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Monday, August 08, 2016

Tarkan's Silent Support

By Steffan Matrak posted from Moscow, Russia

Tarkan has shown his "support" for the anti-coup protests by providing his face in a video distributed by the wider community of Bahçelievler, a large middle class residential suburb of Istanbul, on the European side of the city.

In a "blink and you'll miss it" episode published today, the TV advert makes for uncomfortable viewing as it rushes past a slide of stern faces against an ominous drum roll and the slogan, "We are citizens of Turkey, we won't give in to coups or terrorism".

Tarkan had previously signed a "No to Coup" manifesto released by celebrities days after the attacks, but the video comes against a backdrop of rising criticism against the iconic singer who has refused to openly condemn the attempted 15 July coup or to share his condolences with the civilians who lost their lives that day on his social media outlets.

He was conspiciously absent from a mass rally in Istanbul yesterday where hundreds of thousands of people gathered under the hashtag #TurkeyUnited to protest against last month's attempted coup.

Although Tarkan's current music label DMC was there in full force, the singer was absent from his music label exec Samsun Demir's tweets from the event.

Signalling a possible rift between singer and label, Demir has also failed to tweet about the release of "Cuppa" on Tarkan's official YouTube account or about this year's series of Tarkan concerts slated to start in September at the Harbiye.

Did Tarkan Break Biletix?

Tarkan broke his silence on his Facebook account to publicise his upcoming concerts in Istanbul, but ticket selling site Biletix suspended sales for the shows the same day.

Although some entertainment reports have said it was because high demand overloaded Biletix's systems, there have been other rumours that tickets have not been selling out.

Others believe a lot of seats were purchased in single transactions prompting fears of a bought boycott or ticket touts.

Coinciding with today's video release, ticket sales for the Harbiye shows have tentatively resumed on Biletix, however, giving rise to rumours that the company itself may have blocked sales in protest against Tarkan's silence.

It is thought that any empty seats at the September shows - which is absent of any sponsors - could be a career killer for the pop artist.

The line-up to the Harbiye concerts reveals a change of heart by the singer who has decided to focus on his classical album instead of sidelining it for a pop release as previously planned.

It's unclear whether this has been because of the cold reception to his latest pop offering, or to try and win the patriotic hearts and minds of a public, some say, he shunned by boycotting the 7 August rally.

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