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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Turkish Press on the Attack Again

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan in Taraf PaperIn a rare update to Tarkan's official site, the star has published an article that appeared in Turkish paper Taraf yesterday, condemning a recent late night news broadcast about the artist that claims - once again - the artist is "stealing" the Turkish taxpayer's money.

The 21 March dated column criticises long-term news anchorman Uğur Dündar's prime time news slot on national station Star TV for using Tarkan to gain ratings by mixing lie and conjecture.

The Taraf article questions the type of journalism Dündar is fronting, if it involves attacking an artist for getting paid for his art, while sending reporters out into the public to tell them falsely that Tarkan is making money off their taxes and to record their angry reactions. The Dündar news report also filmed Tarkan's lastest property acquisition in Istanbul, a luxury villa that is currently under expansive reconstruction as though to suggest this is where the public's tax revenue is going.

With no basis given for the "facts" and figures featured in the report, the newspaper article went on to push that the Turkish press needs to prepare a nationwide code of ethics to stop this sort of abusive journalism.

Taraf had also put the record straight when the near-lynching of the star by the Turkish media mafia - as he exited TRT's Istanbul studios after filming for the 2007 end-of-year show - took place.

This is not the first time Tarkan has been falsely accused of taking the taxpayer's money. Due to the circulation of media speculation about the artist's fee for his appearance on TRT's New Year show, the state broadcaster was forced to release a statement to explain that sponsors and not the TV station had covered the artist's fee, which had been considerably less than the exorbitant amounts claimed in the media.

Sections of the Turkish press and their attacks on the star reached new heights straight after the release of his 2007 album Metamorfoz.

Taraf is a new paper, which opened its doors in November 2007.

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