of these inventive designs are in our production-line today, such as Turk, Sultan, Vezir, Empire, Ottoman and Pasha.

In 1996 Agop Tomurcuk passed away prematurely because of a tragic accident. At this point the company was being pulled in two separate directions. It was determined that the company must be split. Agop’ s sons; Arman and Sarkis continued their way by following the footsteps of their father and Mehmet was free to run his own separate company as he saw fit.

Arman and Sarkis Tomurcuk were ready to bring their own fresh ideas by using their experience which they had gained in many years in the business, while they were still being loyal to the tradition. Both companies would have had the benefit of the well-respected ‘Istanbul’ name but it was distinguished by the clauses ‘Agop’ and ‘Mehmet’, which can be seen on respective logos.

In the 21st century, the art of cymbal making mentioned with the name Istanbul Agop, as it is one of the few firms which manufacture hand-made cymbals for generations. We have recently introduced the Agop Signature Series, a tribute to our founder. By being consistent to the mentality of integrating new, cutting-edge designs with age old handcrafting techniques, we have introduced many different models. ISTANBUL AGOP is proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of traditional cymbal making, as the story goes on.

Play the original.

Play Istanbul Agop.

19 thoughts on “Alchemy

  1. tom doyle

    Dear Sir/maddem

    i recently came across your amazing cymbals i am a drummer from southampton uk i am in love with music in a big way and am doing anything to go pro and want a sponser bad.

    i was born in 1991 making me 18 as a child i never reali fitted in and couldnt find alot i was good at but took after my mother in loveing punk rock i would often borrow her ramones and buzzcock cds and listen to them over and over. it was at this time i took up “tapping” on any table or chair i could get near i would just tap out beats and rythems i could never sit still. then at around age 10 my grandad showed my our african roots and taughet me the basics of african drumming i loved it and still play acoustic gigs with my djembe. But i still haden’t got behined the kit then in year 10 oh secondry school a talent show came up my mate was like tom your a drummer you can play with us and so it came my first gig was playing a 6/8 beat for 2 minutes of the kill we didnt win and i little more than a kick snare patteren but i was hooked and have never looked back since i took up leassons joined a band got a kit and never looked back i just played and played useing all my infulences i devolped a strange pop punk jazz tribel style which still sets me apart from the crowd my strngths as a drummer our my solid beats mixed with my writing abilty and feel of the music. at the momment i am with newly formed band flight were writing like mad and i feel we can reali go some were his our very new myspace with a song i was recorded on my most proud momments in pink jew out the big crashes in the coruas and the ending were i hold the beat and let my bandmates do there thing we havr played many gigs and people seam to love our music and have told me i know how to make a song dancey after only a few months of gigging we have already bin put on a best bands of southampton check cd 2 track 17.

    in terms of gear i love it altough compared to some im rather new to the game i know more about gear than most and often end up tunin other drummers kits setting it up choosing things everytihng and cymbals our by far my faveorite after lisenting to some artists who use you im in love espec the darker midels i love dark big soudns that sit under music which you seam to do amzingly well.

    in tearms of my musicel education at the momment i am attending tauntons music colledge doing a btech in performance and have been having lessons with matt boyd hayward for 2 years now i aksed him to wrtie a descroption of me for this. he said

    “I have been teaching tom for 2 years now and shows a reali passion for the drums and is a very quick learner he real puts himself out there in terms of bands and gigs and if he keeps up this passion ans attitude i think he stands a real chance of playing drums for a full time job he could be the next jo jo mayer in terms of learning speed and style.”

    i also aske dmy band mate sam curtis

    “tom is so amzing to play with we can jam for hours and we just gel his creativty is boundless and we wouldnt trade him for the world ”

    reali hope you think im right for this and hope to hear fomr you either way soon and am reali sorry for my spellin im high dyslexic and drummings my way to express myself.!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=853184447

  2. Nick Krueger

    Hi my name is Nick and I am 16 and have been drumming for a little over ten years I can do any type of music a person wants me to do, I play music from pop to death metal and I have used your cymbals many times I used to have one but when I went away for a vacation someone stole some of my cymbals so now I have junkies but I am still a great drummer I am in a band our name is the Devils rejects I also play with many other bands around the state and btw I live in Maine I talk to many drummers around the state and alot of them ask me what is a good cymbal or head and stuff like that so far I really like your cymbals when I say them they just say what do you mean I have never heard of it and I show them what they sound like and they soon like them too. ok but I would like to know if you want to sponsor me I am willing to do whatever at takes I know I am good enough people around the state think I am even one of the best in the state, please take this into consideration it will help me out alot with my career it has always been my dream to be a pro drummer and I am on my way there drumming is my whole life and its all I do I have given up many things for it and I will drum for the rest of my life please consider this and thanks for your time have a great day
    I think ur cymbals are pretty nice for some of the music I play and I love the sound they make

