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Monday, December 28, 2009

Tarkan: A Cultural Icon in Decline?

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

An article from media conglomerate NTVMSNBC, with their own select jury composing a top ten list of the best Turkish albums of the decade, sees Tarkan failing to make the grade with either Karma (2001), Dudu (2003) or Metamorfoz (2007), although three out of the ten judges did include Karma or Dudu in their own lists.

UPDATE: Tarkan in Billboard's Best of the Decade >>

Screencap of reportContinuing with lists, both Sabah and Samanyolu write that the customary monthly report from Turkish news ombudsman Medya Takip Merkesi (MTM) published this month reveals Tarkan is not on the list of celebrity names dominating the domestic media channels this year, dropping out of last year's list (see left pic for the Samanyolu report).

Furthermore, in another list published by Sabah, titled "Music in 2009", Tarkan is not thought worthy of a mention apart from musicologist and Tarkan-critic Naim Dilmener, who says that this year Tarkan had lost his star quality. However, journalists in Turkey's northern territories of Cyprus find the concert given by the "Turkish global pop star" there this year worth mentioning in their lists of notable events for 2009.

And even though it seems that some Turkish commentators believe Tarkan's impact on Turkish music has been less in the 2000s than in the 1990s, another NTVMSNBC account over polls to discover Europe's view of Turkey reveals that icons of culture - including Tarkan - play a large part.

With the NTVMSNBC article reporting that over 25% of those polled said they knew who Tarkan is, in an interview of an Eastern European band called Gypsy Devils, published by paper Sabah, the music act also talked about Tarkan.

In response to the usual question over whether they had heard of any music act from Turkey, "Yes. We all know Tarkan very well. In discos and bars in Slovakia he is very popular, his songs are played all the time," they are quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Turkish musician Özdemir Erdoğan, it seems that again the Turkish view of Tarkan is in contrast to the international one, as the man proclaims Tarkan not to be a world star.

"I see Tarkan's success as a limited one. He isn't a world star. His concerts abroad are given with the support of the Turkish diaspora living in those regions. It seems to be a case of our workers in Germany, Holland and Russia having to take their girlfriends to pacify them..." he said.

UPDATE: Correspondent Says "Stop Knocking Tarkan" >>

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