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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Entertainment News

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

The news coverage of animal rights' movement PETA against Tarkan has resurfaced in the Turkish press, with Turkish paper Sabah highlighting one of the mails that have been sent to the star from PETA's page.

Stressing that the using of animal fur has nothing to do with fashion design but barbarism, the letters warns the star not to take a step backwards in this direction.

Tarkan had been spotted wearing fur on the cover to his English language début album Come Closer.

Tarkan Deluxe had previously reported the news of PETA's campaign against Tarkan, questioning why it had taken PETA so long to start a campaign against Tarkan in regard to an album released in 2006. We had also reported the belief in some circles that the fur worn by Tarkan was in fact fake fur.

Tarkan's fur real or not?

Tarkan showing off his fur in Come CloserKnown for physically attacking celebrities, and the sometimes excessive tactics of their members, PETA recently got in touch with Tarkan Deluxe personally to give their side of their story.

A representative of PETA wrote to us to explain why they decided to take action against Tarkan now, and asked us amend our earlier news reports that in fact what Tarkan is seen wearing on the cover of his English language album is real fur, not fake.

The correspondence reveals that PETA first got in touch with Tarkan in the summer of 2007 - still over a year after the release of the album - but that they had for many months tried to get a statement from Tarkan to "swear off fur" before going public. The mails also reveal that Tarkan's own representative claims the fur Tarkan wore was real.

The PETA rep writes: "As the world's largest animal rights group, we take this issue very seriously. People who wear fur need to know that every fur coat, lining, or item of trim represents the intense suffering of several dozen animals, whether they were trapped or ranched. These cruelties will end only when people refuse to buy or wear fur. Those who learn the facts about fur must help educate others, for the animals' sake. Investigations into fur farms on China—one of the world's largest suppliers of fur—revealed animals suffering from anxiety-induced psychosis pacing and shivering in tiny outdoor wire cages, chewing on their own limbs and throwing themselves repeatedly against the cage bars.

"We put a lot of effort into getting a statement from Tarkan. My original email to [the artist] was dated August 29th [2007]. [Tarkan's representative] called me and informed me that the fur Tarkan had been spotted wearing was indeed real. She said that it wasn't Tarkan's "intent" to wear fur in the future. I asked her if Tarkan would be willing to issue a statement saying that he would not wear fur in the future so that we could inform our members that he is fur-free, she said she would get back to me within 3 weeks. I spoke with [Tarkan's representative] on December 1st and she said he would be unable to provide us with a statement. I informed her that we would have to let our members know if Tarkan was not able to publicly swear off fur. We then waited over a month before releasing this to the public—that is more than sufficient time for this to be resolved.

"We were hoping that Tarkan would follow the lead of people like Christina Ricci and Eva Mendes who swore off fur once they realized animals raised for fur are treated. We, and compassionate people worldwide, were extremely disappointed that Tarkan was not able to assure us he would ditch fur for good."

Tarkan's Camp Respond

Tarkan Deluxe decided to post this news after weeks of verification, and also spoke to Tarkan's official source the PETA representative named on the issue.

Tarkan's representative confirmed the existence of the correspondence between PETA and themselves, and although she stated to us that she could absolutely confirm that "Tarkan will never again wear fur", she also did not reject PETA's claim that the fur worn in the picture was real.

Ramifications of PETA Action

Tarkan is well known for his love of animals and nature, with plans for the star to front a campaign for the Turkish ecological society Doğa Derneği this year. His long-term girlfriend lawyer Bilge Öztürk also has a fashion line for domestic pets, which pride themselves on not using any animal products.

However, taken in a wider context, Tarkan must also look to the culture of his own society, where animals are sacrificed for religious purposes and their fur donated to various national charities. This might make it difficult for the star - already with many enemies in the domestic press - to publicly make any such statements to "swear off" fur.

Even so, from the thousands of photographs taken during Tarkan's personal and public life, there are only two images of the same shoot where he is wearing fur. Yet, the artist did choose to use them on the front and back covers of his début English language album, which made him the target of PETA - even though in the photographs inside the album's CD sleeve, he is fur-free.

Tarkan Deluxe has advised Tarkan's camp that if PETA's campaign does generate enough interest to reach PETA in the USA, or possibly influence Doğa Derneği to drop Tarkan in Turkey, then the possibility that it could eventually affect any new English language release, or even any joint projects with US music artists, doesn't seem too unlikely.

It is somewhat ironic that paper Sabah chose to select a quote from Tarkan as one of the celebrity quotes of the week this week, in which Tarkan had said to reporters on his arrival from his 10-day break in the Maldives:

"There must be support for talent such as ourselves. In other countries, the government, the fans are always supportive, but with us it's so strange! They always want to put obstacles in our way."

Sometimes, we and those that are meant to help us, put "the stones in our path" for us to trip and fall. It seems a shame that Tarkan's PR people didn't have the foresight to deal with PETA effectively. At Tarkan Deluxe we hope that the matter will not grow out of hand, but have reported the truth as we have been told it to be.

Turkish TV's Tarkan Campaign

Tarkan Campaign at Pikniktube for Beyaz ShowMeanwhile, Turkey's top stand-up comedian and talk-show host Beyazıt Öztürk (known as Beyaz) has upped the ante in a campaign to get Tarkan to appear on his late night show on Kanal D.

The people at video sharing site Pikniktube, in conjunction with Beyaz headquarters, have opened up a special site to push the drive for his Tarkan campaign, with the entertainer polling viewers on whether Tarkan should appear on Beyaz Show or not. However, the comedian only allows visitors one option!

Beyaz had previously run a campaign to get Turkish pop diva Sezen Aksu on to his show, which he succeeded to do last year.

Tarkan Top at MTV's Top Ten at Ten

MTV Türkiye logoAnd finally, to end on another light-hearted note, Turkish newspaper Sabah had reported that during yesterday's MTV Türkiye's "Top Ten At Ten" slot, the Turko-European face of the music channel would be making Tarkan and Kenan Doğulu go head-to-head.

The battle of the music videos between the two friends saw Tarkan come out on top, with his latest music video "Vay Anam Vay".

MTV Türkiye is the Turkish subsidiary of MTV, officially launched on October 23, 2006. The station gave a launch party on 17 November 2006 in Istanbul, with the Pussycat Dolls in attendance.

The channel combines local and international music, as well as MTV's trademark shows.

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