  3. Adam Cherrington

    Hi there,

    My name is Adam. My brother Dave just opened the doors to his new guitar site “Mad Guitar Licks” found at I’m trying to get him announced and linked up with anyone willing. Dave plays the guitar… but has no understanding of the web J. I built and designed his site, and am now pretty much handling any and all marketing efforts… because he can’t… because he plays the guitar… yeah, that’s all he does J.
    I was wondering if you would consider linking to his site from yours (preferably with the keyword “Free Guitar Lessons.” J) I actually run a similar “guitar lesson reviews” site of my own and would be more than happy to add your site there in exchange for the link. I’d even give you a full page all to yourself with TWO links if you like (any anchor text)! Would you PLEASE give it some thought? Dave and I would be truly grateful!

    Here’s an example of a page I could give you. All you would need to provide is the review of your site: (even has a page rank of 3).
    If you’re not interested in linking up, would you be up for selling us a link? You wouldn’t need to place it in a prominent position or anything. Even an inner page that gets little to no traffic would be awesome!

    Much Thanks,

    Adam Cherrington


  4. David Weston

    Dear Sirs

    The High Wycombe District Scout and Guide Gang Show is an established event in the District diary, having been going for over 24 years now. The show received official recognition from the Scout Association 13 years ago, something that is not easily achieved. Every year over 100 Scouts and Guides put on a show to sell out audiences at the Lancaster Arts Centre in High Wycombe. This is the culmination of six months hard work and rehearsals. Over the years the show has raise thousands of pounds for both local and national charities. We have also taken parts of the show ‘on the road’ to District and County camps in the last couple of years. Everyone involved in the show does the work in addition to their normal Scouting and Guiding activities.

    The show has its own band to accompany the singers in the show and over the years they have become an integral part of the show as well as now being asked to play at other charity functions and events. This year we have been asked to play at events to celebrate 100 years of the girls Guide movement.

    We have been very lucky to be given a drum kit for the show. Unfortunately we do not have any cymbals for the kit. The purpose of this letter is to ask if you have any old cymbals that you would be prepared to donate to the show. They would be used for all our shows and the bands other charity events in the future.

    I’m sure that you must get many such requests but we would be grateful if you could give this request your favourable attention. If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Kind regards

    David Weston
    Assistant District Commissioner (Activities), High Wycombe Scout District
    316 Desborough Avenue
    High Wycombe
    HP11 2TJ

  5. metin dirik

    .erhaba; 16″ professional medium crash tusemin dusuk olmasina ragmen yanlamasina catladi. Ne yapilabilir?

  6. jonatan vega

    hi my name is jonatan vega im from colombia and im looking for an endorsement and your cymbals are awsome i have a band called venora

    im play with silverstein in the southamerican tour in colombia, and i will play in the south american tour with for today………. band site

    videos of me playing

    im interested on your endorsement if i can please let me know

    thanks for your atention

  7. Brittany Pence


    Could I please have some free stickers? My address is:

    Brittany Pence
    9485 C N.C. Hwy. 39
    Middlesex, NC 27557


    ~Brittany Pence

  8. mehmet akgün

    alchemy prof 16″ raw china zil sat?n alm??t?m bir – iki y?l önce, zamanla zil sesini tamamen kaybetti. görüntü ve sa?laml?k olarak herhangi bir de?i?iklik olmamas?na ra?men kullanam?yorum zili…

    yapabilece?im, yard?mc? olabilece?iniz bir ?ey varm??

  9. Andy Cavatorta

    Howdy Alchemy Folks!
    I need a pair of custom-made hi-hats for an internationally-known Icelandic singer (whose name I can’t say because of an NDA).

    The request is for cymbals that are about 42″ in diameter.

    As a drummer and an engineer, I understand that it will be difficult to get a typical 14″ hi-hat sound from a 42″ hi-hat.

    I have 2 questions:
    How close can you get to a typical hi-hat sound?
    What sort of time would such a custom job require?

    – thanks
    – ac

  10. Hans van Rutte

    Dear Sirs,
    In the seventies I bought a crash-ride cymbal, named Coral-professional, which I still use. Now I was told that these cymbals might come from your company. Could you tell me if this is true and, if not, where these cymbals might come from?
    Hope to hear from you.
    Hans van Rutte

  11. Dmitry Sukhinin

    Dear Alchemy Cymbals team!

    My name is Dmitry, I am a leader of Siberian extreme metal band Defect Designer (
    We are the first death metal act from Siberia to have signed a deal with a foreign label: recently we got signed by My Kingdom Music, Italy (

    Our first CD is called “Wax” and we have gone a long way to produce it. The recording was conducted in the famous studio “Hertz” (Decapitated, Vader, Behemoth, Sceptic) in Poland. We went there from our hometown Novosibirsk (very middle of Russia) and made this recording purely on our own funds without any external support of labels, record companies or other kinds of management.
    The release date of “Wax” is September 7th, 2009.

