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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Album Sales Reach 300,000 in One Week

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Reports are coming in from the Turkish press that just into its second week of release, Tarkan's ground breaking Metamorfoz album has sold over 300,000 copies already, selling more in one week than last year's highest grossing Turkish album sold in twelve months.

While Turkish paper Sabah reports that the first shipment of 300,000 albums distributed nationwide was almost depleted, Hürriyet supplement Kelebek raised this estimate to 350,000 copies.

Tarkan has yet to release a promotional music video for his locomotive track "Vay Anam Vay", which is usually the vehicle necessary to push album sales.

With figures exceeding all expectation, fans are hoping to meet with a buoyant Tarkan for scheduled "signing days" at D&R stores across Turkey. The first is tomorrow in Istanbul, Kanyon D&R, at 17:00 (5 pm) local Turkish time.

Tarkan's messageIn an update at his official site, the artist has "left a message for his fans", thanking them for their "support, love and attention" towards his 2007 album.

Expressing that he realises the bond between his fans has been strengthened with Metamorfoz, he invites everyone to his Istanbul signing day with all the excitement that will bring*.

Tarkan TTNet Deal Aims to Dent Piracy

Tarkan fronts TTnet DealTurkey's most popular singer is looking to save the Turkish music industry in more ways than one.

Confirming Tarkan Deluxe's previous post, Tarkan has agreed to front telecommunications provider TTNet's campaign to legally download Turkish albums in a digital format for as little as 2 YTL (1 Euro). A press release was distributed, in conjunction with TV commercials that began to air today, about TTNetMüzik, where its members will have over 80,000 Turkish tracks available to them to legally download in selected formats.

Tarkan in attendance with the heads of the main music societies gave a press conference to combat music piracy

The press conference held for the opening of TTNetMüzik, truly welcoming Turkish music to the digital age and taking the first practical step in combating music piracy, was hosted at Istanbul's Doğus OtoMotion, and attended by Tarkan, himself, today.

Tarkan in attendance with the heads of the main music societies gave a press conference to combat music piracyIn attendance with the heads of TTNet, Mü-YAP (the Turkish performing rights organization for phonographic producers), MESAM and MSG (Turkish Musical Work Owners' Societies), and MÜYORBİR (Turkish Performers' Society), Tarkan gave his support by agreeing to allow his 2007 album be downloaded free and exclusively by TTNetMüzik members for a period of five months.

Stating that he had his "fingers burnt" by piracy, the artist went on to say:

Tarkan talking to reporters at TTNetMuzik press conference"I thank TTNet for its support of the music industry and its performers and invite all music lovers to TTNetMüzik. I fully back this drive. I hope that with this new music portal, justice will be served."

This agreement is a larger part of a "merger" between the main four Turkish music societies, when a protocol was signed for acting together dealing with licensing broadcasters, public places and digital uses.

There will be one central office which will work on behalf of all music societies, in an attempt to contribute to the cultural improvement and creativeness in Turkey.

Watch Tarkan at the TTNetMüzik Press Conference

Tarkan Speaks at the TTNetMüzik Press Conference
(SDN) (Aired on January 2008)

Click on the play button to view if your browser doesn't start the video on load.
Length: 3:01
Size: 3.30 MB
Sound: 158 kbps (Mono)
Language: Turkish (with subtitles)

Notes: A press conference attended by telecommunications giant TTNet, the major Turkish music associations and Turkish pop star Tarkan to unveil the Turkish digital music portal TTNetMüzik, where its members can legally download digital music, including Tarkan's 2007 album Metamorfoz.

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Tarkan Divides Turkish Press

Meanwhile, as none of the initial negative reports about Tarkan's image and 2007 release seem to have dented sales or public opinion, the popular singer continues to divide the Turkish press. Journalists with a higher standard of reporting are keeping those with none in line.

Against a few false news stories that tried to suggest Tarkan's New Year performance had been a ratings failure, came a backlash from other journalists. Using the data from respected ratings site Medyatava - as used by Tarkan Deluxe in its previous report - they presented the Turkish public with cold hard data that proved beyond any doubt Tarkan's TRT concert was the most watched concert on Turkish TV on the New Year, with rumours that even Turkish pop diva Sezen Aksu spent her New Year watching her old protégé on the small screen.

Aksu had been TRT's main attraction for its 2006-07 end-of-year show, but she decided to stay away from the screen this year.

Tarkan's Top TRT Show

Female columnist Nazlı Ilıcak writing for Sabah congratulated state broadcaster TRT in her article for winning the ratings war with Tarkan.

While listing artists such as Kenan Doğulu and Sibel Can in 25 and 30th positions, she also noted that possibly it was a good idea not having so much airtime on TV to stir the public interest.

"We saw a lot of music artists on the New Year," she writes, "but none managed to catch Tarkan."

Rating figuesFurthermore, Cengiz Semercioğlu, who has been defending Tarkan in his newspaper space by going so far as to reveal that there is an anti-Tarkan lobby in the Turkish press, has revealed minute-by-minute data showing that during the first strokes of midnight, Tarkan was first in the ratings in both the "EU" and overall categories.

Writing for Hürriyet, Semercioğlu posts figures (see left pic) that indicate the highest viewing ratings during the period 23:57-00:03 (11.57 pm-12.03 am) were pulled by TRT, a first for a long time in the state broadcaster's history.

"Now do you see," the reporter comments afterwards, "whether Tarkan was watched or not..."

Revealing that he has been criticised for defending Tarkan, he says that he will continue to do so as long as the Turkish media keep treating the artist unfairly.

Tarkan's Constant Metamorphosis

Hafta SonuHürriyet's Kelebek also reported about this week's edition of Turkish magazine Hafta Sonu (for which Tarkan gave his famous naked pose in 1994), that holds an article concerning Tarkan's image as a "never-ending metamorphosis".

The site has also published a new photo-gallery of Tarkan to show the various image changes Tarkan has gone through.

Tarkan Deluxe had previously translated Hürriyet columnist Onur Baştürk's article that had chronicled the history of Tarkan's changing style.

* UPDATE: The signing day event was cancelled due to heavy snow in Istanbul (4 January 2008).

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