LA, Wisconsin, in USA writes:
Can you clarify if Tarkan's company HITT is a record company or a PR agency?
It is both and more. The blurb on HITT's own official site describes the company as "HITT Music & Productions", a record and productions company and PR agency rolled into one - with works including production of commercials and music videos.
However in regard to output - even though under the "HITT Music" ticket it has licensed albums by other Turkish singers, and under "HITT Productions" it has organised concerts and carried out PR for various other artists - it is mainly a vehicle for Tarkan to retain most of his own revenue and in effect is home to his own management and PR team.
The company was established in 1997. He released his 2006 English album in Turkey under his own music label, with distribution handled by Istanbul Plak - the first music label Tarkan signed with in the 1990s.
An email from Martin A, Amsterdam, Holland:
I see many places different release dates for Tarkan's first and second albums. For instance is first album 1991, 1992 or 1993? And did the second come in 1994 or 1995? I know it is silly, but what is the true release dates for these albums?
Tarkan's first music label Istanbul Plak released his debut Yine Sensiz album in audio cassette format on 24 December 1992. In 1993, it was re-released to CD as an "Extended Mix" version. It included three "new versions" of orginal edits on the album.
Tarkan's second album A-acayipsin was released in 1994. Due to high sales and demand from Germany it was "re-released" in 1995 - so some German sources sometimes quote the release date a year later. This is similar to Tarkan's first international release simply known as Tarkan - it was released on the European continent in 1999 (after an inital release by PolyGram France in 1998) and after its sales success which culminated in a World Music Award the same year, it was released in Latin America and Japan in 2000.
Sources for my answers are from a special single issue magazine on Tarkan (see pic), which was distributed in 1994 to coincide with the release of his second album. Entitled as "Tarkan's '94 album", the magazine also outlines the history behind and gives the exact date for the Yine Sensiz album. Plus, I purchased the A-Acayipsin album when it was originally released, and my CD is electronically stamped 1994.
An email from Sarah, Belfast, Northern Ireland:
I am arguing with friends over Tarkan's 1999 Tarkan album and his English one - I say that the English one is more successful. What do you say?
It terms of musical achievement, in actually getting so many international music producers, writers and singers to collaborate with a Turkish artist on one album, and creating something referenced in musical styles that span civilisations, then his English album is more successful that his 1999 compilation album.
However at time of writing of this, in terms of sales and financial success it is obvious that his 2006 album has yet to measure up to the achievement of his first international release. Spurred on by the award-winning single "Şımarık", the following compilation album managed to sell enough copies to garner Tarkan a World Music Award in Monaco in 1999 - an award that is based on generated album sales. This led to even more success in Latin America, eventually being certified platinum in Mexico and gold in Columbia - to name a few.
It should be remembered though that whatever the ultimate success of his future expeditions into the international music scene, Tarkan is one of only a handful of European artists who has managed to attain chart success in Russia, Latin America and across the European continent in his own domestic language - as well as being a cultural icon in his homeland.
See also: Information about Tarkan's English Works.
Abe, Mexico City, in Mexico writes:
I see Ozan Çolakoğlu name a lot in Tarkan albums. Who is this person?
Ozan Çolakoğlu - also credited as "Ozinga" on his musical remixes - is a music engineer who has helped arrange, mix, record and produce Tarkan songs since the singer first started his musical career in the beginning of the 1990s.
Their meeting has gone down in Turkish pop music legend, with differing versions. One version is that Tarkan and his first manager were talking about looking for a music technician while travelling on a bus in Istanbul, and Çolakoğlu happened to overhear them, while another explains that Çolakoğlu was suggested by someone on the bus.
UPDATE: Çolakoğlu Confirms Bus Legend (September 2009) >>
How ever they first met, it is well-known that Çolakoğlu and Tarkan did not like each other at first, but their friendship grew as the partnership became successful.
As Tarkan's fame grew as an artist, so did Çolakoğlu's as a musical arranger, signing his name to other successful productions such as "Everyway I Can" (sic), the Turkish entrant song that won Sertab Erener the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. This is one reason why so many had likened the song to Tarkan's "Şımarık".
He has also worked with other singers, such as Nil Karaibrahimgil, and has made a successful entry into Turkish film soundtracks, including the eleventh highest grossing movie in Europe in 2004 G.O.R.A and Jean-Claude Van Damme supported 2006 movie Sınav (Exam).
UPDATE: Çolakoğlu Leaves Sarı Ev (February 2010) >>
<< For more questions and answers about Tarkan see the Tarkan Q & A.