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Monday, July 27, 2009

Tarkan Under Attack by Big Business

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Famous Turkish popstar Tarkan has come under attack by powerful corporation Cengiz Holding's corporate director Ekrem Cengiz for the singer's public campaign against the building of a controversial dam in southeastern Turkey.

Founded in 1980 as Cengiz Construction, Cengiz Holding has become a giant corporation of twelve organisations, serving successfully in numerous fields of business such as construction, energy, mining and tourism.

Environmental or Political Concerns?

Quoted by newspaper Hürriyet's financial supplement, Cengiz accuses Tarkan of being a pawn to more sinister, political motivations at work in protesting the construction of the dam, to which Cengiz Holding is planning to help build for the Turkish government.

The dam project was dealt a severe blow recently when an international consortium of German, Austrian and Swiss companies withdrew their financial support, accusing Turkey of failing to meet environmental concerns and commitments to relocate people affected by the dam.

The dam, if completed, would be one of the largest in the region. But it is the centre of a growing national and international campaign by environmentalists to stop it.

"A Pawn for Certain Powers-that-be"

Aiming to produce 3.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year and boost economic prosperity in the country's less developed region, "The camps of [home-grown terrorists] will be submersed under water, we will take control of our water," Cengiz claims in reports out today, emphasising that the dam would be built despite growing opposition from environmentalists and human rights groups both at home and abroad.

And - from the same region as Tarkan's father - Cengiz had harsh words for the son of a man who hailed from his own home of Rize.

"What type of Black Sea man are you? Tarkan is from the Black Sea. A dam was built there but he didn't make any noise. I can only assume he is the pawn of certain powers-that-be," he is quoted to have said.

"If he wants greenery he should go to Rize. How many times has he gone there anyway?"

Based on Science

Tarkan had appeared on TV this month to reiterate his support for the campaign against the dam after a public statement from the Turkish minister of the environment that the star had been "misinformed".

Having stressed the fact they were opposing the dam based on scientific research, "To hear people say that they'll build the dam against all odds seems odd to me really. We are trying to protect the lands in our country. That's why such speeches don't mean much to me," Tarkan had said in response to the minister's comments.

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