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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Press Snippets: Still Pleasing Some, Not All

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Looking at the current Turkish press coverage, Tarkan and his 2010 album Adımı Kalbine Yaz continue to garner criticism from a growing minority.

"My Album is Better Than Tarkan"

Screencap of reportIn an interview for regional site Alanya Online, Turkish male singer Gökhan Türkmen is reported to have said that he didn't like Tarkan's 2010 album, and that his album will be the album of the year.

In response to a question about music piracy on the net affecting CD sales, Türkmen said that this naturally affected sales, and that he made a concious effort to buy the albums of the artists he liked.

"I bought Tarkan's album most recently ... I got it with high expectations. I was waiting for it to be better than his previous albums. I thought after such a long break he'd come back stronger than ever. But it didn't meet my expectations. I can't say it's a great album, but it's a good one."

And in reply to a question about which artist's song he had listened to most this year, Türkmen had this to say: "I listened to Tarkan's "Sevdanın Son Vuruşu" ("Love's Last Strike") a lot. I don't listen to a lot of Turkish music ... If someone else had released my album, I would have said that is the album of the year."

"Where's the Old Tarkan?"

Screencap of reportFemale correspondent Oncel Öziçer writing in her Sabah column has stood firmly on the side of those that haven't seen much to like about Tarkan's 2010 musical offering.

"So let me touch on the most important current event in the country. I mean Tarkan's latest album... Thanks to [the marriage of] columnists and celebrities in their residency of Istanbul the pampering is like you wouldn't believe. Though this adulation is a little forced. Some are pushing themselves to praise the album. And on top of this when jam-packed concerts are added into the fray, anyone getting a rush heads for the keyboard.

"But this is Tarkan, even if he didn't release another album, his concerts will still be filled, people will still go mad. We're in love with the man, we support him like he's a football team. It's like win or lose, we're for him. Even for me, this man whose connections with Turkish music have drifted further apart in recent years, Tarkan will always have a special place for me, I love him.

"For one, whatever he sings suits him. But we have ears for goodness sake, is this where Tarkan should be musically? What is there in the lyrics or music of [these new songs] to grab a person's soul for god's sake? So, if it grabs you I've got nothing to say. But you've all become parrots, saying the same thing. These empty works are not what Tarkan should be doing. He's not my kith or kin... but I really want to tell him the painful truth so that he'll come to his senses.

"Where's [the good old days] and the good old Tarkan? Where is he, where?"

"Tarkan's a Joke"

Screencap of reportIn his column published in celebrity portal Gecce, Olcayto A. Tuğsuz has given up a large space in a recent article for Tarkan.

He starts his article by explaining that he doesn't write such critical pieces to get attention, but to enlighten people, and before moving on to criticise Tarkan he adds the proviso that he believes the singer to be one of the most important artists Turkey has produced.

"He has a beautiful voice. I tell everyone, so I'll write it here, too. If anyone else sang Tarkan's songs, they'd be no more than ordinary. They each became "hits" and got the admiration of the huge majority because of Tarkan's voice and his captivating face/eyes/looks. Everything is fine up to the point of Tarkan's stage performance and dance, and I ask myself every time "is this a joke?"

"Showing he feels the heavy pull of the stage with every movement, running like crazy from one end to the other, Tarkan is definitely in need of lessons in stage and dance. No one can say that Tarkan's face and body proportions are perfect. With his actions on stage, he makes it look even worse. What I don't understand is, doesn't any one, at least those he trusts the most, tell him?

"OK, so fanatic Tarkan fans might not be clued up to this, they might be blind, but there is an international side to this. For sure anyone that understands anything about stage or dance, and this just about sums up everyone abroad, will think like me when they see Tarkan.

"OK, crazy looks, acting crazy will always grab attention, but if the subject matter is someone as talented as Tarkan then I'd advise him to grab attention with more aesthetic and refined movements.

"I don't believe he is incapable. It just means that when he choose his advisers or dance instructors or when his advisers choose his dance instructors for him they are oblivious to what they're doing, and are making Tarkan look like a joke in front of me and those that think like me.

"There's a lot of people [in Turkey] that believe Tarkan is a world star. To those of us who follow what goes on in the world, this is an urban legend. Of course some of Tarkan's songs are known and played in many countries throughout the world, but this is a genre known as "World Music" and there are many names from places like Tunisia, Algeria, India and many other countries in the world where it's possible to get into this list.

"What I mean is that Tarkan still hasn't made his mark in international music charts. If he wants to do that, Tarkan has to definitely raise his quality of music and dance. In my opinion he has that potential, but for whatever reason, he is continuing with the same song and stage performance at the point he started at.

"What I understand from this is that success in Turkey and the money he makes off that carries more weight than international success, or that he doesn't want it or doesn't believe it is possible. If his vision is this narrow, then there's nothing else to say.

"But if this isn't his goal, and he is still going around in circles, then he needs to inject some new blood into his team. Otherwise I fear, with the years speeding by, will force him towards becoming a Turkish classical music or arabesque singer.

"Conclusion: If you take on my recommendations you'll win, if you say "what is this man blabbering about" you'll lose. Either way, it means nothing to me. I don't win or lose anything. And as I don't have anything to gain by what I write, I don't have anything against Tarkan, either.

"All I'm trying to do is shine a light within my rights to do so. And I only do that for those I think deserve it," he writes.

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