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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tarkan in the Columns Again

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Screencap of reportColumnist for Istanbul-based Turkish left-wing daily BirGün, openly gay socialist Kürşad Kahramanoğlu has launched a scathing attack on the organisations to celebrate Istanbul's title of European Capital of Culture - and Tarkan hasn't come off lightly, either (see left pic).

Known as the "Pink Pope" - and for writing an article in 2008 declaring Tarkan a "has been" ("Tarkan-Who?"/15 January 2008) - Kahramanoğlu hits out at the singer's contribution to the celebrations by paying lip service to the stale rumours of Tarkan's homosexuality.

Possibly still one of the disgruntled in the Turkish gay community whose feather's Tarkan ruffled over comments the recording artist made to a Bulgarian magazine in 2006, he writes: "And our oh-so-great culture's most shining star is Tarkan, someone who hasn't had a major hit since the current government came into power!

"I have written about him in my column before; an artist living in exile in a sterile apartment block in New York due to his sexual preferences, can remain a star in a country like Turkey on the back of his old fame for the rest of his life, but that he'll never produce anything new!"

More Sullied Speculations

Most of the serious criticism for the Istanbul2010 organisations has come from certain political circles and papers in Turkey, and recently, Joost Lagendijk had appealed for harmony in the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review, suggesting the organisers do more to get their critics on their side and not waste this opportunity given to them.

There have also been disputes over the projects that are to take place over the coming year.

For example, it had been previously reported that the contributions 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 outright.

However, Tarkan gave a concert in Taksim to kick start the city's Year of Culture and international reports state that in July the Museum of Innocence is set to open, conceived by Nobel literature laureate Pamuk to coincide with the release of his latest novel bearing the same name, followed by a concert by Irish rock band U2 in September.

BirGün's Kahramanoğlu, writing that the organisations were a disgrace, even claims falsely that the European Union has decided to change the title of Capital of Culture because of the inauguration, when in fact international reports have been filled with praise, and there are rumours for another Turkish designated city in 2022.

New Release Set For Spring?

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 now posts about the recording artist being the first Turkish singer to release music on microSD.

Budak's post also claims that Tarkan is now working with London stylist Ceyda Balaban, who designed his outfit for the Taksim show, and that his new release is expected to come out end of March or the beginning of April.

Speculations over dates vary. Earlier in January, Melis Alphan, writing for paper Hürriyet had claimed in her column that Tarkan was planning to release his album in February.

New Year Gossip

Meanwhile, paper Sabah's Bülent Cankurt has printed a piece of gossip in his column about Tarkan and his New Year show at the Mardan Palace hotel in Antalya.

Cankurt claims that there was a disagreement between the hotel owner and the singer, as Tarkan twice refused the Russian tycoon's invitation to come to his table.

The reasons unknown as to Tarkan's refusal, Cankurt further claims that the tycoon had been ready to present Tarkan with two expensive watches from his private collection, but was so angry with the singer's snub that he smashed them against a wall in his rage.

Previously, paper Takvim had ran an account suggesting that the gold jewellery Tarkan was seen wearing on stage had been a gift from the Russian businessman.

"Money Talks"

Similar to Mark Mayhey's recent column for Tarkan Deluxe, Hürriyet variety writer Cengiz Semercioğlu has come out in defence of US singer Beyonce for singing at a private bash for a large sum of money - after some described it as shameful.

Asking where the shame is, and pointing out that Tarkan does the same thing, Semercioğlu writes that there's nothing wrong in an artist getting paid to do his or her job.

Mayhey in his article "The Bitch of Celebrity" had also taken note with criticisms that had been directed towards Tarkan for singing at the New Year.

"It's funny no one in the press used [George] Michael's example - or even Beyoncé Knowles' performance for £1.2 million at a private party for Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi's son - when some were criticising Tarkan for being on stage, suggesting world stars just don't do that kind of thing," Mayhey had pointed out.

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