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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Turkey's Talisman Tarkan

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Al Gore and Turkish actress Sebnem Donmez in Istanbul yesterdayFormer United States Vice President Al Gore, actress and Turkish Live Earth spokeswoman Şebnem Dönmez, and representatives from local concert organizer Purple Concerts, gathered yesterday to inform the public about the latest developments in the 24-hour concert series, part of which is being staged at Yedikule in Istanbul. Host Ms. Dönmez referred to Mr. Gore as "the president of our hearts" and gave him a blue eye amulet as a gift.

Speculation is still strong whether Turkey's other well-known, but green-eyed, talisman Tarkan will be a part of Live Earth Istanbul. Arguably not only could Live Earth bring Tarkan luck, but Tarkan would help generate interest in the climate movement in Turkey.

Live Earth Istanbul Confirmed

Confirming details of the forthcoming Live Earth concert in Istanbul the former presidential candidate said: "Live Earth is taking place across all seven continents because the climate crisis affects us all - and all of us must be a part of the solution.

"Live Earth will engage individuals, corporations and governments to take action against the climate crisis."

The World Will Come to Istanbul

Beginning in Sydney and then calling at Tokyo, Shanghai, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro and finally New York, the July 7, 2007 Live Earth concerts with global warming themes will reach billions in Istanbul.

Marcel Avram, co-founder of Purple Concerts which will be producing Turkey's Live Earth, said the show was important for Turkish musicians.

"The invited artists who will perform at Live Earth will give a great contribution to the fight against global warming and they will get to introduce their music to the world," he said.

Tickets will go on sale June 18 and can be purchased at Biletix for 50 YTL.

Announcing the Acts

It was published yesterday that Mr. Gore did not reveal the artist line-up for the Istanbul leg of Live Earth, as previously reported by journalist Mark Mayhey in his news breaking story at Tarkan Deluxe.

Some in the Turkish media have suggested that the names of the singers and bands to perform at the concert will not be announced so as to remain a surprise. However, raising the number of participating artists from 28 to 30, Mr. Mayhey's sources have said announcement had been delayed due to the new additions, and that Live Earth and local concert organizer Purple Concerts would announce the line-up when tickets go on sale.

Last minute changes are common. The Turkish press had initially reported that the Turkish concerts were to take place at Inönü Stadium, but it was decided to be moved to a more historical setting just recently.

"We decided that it would be a pretty exciting atmosphere if the concerts take place in Yedikule because it is a historical place," said Cengizhan Yeldan, one of the founders of Purple Concerts. It also has a connection with the number 7, as yedi is seven in Turkish.

The Seven Towers Fortress was built during the Byzantine era and expanded during the Ottoman Empire, and has been used as a city wall and a prison.

Turkey's Talisman Tarkan

At the press conference yesterday Purple Concerts organizers hinted that the news speculation of a Turkish artist following Madonna's stage performance might to an extent be true. Repeating that the global event was important for Turkish musicians, "for example it will be the first time a Turkish artist will take to the stage after Madonna,"* Mr. Avram is reported to have commented.

Initial speculation in the papers had been that Tarkan may sing before Madonna and not after, with the Turkish pop star announcing her via link.

Tarkan is currently busy in the recording studio, working hard on his new Turkish songs. Recently spotted at a charity event alone, his long term partner Bilge Öztürk broke her usual silence to the press to talk about her boyfriend's upcoming album. Denying recent rumours that they had separated, "the album is going to be a great hit," she said.

* Editor's Note: Turkish pop artists Yonca Evcimik and Kenan Doğulu have technically taken the stage before Madonna, as warm up acts to her 1993 Girlie Show Tour in Istanbul.

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