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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Thoughtful Talent

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan in 1993 wearing a T-shirt campaigning against the building of a nuclear reactorIn Turkish newspaper Sabah's celebrity supplement Günaydin Özgür Gürbüz writes about Tarkan and the artist's concerns for the world.

Printing the earlier news that Tarkan has partnered up with Doğa Derneği, a Turkish ecological preservation society, the columnist reveals that Tarkan has been an environmentalist for a long time.

Gürbüz reports that in 1993, Tarkan supported a campaign against the building of a nuclear reactor in Turkey by giving proceeds from an October 9 concert at Istanbul's Harbiye for the cause.

The paper released a photograph of Tarkan from that year, showing the star wearing a T-shirt fronting the campaign (see top left pic).

Tarkan standing next to wind turbines, for his 2007 albumIt is planned that he will become the face and ambassador of Turkish nature society Doğa Derneği for three years, and has already hosted their logo on his 2007 album, while the concept of the album art hosts a variety of "warning" scenes to do with the current environment. In one picture he is standing next to wind turbines, reportedly what Tarkan sees as one of the alternatives to nuclear energy.

Tarkan Like Peter Pan

Meanwhile in a thoughtful review of Tarkan's past music career and 2007 album Metamorfoz, prestigious paper Radikal's columnist Sevin Okyay mentions that once meeting Tarkan, it is hard not to like him.

Her January article suggests that, as always, Tarkan's songs need time to brew in the public's consciousness, and that they sound better with each listening, but has no qualms that the album will be successful. She also advises that Tarkan film a video to the second track, "Dilli Düdük".

In her final paragraph she gives a reason for Tarkan's musical difference; namely because Tarkan is from "two cultures" in one sense, born in Germany and raised in Turkey.

"Tarkan is a child of two cultures," she writes. "Though I don't think he has been made to feel like an outsider too much, I've always thought this had something to do with the way some of the people treat him here ... Of here and there. And of neither. A child with no land like Peter Pan. And an acquaintance, a lover of music since the first. From those I know, he sings Turkish classical pieces the most correctly, performing them as they were meant to be. In love with music since a child, Tarkan is a man that is serious about making music. Metamorfoz is his most recent step on this road. I believe he will never let go of music, and will go even further."

PETA Warns Tarkan

And while environmentalists, and people of different cultures may appreciate the star, animal lovers are criticising Tarkan for his 2006 English language album's image, where the singer had worn fake fur.

Turkish paper Milliyet reports that the Turkish arm of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has recently released a letter heavily criticising the idol of millions in his home country for using fake fur as an image accessory. Expressing that there could be "no excuse" for wearing fur, the press release advises Tarkan to bury any items he may have.

Tarkan and his long-term girlfriend Bilge Öztürk are known for their love of animals and nature. Last year it had been published in the press that Öztürk had opened a line of accessories for domestic pets, while being described as someone that refuses to "wear real fur, or bags and shoes made from animal skin", and as far back as 1996, in a magazine interview, Tarkan had expressed that the thing he would most defend would be the preservation of stray animals.

Tarkan Number One for Radio Airplay

Tarkan number one at Radyo DThe Milliyet article also describes Tarkan as a singer whose songs are currently riding top of the charts.

This is corroborated by Turkish radio station Radyo D's Top 40, where Tarkan has hit the top spot for airplay with his opening track "Vay Anam Vay". The station was one of the first to play Tarkan's song on its release in December 2007.

The multi-platinum selling pop star has yet to release a promotional music video for the song.

Tarkan's 2007 album sold over a quarter of a million copies in its first week of release.

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