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Sunday, November 08, 2009

More Tarkan in the Columns

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

After music commentator Oben Budak posted at his official website that he met Turkish pop star Tarkan at an exclusive Istanbul bar and broke the news story of Pamela Anderson and Tarkan's rumoured photo shoot, he writes about his "shock" at having come across the popular artist in London.

Having flown to the United Kingdom, Budak posts about his shock at hearing Tarkan's songs playing at a costume party in London at an East End bar known as the Book Club, writing he had first thought he was hearing things.

"Towards the end of the evening as I got drunk and took off my costume I heard Tarkan's "Şımarık" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997) start to play. Deciding that I had probably drunk too much, I only believed I wasn't hearing things when an English person said to me, "Look Tarkan". Everyone continued to dance as though they all knew who he was, so a big round of applause for Tarkan," Budak comments.

Tarkan and Kivanc Tatlitug on Marie Claire magazine coversBudak had previously been highly critical of Tarkan in his posts. One recent such post had compared Turkish model and actor Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ - known as the Brad Pitt of the Middle East - who had appeared on the front cover of the Turkish edition of gloss rag Marie Claire this year.

Reminding readers that Tarkan led the way for Turkish male stars appearing on the cover of fashion magazines, most notably for Marie Claire in 2001 when they published two different covers of a special edition magazine during the period Tarkan was a phenomenon in Turkey, Budak had written that Tatlıtuğ's sex appeal rivalled that of Tarkan's, while not letting all the attention get to his head.

Tarkan's Russian Campaign Gains Wide Coverage

Tarkan's million dollar Russian ad campaign for fresh Turkish citrus fruitsThe previously published news about Tarkan's million dollar ad campaign in Russia as the face of fresh citrus products exported from Turkey to Russia for the Citrus Promotion Group - which will see commercials begin to air on national Russian TV stations on 12 November and a series of three concerts scheduled in three major Russian cities - has gained wide coverage in the Turkish press with such sites as left-wing paper Radikal, commercial portal Marketing Türkiye and media conglomerate NTVMSNBC reporting the event.

And as paper Takvim writes that, following Tarkan's lead, female popstress Hadise has been head-hunted for a similar campaign in Russia, other media portals such as HürriyetMax has reported Tarkan as transferring from the ambassadorship of music to industry, while Haberturk has labelled Tarkan as the "Ambassador of Oranges" - quoting a representative of the CPG, Ali Kavak, as expressing that Tarkan is "well loved" in Russia.

"We will accelerate sales by using this to our advantage," he said.

Diet Fads of the Famous

Female columnist Aygün Güneş writing for local paper Bolu Gündem, has mentioned Tarkan in her column about healthy living dated 7 November, 2009.

Expressing the opinion that bland diet fads and junk food are the worst things for health - with traditional Turkish cooking the best thing for nutrition - Güneş writes about the fad of drinking plain cabbage soup to lose weight as a waste of time.

"Do you know what amazes me? That we have swapped our traditional cooking for these fast foods ... and then our youth who go to dieticians after feeding themselves on such junk. And then they love to drink that bland cabbage soup like that ... because reportedly Tarkan drinks it, too ...

"So just to get in shape if Tarkan drank poison, are we going to do the same?"

Following Trendsetters

Writing for Turkish financial paper Referans, Alex Akimoğlu's 7 November dated column touches on fashion and people who create their own style, while mentioning a recent news report about Tarkan shopping for second-hand clothes in Istanbul.

Explaining that getting caught up in the "second-hand clothes fad" had helped younger generations create their own style, he writes, "I read in a newspaper somewhere recently that Tarkan and a few other celebrities are shopping at second-hand clothes stores in Istanbul's Beyoğlu region. If I'm not mistaken this concept started in the USA and quickly spread to Europe."

Meanwhile, a column in paper Yeni Şafak has traced Turkish celebrities whereabouts in Istanbul, concluding that most prefer to work on the European shores of the city, while residing across the continent on the Asian side.

However, this article claims that rather than found shopping at the flea-markets of Beyoğlu, we are more likely to see Tarkan in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods of Istanbul, Bebek.

Located where "most of the famous hang out", in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Bebek is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus and is surrounded by other wealthy districts such as Arnavutköy, Etiler and Rumeli Hisarı.

"Fame Doesn't Last Forever"

In a recent interview, ageing artist Nejat Alp - generally regarded as being one of the pioneers of synth-driven Turkish ambient folk music - has bemoaned Tarkan for ignoring him while he was working in New York.

Speaking from experience that fame is fleeting, the taverna music star claimed that he knew Tarkan before finding success in Turkey and abroad.

"Tarkan is a good kid who has made himself a name. For years before he was famous he worked in my studios. Without taking a penny off him I allowed him and his musician friends to rehearse there. They would work all hours. And I don't begrudge them that.

"After he became famous, I went to work at a place underneath Tarkan's apartment in New York. I worked in that restaurant for one month. He never came down to say hi, not even once. I was a stranger there. I'm not saying I was expecting a visit, but just a hello would have done, he was living above the place I work after all...

"So I'm upset with Tarkan because of that. Thank God that during my most popular time and now, I'm still the same person," Alp is quoted to have said.

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