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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Turkish Media Make Example of Tarkan

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Turkish journalists' Tarkan TweetsCunyet Ozdemir's TweetsOray Egin's Tweets

In a quick look at the Turkish news coverage about Turkey's international recording artist, World Music Award winner Tarkan, the general theme is one of the star being made or used as an example.

First up are the public tweets of two Turkish journalists, where they have responded about Tarkan's latest cut - not a new song - but his hair, with one reporter adamant it proves the artist is homosexual.

Oray Eğin, columnist for paper Akşam, and one time CNN Turk reporter Cüneyt Özdemir reacted to the news of Tarkan's hairstyle with Eğin writing, "Tarkan has come out with that hairdo. If there's another straight man with that hair, please come forward."

Özdemir responded by suggesting whether a reporter should ask Tarkan about his hair or his private parts, asking what Eğin meant by his remarks.

"This is the only thing he'll ever deny. I'm going to create a special team to get him out of the closet," Eğin wrote.

Having covered his new look up at the Luca Luca fashion show to a Turkish news agency at the beginning of his trip to New York City this month, Tarkan had revealed his latest semi-chopped locks at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park on 13 September, after it was snapped by paparazzi and put on US celebrity website LIFE.

The Tarkan fan community had inadvertently given a Turkish reporter the heads up about the star's new look, when fans had stumbled on the pictures whilst searching for pictures of the LIVES NYC charity event reported by Tarkan Deluxe and attended by the artist on the 16 September.

The reporter decided to leak the pictures to the gutter press, with some of the negative comments made in a fanclub thrown in to make a story - which was quickly distributed by major magazine portals.

A Twit-ta-woo Over Nothing

Tarkan and publicist Avo Yermagyan
Hair in NYC; Tarkan with US Publicist
Avo Yermagyan/LIFE
Meanwhile, a paper firmly in the anti-Tarkan lobby, conservative daily Bugün has published six negative comments made in Tarkan fanclubs about Tarkan's recent hairstyle, as though representative of Tarkan fans as a whole to show what they suggested was a backlash against the artist from the Tarkan faithful.

Tarkan Deluxe asked its own readers what they thought - not of the star's hairstyle - but of the comments, with the general consensus being that real music fans would focus on the music rather than mohican.

"I think everyone has a right to think what they think, but frankly I find it disgusting that those people [in the press] would rather speak about Tarkan's hairstyle than the fact that he was at a CHARITY event to save the lives of needy children in NYC," wrote one fan in Miami, USA. "And those other people [in the fanclub] don't speak for me as a Tarkan fan, they speak for themselves."

Another, more irate fan from India, decried the parts of the fan community involved in the report. "[That fanclub] got promotion off the back of Tarkan, by helping a horrible journalist try and make fun of Tarkan! I used to be a member, but I removed my membership immediately! If anyone is a real fan of Tarkan, they would not go there again."

And when we asked British music journalist Mark Mayhey, who published an article at Tarkan Deluxe discussing the untrustworthiness of the Turkish gutter press, to comment he had this to say: "I'm amazed they focused on his hair and not his Armenian friend, especially with the recent silly rumours that Tarkan is Armenian himself. What will happen now? Will Azerbaijan boycott all Tarkan songs now, like Armenians have boycotted Turkish goods all these years? Who'd have thought a trip to the Big Apple would turn out to be such a small maggot."

Finally, a Polish fan writing on holiday in Turkey suggested, "It's an Islam thing. I just think because Tarkan decided to go only to America while here [in Turkey] was month of Ramadan, when my friends tell me it is tradition for artists to stay low, and went to all these parties and glamour things. It's just not done, and Tarkan always breaks with rules I guess. So maybe it's really about that.

"But it's only a haircut people, get a life."

Others Talking Tarkan

In other reports elsewhere, instead of being made an example of, Tarkan's name is used as an example.

While a journalist mentioned Tarkan as an example of globalisation with culture knowing no boundaries in Turkey's push for political and social modernisation, another report wrote about a Turkish veteran from Tarkan's paternal homestead of Rize on Turkish Veteran's Day yesterday complaining to the press about a lack of public interest in commemorating those soldiers "not fallen, but heroes nevertheless."

Expressing his anger at being forgotten, "If they told people Tarkan was coming, they'd be out to celebrate in no time," the retired soldier was quoted as saying.

And to end on a musical note - in a report with a new artist who uses Tarkan as an example in his climb through the ranks of the Turkish pop industry - Emir talks of Tarkan helping him get his name and his voice heard across Turkey while on the set of the shoot for his second video single.

Watch Emir talk about Tarkan:

Report footage courtesy of Powerturk

Watch more: Emir's music video "Eline Düştüm" >>

<< Tarkan at NYC Events | Tarkan News Index | "I Don't Care What You Think" >>

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