Turkish Minister Asked: Why U2 Instead of Tarkan?
Amongst gossip speculations that Tarkan might make an appearance at a charity event for children in care in December - although no news reports have picked up the event - there is now yet more speculation on Tarkan appearing live for an altogether different occasion.
In an interview with government minister Hayati Yazıcı for Turkish paper Vatan - who recently revealed that one of the projects to celebrate the countdown to Istanbul becoming a European Capital of Culture for 2010 would be a U2 concert - he was asked why the projects of Turkish luminaries in the world of music and literature like multi-award winning recording artist Tarkan and Turkish writer and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk had been rejected (see left pic).
Trying to defend the decision as a financial rather an artistic one, even though bringing the "world's biggest rock band" - who are rumoured to have a political anti-Turkish stance - will cost the city a million dollars, Minister Yazıcı said that he believed the criticisms of any bias towards Turkish artists were unfair.
In response to the question whether it would "have been so bad to have Tarkan there" the minister said, "Why do you say Tarkan won't be there?"
Seemingly opening the door to speculation about an appearance by Turkey's biggest global star, he said, "On 16 January we will have our official opening at Istanbul's Sütlüce Culture Centre. We are expecting to see President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan there. That day a lot of different concerts will be held in a lot of different places in Istanbul.
"Tarkan might be at one of those concerts," Yazıcı claimed.
Aiming to focus on the unifying aspects of music, Tarkan's project for Istanbul2010 had included a joint collaboration in the form of a special gala and an open air concert of Turkish classic songs recomposed and sang with the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra.
It was reported earlier this year that the artist's planned project to promote Istanbul's status as a cultural capital next year had been dropped by the city's artistic committee.