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Saturday, July 08, 2017

True Blue Fandom Flock to Harbiye

Posted by Steffan Matrak from Moscow, Russia

Tarkan posts soundcheck photo from his "special" Harbiye stage

Social media and the press have been buzzing over Tarkan's Harbiye takeover as the iconic music artist prepares for the fifth show in an annual appearance that has become legendary.

Tarkan's seven show run at the open air arena in Harbiye, Istanbul - to coincide with the chart busting 2017 release 10 - has already seen tens of thousands flock to see the nation's king of pop perform current and past hits live.

One of these was celebrity correspondent Oben Budak, who said in June about how hard it was to find a Tarkan ticket on the right date, opining that the silliest question asked was whether there were extra Tarkan tickets going spare.

The columnist wrote about "boastful people with tickets to the sold out first show", while he made it to Tarkan's second night at the Harbiye and gave the iconic performer top marks.

Describing other pop artists who release albums at the same time as Tarkan as courageous, Budak wrote that he had given up expecting something different from Tarkan anymore.

"We have to accept that Tarkan doesn't want any show on his stage except for himself... You don't go for new moves, or new costumes, you go for a chance to lock eyes with him," Budak said of a live performance where the crowd sung in unison and rarely sat in their seats.

In other reports about the second night's show, there was the traditional rolling out of a long banner with a heartfelt message by fans which was read out by Tarkan, while the singer also asked the audience to think of songwriter Nazan Öncel, whose partner passed away in May.

Singing the Öncel track on his 2017 album, he expressed his sympathy, and said he was "by her side" during this very difficult time.

And while the press described the third show as a "Tarkan storm refusing to calm", Turkish daily Sabah columnist Hıncal Uluç described the third night's show as a gathering of all ages to see a performer whose crafted magic earned him the title of megastar.

For the fourth show, Turkish female pop singer Demet Akalın tweeted from backstage and the front row on Wednesday. With thousands of likes and retweets to her Tarkan posts, a popular comedian even parodied the sharing of her Tarkan love on social media.

The press reported Tarkan had invited the singer and Twitter celebrity after she spoke to the paparazzi to say when a new Tarkan album arrives their era "is over".

As Akalın threw rose petals on the stage at Tarkan's feet, in return the music artist addressed her from the stage to thank her for her kind words and to say her songs were loved, too. He asked for a round of applause from the crowd, fueling speculation and fan requests over a musical collaboration in the works.

Akalın makes no secret of being a fan of the idols of Turkish pop, and was recently quoted as saying that "there is Tarkan and then the rest of us... He is a star of global proportions".

Elsewhere, celebrity portal Uçankuş has published a list of impressive figures that suggest the mega-icon of music has generated over a "record-breaking" 32 million TL ($10 million) thanks in part to concert ticket sales, helping to rejuvenate the local economy.

According to the portal's published figures, 240 people are employed for every meticulously planned show, while the total audience figure for seven shows is claimed to currently be at 42,000 concert-goers.

UPDATE: A total of 45,000 thousand gather for Tarkan's show marathon >>

Venue dates are selling out consecutively this year and, four shows in, all available tickets have been exhausted mid-run. Reminicent of his record years at the Harbiye, tickets have been in such high demand during the event that Tarkan is reported to be appearing at the Harbiye again in September.

UPDATE: Tarkan to stage September Harbiye event >>

Tarkan has made history at the open air theatre in past years, with consecutive marathons of sell-out shows to record audiences.

<< 10 Sells Over 500,000 Copies | Tarkan News Index | Third Week Update >>

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