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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tarkan Saves the World

Posted by Hatice Soylu from Istanbul, Turkey

The Turkish Republic has faced heated debate over the fate of its olive trees recently, and as with a lot of enviromental matters concerning his nation, Turkish pop's mega-icon Tarkan has had his say on his social media accounts.

The debate was over a draft law, which drew public ire over the proposed enablement of the building of industrial facilities on the country's olive groves by a preservation board, if deemed to be in the "public interest".

Reposting Turkish nature society Doğa Derneği's online petition, and president of Doğa Güven Eken's post for World Environment Day on his Instagram account, the music artist called for the legal protection of his country's olive groves to continue.

He wrote: "The biggest blessing of a country is its nature. Olive trees are the treasury, the memory of Anatolia. Don't sacrifice the olive trees for profit."

Tarkan was criticised by the Minister of Science Industry and Technology, who asked what Tarkan was going to do with olive groves anyway. "We love his songs" the Minister said, and advised that he should continue singing, i.e. minding his own business.

UPDATE: Columnist slays Tarkan for olive grove post >>

Tarkan responded by publishing a photo of an olive tree on his official Instagram account with the following caption: "I am older than the modern era, the discovery of America by the white man, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the United Nations. I am two thousand years old. #IamAnOliveTree". His move was repeated by thousands of his followers.

Female Turkish comedian and writer Gülse Birsel waded into the debate on her column for Turkish daily Hürriyet after the Minister chided Tarkan to "focus on his music". Birsel suggested that saving olive trees saves the world - a duty that falls on anyone who loves the world and the people in it.

...Tarkan opposed the bill. And he does not even own any olive groves ... A respected minister of ours told Tarkan to sing his songs; but the olive tree holds a special position in terms of the environment. It is the future of the world. Well, dear minister, when politics have failed in protecting our future, then naturally the duty falls on the musician and the comedy writer ... Otherwise, we would of course want to just sing songs, make jokes and have fun."

Amid rising concerns over the safety of the ancient trees, the Turkish parliament's industry commission announced on June 13 that it had removed the contentious article from the draft law, less than a week after it had been withdrawn for a review after public protest.

Our Archive

More on Tarkan at Tarkan Deluxe
Tarkan Says: You Are Nature!
Tarkan Nature Campaign Update
Activist Tarkan at Berlin Summit
Tarkan Begins Environment Petition
Tarkan Meets Culture Minister
Tarkan on NTV for Nature 1 | 2
Tarkan's Gift to Nature
Tarkan Says Let the River Flow

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