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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Mishmash of Tarkan News

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

A look through Turkish news stories about Tarkan making the papers throws up a mixture of the strange and the serious, of which Tarkan Deluxe presents a summary in today's post.

Not the Real Thing

In amongst the oddities is the news story of camel fighting in the tourist hotspot of Kuşadası in Turkey, with one of the camels called Tarkan, while another "imposter" is a bar singer in Moscow - who failed to make it big in Turkey - being touted as "Russia's Tarkan" by some celebrity reports.

Moving swiftly on to other stories, there is the news that Turkish artists have begun to copy Tarkan's Mohawk look that had caused a stir in Turkey a few months back.

As media portal Haberturk and other sources report that singer Kenan Doğulu has returned from the USA with what paper Hürriyet calls the "Tarkan Look" - although Doğulu has been quoted as denying it - the press also write that another less known singer has also caught the look for a new release, indicating that Tarkan continues to be a trendsetter amongst his peers.

Tarkan: Ambassador of Culture

And using the singer's name as a mark of quality, as Tarkan appears in paper Sabah's end of decade list with two songs that heated up Turkish summers past - "Kuzu Kuzu" (Karma/2001) and "Dudu" (Dudu/2003) - there is news of a historical French building in Istanbul being refurbished into a music house that is being described as good enough to even house Tarkan.

In other reports, the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review has published an article where Çiğdem Özer, granddaughter of the highly regarded poet of Turkish folk literature Aşık Veysel, has requested the country's Culture and Tourism Ministry do more to promote the minstrel's legacy.

The article mentions Tarkan's modern interpretation of Veysel's folk song "Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayım" (Dudu/2003) as an example of artists taking up the initiative to promote his works.

Granddaughter Özer is quoted as saying that, "Works that will promote Aşık Veysel and make him loved by a wider mass of people should be encouraged," suggesting it would also create more understanding and fraternity between the people in the region.

Continuing on the theme of protecting past legacies, an environmental report claims that Tarkan's nature campaign against the building of a controversial dam in Turkey might be in danger again, with rumours the Turkish government are in talks with Chinese sponsors after European backers pulled out of the project.

In partnership with a nature society's campaign, Tarkan has publicly objected to plans for the construction of a water dam in the southeastern region of Turkey.

It is part of the current government's plans to rejuvenate the region and secure energy resources for the country, but the artist believes it will destroy the natural habitat of wildlife there and displace the minorities currently living in the area.

Eurovision Fan Asks: Where is Tarkan?

Screencap of reportKnown for its unreliable reporting, gossip portal for the Eurovision Song Contest, Oikotimes has published an article from an unofficial source claiming that Tarkan hasn't been named in the results of a public voting poll held by Turkish public broadcaster, the TRT (see left pic).

The unofficial source - a personal blog - wrote that the email voting launched by the TRT for fans to name their favourite singer for Turkey in Norway 2010 "had apparently" yielded four results - with the blogger in shock that Tarkan had not made the top four names. No official links to any such results were given.

However, an annual poll called the "Eurovision Turkey Super Poll" run by website Eurovision-Turkey in October had pulled 25,000 votes in four months, resulting in female singer Hande Yener coming top in the results - in which Tarkan does not appear.

Two other names mentioned in the top of the Eurovision-Turkey results, rock-chick Şebnem Ferah in second place and ex-Tarkan backing singer Murat Boz in fourth, were listed by Oikotimes as those mentioned in the latest results rumoured to be released soon by the TRT.

Meanwhile, writing for Eurovisionary, Serkan Uluçay - whose previous speculations on a TRT announcement had been wrong - cites the TRT poll as the first ever of its type in the song contest's history, when the broadcaster had asked the public to share their opinions about 2009, just as they've done this year for 2010.

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