Tarkan Gave Up Award For Love
Turkish newspaper Hürriyet's celebrity supplement Kelebek reports today how Tarkan lost out on his first award of 2008 because of love.
The Turkish Patent Institute planned to award Tarkan the "Golden Brand" Award - which is presented at a large celebration and handed over personally by the Turkish prime minister - and had notified the artist of their intention. The Kelebek news story also presents the letter sent to Tarkan.
However, as the award ceremony coincided with Valentine's Day, the singer refused to change his plans, preferring to spend the day celebrating with his long-time girlfriend in New York instead.
On informing the TPI that he could only accept the award by sending someone on his behalf, the Institute decided to give the award to actress and celebrity Hülya Avşar (whose younger sister had just recently praised Tarkan's latest musical incarnation in her own article) in his place.
The TPI is an independent legal entity with a special budget being attached to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Turkey.
Digital Downloads to Count as Sales
On his way to the USA for Valentine's Day, Tarkan noted to reporters that the online downloading had replaced regular piracy, but there are plans in the Turkish music industry to have legal downloads offset the slump caused by music pirates on CD sales.
Günaydın - the magazine section of Turkish paper Sabah - has reported that major Turkish Music Society Mü-YAP has decided to incorporate digital sales in their yearly listings (including ring tones and cellular downloads) due to the huge interest recently generated by TTNetMüzik, where the online digital music portal has logged almost two million sales since opening at the beginning of this year.
The report also states that Tarkan's 2007 album Metamorfoz is the highest earner at TTNetMüzik, with close to 100,000 sales.
Tarkan took part in the press conference for the opening of TTNetMüzik, which was hosted at Istanbul's Doğus OtoMotion on 3 January, hailing Turkish music into the digital age and taking the first practical step in combating music piracy.
Mü-YAP's move is seen as another major positive step to boost legal music sales in Turkey and combat music piracy. The UK had only recently accepted digital downloads as part of the tally towards chart sales, and it wasn't expected for Turkey to follow suit so soon.