Mardin helped to shape recordings by the Bee Gees, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson and Bette Midler among many others.
He died in New York on Sunday of pancreatic cancer. He was 74.
The winner of 11 Grammys, including producer of the year, he spent nearly 30 years at Atlantic Records before founding his own label at EMI, Manhattan Records, where he signed Norah Jones for her debut album.
Among the records he produced were Groovin by the Young Rascals, Against All Odds by Phil Collins and Jive Talkin by the Bee Gees.
He also produced several Aretha Franklin albums including Lady Soul, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You and the gospel album Amazing Grace.
Born in Turkey, Mardin came to the United States in 1958 after a meeting with Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones convinced him to make music his career. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating in 1961.
In 1963 he joined Atlantic Records.
Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the Turkish president, said in a statement: "I was deeply saddened by the death of Arif Mardin, who is considered to be one of the most important music producers of the 20th century. He will always be respectfully remembered as a person who made our nation proud."
Sezer also conveyed his condolences to Mardin's family and friends and to "the world of music".
David Munns, chairman of EMI Music North America, said: "Arif knew how to make magic out of music and draw out the very best from artists."
Mardin won numerous Grammy Awards, including producer of the year in 1975 and 2002.