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Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Necessary Exposure

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

MTM's list of top celebrity news attractionsThe Turkish news ombudsman Medya Takip Merkesi (MTM) has published its customary monthly report of what has currently taken up the most space in domestic media channels.

In the month of January, Tarkan topped the list for celebrity news by a large margin, making an appearance in 1,756 news stories last month (see left pic). Seeing a rise in interest of almost 60% due to the release of his 2007 domestic album Metamorfoz, Tarkan was discussed mostly in supplements, newspapers and magazines.

However, since the start of February, the buzz surrounding the artist has seemed to die down.

Working in a Hostile Environment

TarkanPLUSAn editorial piece run by Turkish media blog TarkanPLUS on Thursday discusses the lack of dynamic updates at Tarkan's official site, and whether this "period of media silence" from the artist will affect CD sales of Tarkan's Metamorfoz.

Citing the current top selling lists at D&R stores - where after almost two months at the top of the charts Tarkan has slipped to third place - and emails sent in by its readers complaining about the lack of updates at Tarkan.com, the editor emphasises that ever since Tarkan's successful signing day at Istanbul's Kanyon D&R store, Tarkan and his media spokespeople have failed to build on the ground gained by the positive PR.

The editorial suggests the reason for Tarkan's silence is that the artist is busy preparing for a second music video, but with the difficult environment Tarkan finds himself in, the artist needs to keep interest in his works in the mainstream domain.

Tarkan's songs are promoted in a hostile environment created by the press and the music channels, which either boycott or limit airtime for Tarkan's videos contrary to popular demand, to push less successful artists that figure high on their own agenda. However, Tarkan appears high on lists that generate revenue - such as mobile ring tune lists - emphasising that the media is ready to make money off Tarkan, but not to promote him.

Music magazines have picked up this discriminatory standard, by either blackballing the artist off their pages, or satirising him to the point of ridicule, while failing to make any serious criticisms of his latest works. As the TarkanPLUS editorial points out, this anti-Tarkan lobby in the media collective have begun to treat Tarkan as a despised "other" or outcast.

Tarkan to Appear on Turkish TV?

Beyazıt Öztürk, more popularly known as Beyaz, is still running a campaign to get Tarkan to appear on his successful talk show.

The stand-up comedian mentions Tarkan in an interview for Hafta Sonu magazine this week, where he expresses that he wants to "very much" host the artist on his weekly late night entertainment slot on Turkish TV channel Kanal D.

Giving the pop icon a "free pass" for the interview, Beyaz said, "We can speak on any subject he wants. He can give a concert. He can do whatever he wants."

There are rumours of a slim chance Tarkan may appear on Beyaz Show towards the end of February.

Tarkan Working for the Young

Tarkan on Gencim's front coverIt's the nature of the Turkish paparazzi press that worthy news stories don't get the exposure that circulates some allegations, such as the fee dispute for Tarkan's performance on state broadcaster TRT's end-of-year show which later turned out to be false. However, Tarkan Deluxe ends with two good stories that shows Tarkan working towards the benefit of the Turkish youth, without much media fanfare.

While Turkish paper Vatan prints that Tarkan is going to help sponsor the building of educational facilities in a southerly district of Turkey, Milliyet's supplement for young people Gencim has today printed an interview Tarkan gave the publication, headlined as "I Say No To Smoking".

Prepared by university students, the award-winning supplement's interview with Tarkan was prepared by young adults from Maltepe University.

In the report - taken at the Kanyon D&R signing day - Tarkan reveals that he used to smoke in his twenties, but realising it lowered the quality of life, gave it up and advises readers to do the same.

A Tarkan Deluxe reader had recently asked whether Tarkan smoked or not, with Ali Yildirim referencing a May 2007 TV report where Tarkan voices his anti-smoking stance.

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