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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Critics Fill in Tarkan's Blanks

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

News that digital downloads of Tarkan's tracks have reached the 100,000 mark at music portal TTNetMüzik follows the lead of other reports involving Tarkan at the top of popular lists.

As the word "metamorfoz" reached the Turkish Language Association's "most searched for" word list last month and Tarkan himself was listed by an IPSOS poll as a singer the Turkish public most like to listen to, it is no false claim that the past months of December and January have seen public interest in the singer rise.

However, seemingly reluctant to build on the sales buzz caused by the domestic release of his 2007 album Metamorfoz, while Tarkan has fallen silent, his critics are still talking.

Top Pop Musicologist Continues to Slam Star

Millyet's Sanat LogoTurkish media blog TarkanPLUS posted yesterday that Turkish newspaper Milliyet's monthly magazine supplement Sanat has given space to well-known musicologist Naim Dilmener, who has repeated his previous criticisms of Tarkan's 2007 release.

First out in 1972, the February issue of the long standing culture magazine has pop music critic Dilmener restate his view that Tarkan's metamorphosis is no change at all.

Suggesting that half the songs sound like "Kuzu Kuzu" and the other half sound like his other hits "Şıkıdım", "Şımarık" and "Dudu", Dilmener moans that such a star of the 90s and 2000s should be in a very different place creatively. He also takes issue with the lyrics to Tarkan's locomotive track "Vay Anam Vay" and the seemingly simple rhyming schemes the artist uses in the verses.

"If possible [the songs] should have made us go "Wow!" ... But it's a shame, for him and for us," Dilmener writes.

Tarkan Deluxe owner, Ali Yildirim, has given his own opinion on the lyrics, after having translated them into English for Tarkan Deluxe's core readership community to view, praising them for their poetical quality.

Gay Community Coordinator: Tarkan's Metamorphosis Years Ago

Meanwhile, even though Tarkan made a recent top ten gay icon list, it seems Tarkan's PR team are not paying attention to mend the bridges broken with the Turkish gay community. Once revering the singer as a top gay icon, the community seems to still be angry after alleged comments made by the artist to a Bulgarian magazine about homosexuality being "curable" in 2006.

Assistant Coordinator Barış Sulu, writing for Turkish gay rights' movement Kaos GL's magazine, has taken Tarkan to task over the artist's current transformation, claiming that the pop icon's real metamorphosis was years ago.

Reported by Turkish newspaper Akşam, Sulu has added Tarkan to his list of famous homosexuals - even though Tarkan has stated time again and that he is not gay in various interviews* - expressing that Tarkan's metamorphosis was not musical, but one of sexual repression.

Sulu "quotes" what Tarkan allegedly said: "In my youth I did such things (being with men he means) but I sought therapy. After a difficult time I 'sorted my self out'," he said. Photographs with his female lovers were splashed all across the papers. He was cured now. As heterosexuality isn't a situation that needs to be fixed, let's say he isn't able to learn in Turkey that homosexuality isn't something to be fixed. But didn't Tarkan learn it in the home of the gay rights' movement, the USA, either?"

While Tarkan Deluxe supports the rights of all minorities, trying to "shame" a celebrity with misquotes and hearsay in order to further a personal agenda serves no beneficial purpose to a movement that should know better.

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* Amongst others, Ayşe Arman's 2001 interview and 2006 interview for Turkish paper Hürriyet, Tempo Magazine interview (2006) and Eva Magazine (2006).

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