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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Critical Overtures

Editorial by Mark Mayhey reporting from London, UK

The release of Tarkan's Metamorfoz in 2007 had inflamed existing petty jealousies in the Turkish entertainment industry and geared up the anti-Tarkan lobby in the press to spread their own propaganda about what the Turkish public should be listening to instead of the clean-living, exuberant Peter Pan pop star.

Even supposedly respected music critics came out with their burning stakes to hunt out the singer as early as the first day of the album's release, which was effectively defused by Ali Yildirim's article "To Criticise the Critics" (Feb 27, 2008) - written in the main as a response to the witch hunt led by music critic Naim Dilmener.

So, it's interesting that the disgraced Dilmener can be seen at the Turkish language knowledge site Uzman TV answering the question about whether Tarkan is a world music star.

Those who understand Turkish will be able to hear Dilmener answer that Tarkan is a world star, labelling the singer as the most successful Turkish entertainer in any genre to have crossed national boundaries, citing Tarkan's 1999 international music hits.

Such a description from Dilmener is really no surprise, as the music critic had already recanted some of his previous comments about Tarkan's Metamorfoz after its re-issue in August this year.

It seems those who were once in the "opposite camp" to Tarkan have begun to sing different tunes.

Critical Overtures

Meanwhile, Tarkan's own response to his critics has come in the form of his fourth music video "Dilli Düdük", which is currently riding high in the national music charts.

Columnist Hakan Gence, writing for Turkish paper the Hürriyet's Saturday supplement, in his article "Tarkan's €150,000 Dilli Düdük" (Sept 20, 2008) has given expansive newspaper space to probably what is being considered one of Tarkan's most successful music videos.

In regard to the filming and subject material, this was another series of firsts for the Turkish pop star. Initially visualised on a storyboard and filmed on HD format, special effects used in such Hollywood films as "300" and "Sin City" were utilised with green-screen technology for the light-hearted take on the Turkish celebrity press and its treatment of Tarkan.

Reporter Gence describes the storyline as one where Tarkan is followed home by the paparazzi after giving one of his live shows. He watches the exaggerated entertainment reports about him on TV, and gives his response through his track about those who blow everything out of all proportion.

The article quotes the video's director Murat Onbul, who has worked with Tarkan to animate his live shows for the past eight years, as wanting to show the song's true meaning - and be an adequate response to Tarkan's most vociferous critics.

The result has been a powerhouse response from the star to a generation of bad press, with what is probably his most critical overture to date.

The views in this article are those of the author alone.
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