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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Death Threat Sent to Tarkan's Manager

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

A recent report from a Turkish news agency suggests the dangers Tarkan faces living in an ever increasingly conservative Turkish society are becoming life-threatening.

Tarkan's new look back from America
Tarkan with his new look and back from America where the
star has close ties with the
Armenian community in New York
Along with the recent caustic reaction of his Turkish fans - and the Turkish press at large - to Tarkan's latest style and his general way of living, current news reports are revealing a darker aspect to such feelings. The chilling accounts give a more serious reason for Tarkan to need bodyguards than simply to protect the star from hysterical fans.

An unsettling trend of threatening high profile figures shows there is a different type of hysteria growing in Turkey. Similar to Europe and the UK, far-right groups are growing in number and popularity, along with conservative attitudes. Turkish paper Hürriyet has reported on one such fanatical group, which alleges to have also sent a death threat to Tarkan's manager.

The article dated 2 October 2009, taken from the Doğan News Agency (DHA), writes that after the police uncovered the group of sixteen fanatics it was discovered that there had been plans to murder the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and that they had sent a bullet to the offices of Tarkan's manager as a warning, too.

As the main political parties have been opening up European Union candidate Turkey to what is being hailed as a more democratic process of dealing with minority groups and their regional neighbours, far-right groups claiming to protect their Turkish identity have sprung up across the country, with their most recent high profile victim being the murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.

That group had also made death threats against Turkish writer and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, because of comments he had made asking for investigations into the alleged charges against the Ottomans in World War I made by Armenia.

Now with Turkey and Armenia set to start ties and open their borders, as far back as 2006 Tarkan Deluxe founder Ali Yildirim had urged Turkey to take the lead and open dialogue with Armenia to create "an arena with no dark corners" in which to fight its own diplomatic battles in Europe, and had called for what he termed as a humanistic globalisation after the murder of Dink a year later.

More recently, Tarkan Deluxe correspondent Mark Mayhey had criticised the exaggerated outcry of Tarkan fans for their narrow mindedness in Turkey, as they lambasted the artist's new look in fan forums.

"I say let Tarkan free. Let him be free to give other people the courage to look the way they want to look without fear of recrimination in Turkey. Don't be afraid of change," Mayhey had commented in his article "The Greatest Love of All".

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