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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tarkan News Round-up in Brief Extra

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

In an extra presentation of short summaries from Turkish entertainment and news channels about Tarkan, reports range from Tarkan's crowded Ereğli show to further updates on the artist's struggle to save a historical region in his home nation.

News in Brief Extra

Turkish paper Hürriyet's financial pages have published an article in which the Turkish minister for environment and forestry, Veysel Eroğlu, has reiterated that "Turkey will construct the Ilısu Dam by its own means," after the recent cancellation of credit assurances that were to be provided by Western investors for the Ilısu Hydroelectric Dam project.

Minister Eroğlu also stressed that, "for some [the region] is just a word, but we carry it in our hearts" - although Hürriyet columnist Gila Benmayor has questioned this in a recent article, which outlines bringing Tarkan on board to raise awareness of the issue as a big achievement.

Benmayor writes that the investors withdrew because the Environment Ministry failed to pass conditions put forth by Austria and Switzerland due to pressure from both European and Turkish public financial institutions, to preserve the balance between the construction of the dam, cultural heritage, those displaced by the project and the region's ecology.

Reporting on previously posted news that recent findings now seem to date the historic region back 15,000 years, the deadline for the Turkish government to meet the conditions had been 6 July, on which date Germany, Austria and Switzerland announced they would be recalling their credit agreement.

Even though the Turkish government has called this a political ploy by European parties, and that they had plans to re-locate the historical region, Benmayor describes this as simply "playing with the historical fabric of a region" that "no longer seems like a clever solution".

Alongside Benmayor's column, other journalists have also been mentioning Tarkan's nature campaign, with Milliyet's Derya Sazak lauding the popstar for his bravery - emphasising that the artist should be applauded for his recent efforts and his response to the government on TV - and Sabah's senior correspondent Hıncal Uluç berating the TV stations for not allowing Tarkan's campaign song "Uyan" even more airtime.

Having had the chance to see the music video to "Uyan" while at Tarkan's live performance in Çeşme recently, Uluç is quoted as saying that if he were a main controller at the stations he would have the video on daily rotation.

"Maybe the public would wake up," he said.

"The Greatest Festivals Ever"

The press are still reporting on Tarkan's "busy weekend" where he made live appearances at two major Turkish festivals, to critical and public appraise.

The biggest independent Eurovision Song Contest website, Esctoday.com has posted an article on the 20th Çeşme International Water Sports Festivities and Music Festival that writes about the appearance of "Turkish megastar Tarkan", while paper Milliyet columnist Hamdi Türkmen observes how the festival held a final "singularly spectacular, perfect and extraordinary enough to be spoken about for months," adding that Tarkan was watched by thousands of people in a jam-packed auditorium.

Meanwhile, as other reports describe Tarkan's following Black Sea show at the 16th International Love, Peace and Friendship Festival as "its most crowded day," entertainment columnist Kubilay Keskin writing for Hürriyet's celebrity supplement Kelebek writes that 720,000 people watched Tarkan's headline show on the gig's closing day.

Plus, one article quotes Mayor of Ereğli, Halil Posbıyık, saying that the aim had been to raise the festival's profile, which they had done successfully.

"We're still getting congratulatory messages from all over Europe and Turkey. There was unbelievable interest, the TV stations constantly aired our footage," he said.

Elsewhere Sabah writes that Tarkan's concert requests are modest compared to the astronomical demands of US stars that come to sing in Turkey - with the Turkish popstar's requests reportedly being a treadmill, French soda for the jacuzzi, whisky in the bar, pistachio nuts and plenty of towels for the room he stays in - another Sabah story prints that Tarkan's wealthy friend Ali Ağaoğlu cut his family holiday short so that he could shuttle the popstar between festivals with his private helicopter.

The article claims that the star flew from the Çeşme show to the Turkish Black Sea event, after his friend Ağaoğlu had promised him the use of his helicopter that weekend.

Tarkan and entrepreneur Ağaoğlu have been mentioned in a few reports before, as Tarkan had sung live at a special show on 24 June promoting the scheduled construction of Ağaoğlu's latest residential project in Istanbul.

Music Collaborations Update

Sibel Can in her new video to Tarkan song Cantada KeklikEntering the the Billboard charts at 22nd place in its first week, Sibel Can's music video to the Tarkan composed track "Çantada Keklik" began rotation recently, with entertainment stories printing that Can is seeing a huge surge in interest for her songs. Reportedly offers are pouring in for commercials, concerts and contracts for TV work.

The much speculated Tarkan song is the first release filmed from her 2009 album Benim Adım Aşk (My Name is Love). Tarkan had waived his fee for the song on the condition that Can donate the money to the Association for Support of Modern Life (Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği) for the education of girls in Turkey.

Tonight with Saba Tümer on Haberturk TV

Can also recently appeared on a Turkish TV show for Haberturk to talk about the album, and denied rumours that the song - which is about being taken for granted by a lover - was about her current divorce proceedings against her husband. "This song was bought a year ago," she said.

A close friend of Tarkan's, Can spoke warmly of the popstar on the show Saba Tümer'le Bu Gece (Tonight with Saba Tümer), saying that Tarkan was the world's kindest person, and there wasn't many like him left, to which the presenter agreed. Can hinted that Tarkan watched the show as well.

Tonight with Saba Tümer TV Spot (© Haberturk TV)
And Tarkan signed new pop act Emir has been on the same Turkish TV show, too, to talk about his lucky break in meeting with the popstar.

With his Tarkan penned track "Ben Sen Olamam" (I Can't Be You) currently at 5th place in the Billboard charts in its third week, Emir explained that music arranger Ozan Çolakoğlu introduced the two after Tarkan heard Emir's songs.

Emir said he told Tarkan that the singer was an idol to his generation and it would be an honour to sing one of his songs.

New Album Gossip

Screencap of entertainment gossipFinally, other entertainment reports (pictured left) are circulating the rumour that Tarkan has scrapped his speculated release for 2009, supposedly on the advice of Sezen Aksu.

The gossip is that Aksu visited Tarkan in the studio and after listening to the 2009 songs was of the opinion that Çolakoğlu's arrangements sounded more from the 1990s, to which Tarkan responded by postponing the album due to be released in October this year for 2010.

Instead, the rumours go that Tarkan is now planning to release a single, with the reports printing what they claim to be the refrain to the new song.

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