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Monday, June 02, 2008

Private Lives Made Public

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan and Bilge celebrating her 30th birthday this February
Tarkan and Bilge celebrating her 30th birthday this February
For weeks now the Turkish celebrity press has been focusing on Tarkan's private life and wondering whether he has really ended his seven year relationship with lawyer and businesswoman Bilge Öztürk.

Amidst a lot of speculation, including rumours that they have been seeing other people, two reports now claim that allegations of a split-up are false.

One article published by Star Gazete quotes female singer and close friend Kibariye who stresses that the celebrity couple are still together during an interview, while Hürriyet columnist Onur Baştürk claims in his article that Öztürk denied all the current speculations about a rift between the couple when he asked her about Tarkan.

Tarkan and Bilge Still Together

After a recent interview published by Turkish paper Sabah for the release of her 2008 album, singer Kibariye briefly talks about Tarkan once again for Star Gazete and this time explains why she added him to the list of names she thanked on her most recent work, even though he didn't contribute to it.

During the chat she also mentions Tarkan's girlfriend Öztürk, calling her "his wife"*.

"He deserves it ... God broke the mould when making him. He hasn't let fame corrupt him, a real man, a very special, family man. I always listen to whatever he says. I want him to stay the way he is always, never change, his wife is good, too."

In response to a question about the split-up, she is quoted as saying, "No way, what split-up? They wouldn't break up, God willing, they are devoted to each other, I'm witness to that. They really look into each other's eyes. I think people out to harm them started the rumour. I heard it, too, but I don't believe it because I spoke with Tarkan yesterday.

"They really love each other. I wish people wouldn't spread such gossip. If they do break up I'll be upset, because Bilge is really nice. I hope they have a baby."

Kibariye had sang a duet with the Turkish pop artist in 2006.

And Bilge Speaks...

Meanwhile, a day after a Sabah reporter published that although they were having difficulties Tarkan and Öztürk were back together, Hürriyet reporter Baştürk in his 31 May column headlined "And Bilge Speaks" claims they were never apart to begin with.

Baştürk's article touches on the recent rumours of the celebrity couple seeing other people and claims to have spoken to Öztürk about the matter, who explained her recent absences from Tarkan's concerts.

Öztürk reportedly told Baştürk that she has been away in Spain on business meeting to open her FNDK chain - which sells designer accessories for home pets - in the country, while the other rock singer she has been linked with in the press is her client and a friend of 15 years.

The article states that Öztürk believes the recent rumours arose when she couldn't attend some of Tarkan's concerts due to business, but was spotted at a concert of her rocker friend one evening.

"Recently I haven't been able to go to 3 or 4 of Tarkan's concerts due to business, so I think that's why people thought this..." she is reported to have said.

And in response to the news reports that Tarkan had supposedly confirmed the split, Öztürk explains that all the pop artist did was confirm that they were together, but didn't want to comment about it.

Baştürk also interviewed Tarkan for Aktüel magazine on the eve of the 2003 release of Dudu, while more recently, alongside a scathing attack on the artist's latest works, the reporter had chronicled a history of Tarkan's sexy imagery.

In 2007, he had leaked the lyrics to Sezen Aksu's song "Nezaket" in his September 2007 column, too, which was removed from Tarkan's album Metamorfoz.

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* It is unclear whether Kibariye is calling Öztürk Tarkan's wife as a traditional nickname - as they've been together for seven years - or it's an indication other rumours about the couple secretly being married might possibly be true.

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