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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The World Waits for Tarkan

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

As Tarkan fans from all across the world converge in England for his scheduled London Wembley Arena show tomorrow, the stories in the Turkish press centre on other regions of the globe preparing for a visit from the Turkish pop idol.

Writing for paper Hürriyet, columnist Şükrü Küçükşahin analyses the effect Tarkan has had on Russians, in relation to them wanting the artist to participate in the celebrations of 2008 - the Year of Turkey in Russia.

Quoting the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, at a recent dinner in Moscow, Küçükşahin writes that the agency head feels Tarkan is "very important" for closer cultural ties between both nations.

Strzhalkovsky stressed that Tarkan was beneficial for both Turkey and Russia, as the agency gained political favour by giving the public what they wanted, too.

"Tarkan comes every year; but the young people still want him. Especially our girls want him very much, because they really love him. He must come this year, too. These girls influence the vote of their partners, and don't forget they are all part of the electorate," he said.

Along with expectations of a show at the Russian festival, there are also rumours of a 2008 Turkish tour including Istanbul and Ankara, with several gigs in Germany and an appearance in Mexico being discussed.

Plans for Another TRT Project

Telekom posterNews stories published by Haberturk and MarketingTürkiye reveal that Tarkan is scheduled for another performance in conjunction with state broadcaster TRT - this time for Turkish International Children's Day.

The state broadcaster, under the sponsorship of formerly state owned Turkish telecommunications company Türk Telekom, has organised celebrations for the special day - declared by Turkey's founder Kemal Mustafa Atatürk and celebrated on 23 April - every year since 1979.

To mark their 30th year anniversary, news reports reveal that celebrations will be the largest ever spanning over 10 days and 10 nights, between 16-26 April in Antalya, and hosting children from 39 countries along with 200 dignitaries.

Tarkan is scheduled to give a performance on 23 April at the Glass Pyramid Sabancı Congress and Exhibition Center (Cam Piramit) starting at 20:00 (8 p.m.) local time, to be aired live on TRT.

Reports are that he will be accompanied by the world renowned "Fire of Anatolia" dance troupe.

Tarkan is known for his affection for children, notably revealed in his secret trips to a Turkish orphanage documented by a fan in 2001.

The artist had previously appeared on TRT's end-of-year show to welcome in 2008.

And Finally...Exposure of a Different Kind

In a continuation of our news snippets post - paper Sabah mentions Tarkan in three news stories, one in regard to a female pop singer waiting in vain for the artist, and the other two involving the long-term female in his life, lawyer Bilge Öztürk.

While pop singer Demet Akalın is still using Tarkan's name to get exposure in the press - with reports claiming that she no longer likes the star for ignoring her - in a rare TV outing Öztürk has reportedly appeared on Turkish station Cine 5's magazine slot "Çok Özel" talking about her famous boyfriend.

In a second Sabah article, the pop idol's girlfriend made the headlines herself this time, with the news that her company FNDK - which sells designer accessories for home pets - had bagged itself a Hollywood starlet as its most recent customer.

The story claims that US actress Jessica Alba loved the designs so much that she ordered bags for all three of her dogs.

Selling designer accessories for home pets began as a hobby for Öztürk, setting up a company with a fellow lawyer. The company's logo is a mutation of her dog's name "Fındık" (Hazelnut).

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