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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Is this Istanbul's Culture?

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan on Istanbul2010's official site
Tarkan on Istanbul2010's official site,
where fans across the globe will be able
to watch the inauguration live
Music correspondent Mehmet Tez - who once called Tarkan Turkey's last greatest star, but has since become a prolific Tarkan critic and recently spoke to Tarkan's long-time friend and producer Ozan Çolakoğlu about Tarkan and their collaborations together - has once again mentioned the popular artist in his column.

Writing for paper Milliyet, Tez is critical of the inauguration celebration set to take place today to mark Istanbul's year as a European Capital of Culture believing that the acts chosen to take place do not adequately represent the multi-cultural aspect of the city.

In his 16 January dated article "Is this your culture oh Istanbul?" speaking to the organisers, he writes: "OK, I get it. You're going to play Tarkan in Taksim and help create a huge orgy of harassment as always. Those who always come to such gatherings like in the new year and harass everyone's wife, sister or girlfriend will get their fun under the banner of the cultural capital of Europe. And the public getting off the bus and metro with be pleased "with the service of getting Tarkan for free" (but he is not free, you're still paying for him), what a service."

Having criticised all the chosen acts in this way, Tez then goes on to ask why a single hasn't been released to mark the event, the lack of interesting musical pair-ups for the occasion, or why alternative and rock acts had in the main been snubbed by the official organisers.

One other final note of interest in Tez's article is the footnote that music critic and singer Melis Danişmend - who had written a tongue-in-cheek critique of the star for Rolling Stone magazine in 2006 and ignored Tarkan in an article about about the attempts of Turkish music artists to cross cultural borders last year - is working with producer Çolakoğlu on her new album.

"This time she isn't doing rock, but something completely different," Tez declares.

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