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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tarkan Says Let the River Flow

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan by the Tigris River
Tarkan gave a press statement by the Tigris River today
As part of his commitments to Turkish nature conservation society Doğa Derneği, which he had signed up to earlier this year, Tarkan opened an office for the society today in the southern part of Turkey.

The artist's appearance was to help raise awareness about the building of a dam that could cause the flooding of historical sites to be lost forever and the displacement of the country's minorities.

In a region that boasts a ten thousand year history, with the land having been colonised by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Tarkan is hoping to stop the destruction modern development would bring to the surrounding nature and to the people living there.

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By putting his celebrity clout behind the project, he hopes to pressure the Turkish and foreign government backers of the initiative to dam the Tigris River to re-evaluate the dangers the plans would have on the environment.

Tarkan campaigning to let the Tigris River flowTarkan campaigning to let the Tigris River flow
Tarkan campaigning to let the Tigris River flow; photos by the Anadolu Agency

Arriving at the ancient region in the early hours of the morning, Tarkan visited historical sites and promised to return to give a concert, and gave news that he was composing a song for this "Stop the Dam" project.

UPDATE: October Wakes Up With Tarkan (2008) >>

This project comes as a surprise to some, as Tarkan had hinted on a TRT news broadcast that he wanted to preserve Turkey's nature as it was suffering from what he termed as droughts, but now is actively campaigning against the building of a dam which would have helped Turkey overcome its water shortages.

Tarkan's Press Statement

Press statement at Tarkan's official siteIn conjunction with the Turkish pop artist's visit today, his official site has released a press statement that Tarkan gave to reporters during his short trip to the region.

"By giving my support to this campaign I'm really supporting nature that's endangered all across Turkey and the world. I call on all communities in Turkey to support projects that will enable Turkish wildlife to flourish," he said.

Reminding reporters that the building of the dam would destroy the habitats of many wildlife including birds and fauna, a representative of the Doğa Derneği also went on to comment about Europe's double standards on the issue and asked all foreign backers of the project to think again.

"Those European countries that are financing this project in Turkey wouldn't dream of such a redevelopment in their own countries," the press statement at Tarkan.com quoted the Doğa rep as saying.

The Doğa Derneği will continue its scientific work and closely follow the developments in the region.

Video and Photographs of Tarkan's Visit

Tarkan Pictures at Tarkan Visual
Video footage (7.04 MB/2.40 mins) courtesy of Cihan News, photos from various sources

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