    We are looking for support your company might be able to offer. I am currently working on new music stuff.
    Our desire is to be more prepared in technical way than we were before the first recording. So if there is any opportunity to have your support, we would be extremely happy to work with your company, since it is really hard to have any decent gear here, in Siberia.

    We are endorsed by Meinl Cymbals but due to some difficulties of getting the needed sets in Russia it would be easier for us to work with you directly and to change the brand of our cymbals.

    Recently we got endorsed by Meinl Cymbals, SIT Strings, In Tune Guitar Picks, Providence, Krank amplification, Mayones Guitars, Schaller Electronic, Karma Mics, Guitar Pro (we are the first endorsed act ever), Halo Guitars, D16, Agner Drumsticks, Seymour Duncan, Liszko Straps, Spector basses, Cympad, Peterson Tuners.

    We work with Doomstar Booking agency and Stigia management agency. Summer European events are being confirmed now!

    Looking forward to see your reply!
    Wish you a Merry CHristmas and a Happy New Year!
    Thank you for your attention,

    Sincerely yours,
    Sukhinin Dmitry
    +7 903 904 60 45

  12. Eric

    Alchemy cymbals – a FINE weapon in all corners of music.
    Most of the shops in the Midwest have never heard of such wonders.
    There’s a lot of money to be made for you making them, and Alchemy goes seemingly unknown?
    I encourage you all at Istanbul to branch out further in spreading the name of Alchemy in the United States.

    Eric Kovacevic.

  13. Noah kelly

    Hey guys I came across your cymbals and I love them were can I buy them?

    Oh yeah Can I get some free stickers? My address is

    Noah Kelly
    Thanks guys and keep up the awesome work!!



  15. Manuel Borrego

    Greetings from Venezuela!

    After lots of research, I am inclined for the excellent value offered in your products, so I would love now be part of your exclusive artists.

    Among my activities as a musician are:

    – Official drummer for the Venezuelan Tenor David Hidalgo (exposure to over 20,000 people annually).
    – Drummer in the jazz-fusion Project “Jazztalisto” (with annual exposure to over 2,000 people).
    – Drumming Instructor, serving 14 students a week.
    – Drummer, co-producer and recording engineer for “Isolated” (modern metal, realeasing on 2013)

    I am currently finalizing the pre-production process on the first release of the Venezuelan Modern Metal band “Isolated” which will work with the majestic swedish sound engineer and producer Jocke Skog (Messhugah, Opeth, Scarpoint) and will count on a world-wide distribution with labels that are currently in discussion.

    Additionally, the releasing will be supported by a tour of 15 cities across Venezuela and potential international dates as well as massive exposure online (youtube, facebook and our official sites).

    In addition, I have a professional recording studio (Capybara Studios) which serves over 250 clients per year, where I would be very glad to use your products in every one of the sessions.

    I would love to have the pleasure to support the brand you represent, because I am a regular follower of your products and in my country is very uncommon to see your products in instruments stores .

    I would like to know that we could reach agreements in terms of endorsement.

    Here is some of my work with Jazztalisto:

    – Video Courtesy of TV Progress (Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela)
    – Video recorded by someone in the audience:

    Recording studio work as a session musician and sound engineer:

    – Demo of the Venezuelan guitarist David Gonzalez (Isolated / Solo)
    – Venezuelan singer Maria Alejandra

    Isolated demo:

    I hope this is the beginning of a great relationship!

    Thank you very much!


  16. José Assunção

    Hello, my name is José Assunção and I’m 17 years old.
    I’m from Coimbra, Portugal.

    I’m in a band called Marble Avenue, we’re a Pop Rock band with an EP out.
    We really want to grow up as a band and we’re going to try to get out of Portugal as soon as the album is out (2013).
    My drumming CV is nothing really big, I made a 11 gig tour with my band (3 weeks tour) in Portugal, I played with Prima Donna live during their 2011 European Tour here in Portugal.
    We’re growing more and more, but we’re not very big. But I thought I might try to get endorsed by your fantastic cymbals and start to spread the word doing covers on youtube with them and playing live!

    Video of me playing live :

    Facebook page of my band:

    Contact :

    Thank you for your time, José Assunção.

  17. Moritz

    Hello Alchemy,

    for several months, my cymbals distributor told me that you have delivery problems. You are my favorite manufacturer of cymbals and as I really need to play these cymbals, I wanted to know before changing the time your brand delivery problems are resolved, if you’re really going to file your cymbals.

    Do not disappear.

    Seb from stallfish

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