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Saturday, February 09, 2008

For the 1000th Time

However clichéd it may be, it is in human nature to mark milestones.

This is the blog's 1000th post. A thousand posts in nearly four years may not read like much, it doesn't even average a post a day, but we have tried to aim for quality, not quantity.

Tarkan Deluxe has come a long way from my first two posts in 2004 to this one, in just a thousand short steps. But I want to share this milestone post with its readers and not post about the blog myself. So here is a selection of your mails from the week:

Paola from Milan, Italy, writes:

Dear Ali, how are you? I hope you're fine. Are you still in your beautiful island? Let me thank you again for your interest in Tarkan, without you i couldn't appreciate the news about him and his job. But now I'm upset with that so called "musicologist" Dilmener [and his comments about the Metamorfoz album]. Now: one can say "opinions are free" but what he stated are not opinions but falsities. One can say "I like it, I don't" but he can't say "half the songs sound like "Kuzu Kuzu" and other songs sound like etc etc". Sorry this is false. When I was a journalist for classical music (I've a degree from Milan Conservatorio) I discovered that the pop music critics we have don't know nothing about music, they listen to music but they don't know it. So how can they judge? Did this Dilmener understood for example that in "Bam Teli" there is a surprising echo of Bach? (with clavicembalo, electronic of course) Or that in "Pare Pare" you have some Vivaldi in addition to the piano? And this is like "Kuzu Kuzu"? Not to mention the instrumental and rhythmic parts in "Van Anam Vay" or "Hup" [from 2001 Karma album], quite new, it seems to me, maybe good or not, but certainly new.

And what is these new about Youtube? I can see Tarkan videos on Youtube still?

Thank you so much for your passionate and informative mail. I agree with you about the criticisms that Metamorfoz has received from critics, because their justifications don't stand up to scrutiny. Divided into those that generally complain Tarkan sounds no different than his previous works while others moan that he's lost his uniqueness and become a US import, such great extremes in criticism for one album seem absurd.

Dilmener, as with most of Tarkan's critics, has his own personal agenda. Most in the music industry feel that Tarkan has become too conservative and no longer speaks for the marginalised (in their calculations a loss of street credibility equals a loss in music credibility) and so are ironically marginalising him. Conversely, there are those criticising him for becoming less traditional and too American, and feel let down by the standard bearer of Turkish pop seemingly having turned his back on his own traditional music. In an effort to "punish" him, critics at both ends of this "shooting gallery" spectrum have rallied themselves into a corner thinking that the public would buy into their beliefs and hit Tarkan where it hurts - in music sales. That's the reason why the tone of the criticisms are so personal; because for some reason or another due to the crisis between Tarkan and the Turkish celebrity media, they have taken it personally.

In my opinion, whereas Tarkan might be saying something new, the Turkish paparazzi are parroting nothing new. I've seen this all before.

I've also received mails from a few fans that have requested me to write more about the current situation and the music of Metamorfoz and how it relates to his previous works. I am in the middle of preparing articles on this issue.

UPDATE: My articles about Metamorfoz can now be read here (Feb, 2008).

Tarkan videos removed at YouTube

The removal of Tarkan videos from YouTube by major Turkish music society Mü-YAP is correct, but this doesn't mean that they have removed all videos or that people are not putting them back up. Most notably, the ones deleted are the ones that had accumulated viewing figures in the millions. But it would be good to point out, as you say, that there are still videos of Tarkan on YouTube, just not as varied or as many as there once was.

UPDATES: Tarkan opens official YouTube channel (2012) >>

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Heather S. in USA, writes:

One big difference between US music artists and Tarkan? Here in the US we may slate but we also know how to rate our talent! How Tarkan can be creative in such an environment? Give him more credit for doing so!

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Tariq in Brighton, England, writes:

I am gay, but I don't agree with the Turkish gay rights movement and the way they keep bothering Tarkan. I don't believe he actually made any comments like that. I mean, he is Turkish speaking in English to a Bulgarian woman speaking in English [in the Eva magazine report]? Something MUST have got lost along the way in translation. It's so out of character for Tarkan I feel .. still number one for me in world music.

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Orestes in Athens, Greece, writes:

Tarkan has got big following in Greek gay community here ... No one has got a famous US music artist to rap in their language yet, only Tarkan first in my best loved song "Aman Aman" [with Wyclef Jean]! Only until differently, Tarkan is the best thing out of Turkey. Ever. Full stop. I would invite Tarkan to do a Greek duet! What do you think?

That would be a great idea! I've always thought Italian or Spanish would have been an explosive mix, but language is really no barrier in my opinion, if the right balance is met. Personally, just for the moment, I'd like him to go even further back "to his musical roots" and bring out a very swinging jazz infused Turkish classical album. We can but dream ...

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K.D in Vancouver BC, Canada, writes:

It's easy for people to open up their mouths without thinking and to criticise. It is harder to shut up and put up. You do the latter, with great style! You create, and have created a beautiful space for those like-minded to come and enjoy some different culture but from many different points of view. If you are representative of the Turkish people, then what a great people you must be.

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O.T. in Ukraine, writes:

Amazing ... I think what if nothing you did was on net? ... it would be a big hole for Tarkan fans. But this makes people who don't even know you properly, haven't even seen you, think they have right to complain to you. People who have problems with Tarkan, crazy fans like me :) People who work for Tarkan and get money for it do not work as hard as your blog. Official sites need to wake up, because you and Tarkan are great ambassadors for Turkish culture.

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Joshua in Eindhoven, Holland, writes:

I want to contribute to your photoblog Tarkan Visual, as it has given me so many pictures I didn't have of Tarkan and without watermarking. I am sending you pictures of Tarkan's 2008 calendar to add there. Thank you for sharing.

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Merrie in Barcelona, Spain, writes:

I have come to result Tarkan is very beautiful man. Why you may ask. His calendar of 2008 is proof of this. There is theory that beautiful people have symmetrical faces. Look on front of Tarkan calendar. This is two same sides of Tarkan but one reversed and it still looks like Tarkan! Normal faces usually make you look different when mirror trick is used, but Tarkan's face is almost symmetrical face (see from nose). This means he has a rare, classical beautiful face, and if he were alive in days of Leonardo [da Vinci] or some great painter, I believe his face would be painted by all the great artists.

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Steven in Leeds, England, writes:

The poetry [stuff] you do is wicked. I've been reading some of your [stuff] (just street wised up) to my lady, and it turns her on like the business. Tarkan is be proud to have someone like you in his corner. I don't see no other talent bloggin about a talent, not even for English artists. Respect.

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C.C. in New York, USA, writes:

God! I forgot how great your poetry was and how much I'd missed it! You have a unique style and mix words in ways I haven't read before. More please!

UPDATE: Read the reader feedback for this post here. (February 2008)

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