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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tarkan Remembers Failed 15 July Coup

Posted by Hatice Soylu from Istanbul, Turkey

A year after Turks defeated a coup, the Turkish Republic is polarised and still bears the scars as people have commemorated those fallen during the night of 15 July - arguably the gravest ever attack on the Turkish state.

Among the Turkish celebrities taking to social media to post their thoughts and well wishes was iconic pop star Tarkan. Alongside his message of "national gratitude" and prayers for the souls of that fateful night's fallen heroes, Turkish daily Sabah printed a longer message from Tarkan explaining the thoughts behind his post published across his social media accounts.

On July 15, I was so moved to see people of different beliefs, ideas and emotional distinctions come together as one body to defend the country. Thousands of people throughout our country resisted this terrible coup attempt for days and stood on watch in the weeks after to defend democracy. This resistance not only moved me, it gave me hope in the name of our country and our people. I remember our fallen heroes who died during the struggle of those dark days, and once more send my deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. I pray their loss will always be a reminder for us to act with unity and solidarity."

But Tarkan's well intended messages on social media were met with acrimony and harsh criticism by a few followers. Comments ranged from sarcastic rejoinders of a U-turn and reminders of his support of the Gezi Park protests to very heated attacks, saying that they wished they had never purchased his albums and would be unfollowing the star's accounts.

Last year, Tarkan had remained silent and out of sight during the attempted coup after having released a digital single the day before. He only made an appearance on a TV spot supporting the coup's failure weeks later and his only activity on social media was to post his live events - which some commentators described as callous.

UPDATE: Columnist says Tarkan has links to terrorist group >>

Having come under fire last year for not speaking out in time during the night of the tanks, being criticised for the opposite now, for one thing, shows the trauma suffered after the collapse of the coup is still clear a year on.

The national unity that was initially felt against the coup has faded, and divisions have widened. For some, it marks the country's rebirth - a glorious moment in their history. But for others it is a painful chapter that is still being written.

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