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Monday, January 28, 2008

Magazine Press Continues Attack

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan's critics have started to raise their voices again, in the fear that they may be drowned out by the wave the singer's 2007 release is causing in the Turkish public.

By blatantly trying to stem the flow of the artist's success, current articles in entertainment journals and newspaper columns - and even the action of some Turkish music channels to boycott Tarkan - all indicate the same agenda of a rising Turkish anti-Tarkan lobby.

Recently, with Turkish media blog TarkanPLUS' drive, Tarkan's "Vay Anam Vay" music video had been voted to take second place in the music rotation charts at a certain music channel. However, the poll was closed and the results ignored, with this week's list prepared without Tarkan even making an appearance.

In a display of complete disregard for public opinion, the contradictory stance of those promoting the industry against those that feed demand for the industry - the public - means there is an attempt to stifle popular opinion in order to boost their own agenda.

This unprofessional trend, which hosts such public bullying tactics to try and humiliate the artist, has begun to worry some reporters in the upper circles of journalism.

The Real American Copy-cat is the Magazine Press

Are music magazines becoming like women magazines in Turkey?One major criticism is that Tarkan is heavily influenced by American culture. It is ironic then that, listed most notably in the anti-Tarkan group, are music critics that have written for Turkish subsidiary magazines Billboard and Rolling Stone Turkish issues for February.

Instead of expecting these to be professional - or at least somewhat expert - opinions on music, their articles wouldn't seem out of place in a local Turkish woman's magazine for the subjective tone it takes with the star. As luck would have it, an article from another music critic featuring for a woman's magazine is written in the exact style as the articles found in Rolling Stone and Billboard. In another twist of irony, it is the "glam rag" owned by Turkish celebrity Hülya Avşar, whose younger sister had just recently praised Tarkan's latest musical incarnation in her own article.

You can subscribe and read Turkish magazine Hülya online here.

It seems that certain sections of the Turkish magazine market have a way of filtering quality, so that none gets through, or it could be that throwing dirt in a negative smear campaign is the true American way of such yellow journalism, which simply gets magnified under the glass of Turkish paparazzi press - either way, ultimately it will be Turkish music, and not Tarkan, that will pay the price if critics don't begin to act professionally.

Rolling Stone is already known for it's anti-Tarkan stance, when it published a derogatory article about the artist in 2006, and while Billboard can mess with personal tastes, it can't mess with cold hard public data, with nationwide airplay and sales forcing it to publish Tarkan top of its Turkish Billboard chart.

A Woman Scorned?

Finally, one female journalist stoops even so low as to openly lie in her newspaper column about Tarkan's recent signing day at Kanyon's D&R store in Istanbul, and makes herself sound like a dumped ex-lover of the singer.

Ayşe Özyılmazel, writing for Turkish paper Sabah - and not even realising in her blind hatred that is suggesting her own newspaper is falsifying accounts too - has tried to blow up a smokescreen for the record attendance shown at last Friday's event.

Video news footage aired by another American-Turkish subsidiary, CNN Türk, from the signing day shows clearly that Özyılmazel is lying when she says no fans were in attendance or going crazy over the star "as far as she could she".

And so it seems that for entertainment, Turkey takes the good, the bad and the ugly from America.

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