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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tarkan: Most Listened to Singer in Turkic World

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Sunday's Zaman says Tarkan is the most listened to singer in the Turkic worldThe Sunday supplement to Turkish newspaper Zaman has run an article today that claims Turkish songs are more powerful than diplomacy in Turkic countries, with the report labelling Tarkan as the most listened to singer in the Turkic world.

Describing it as "Turkey's soft power", Sunday's Zaman writes that Turkish songs are in high demand in Azerbaijan, whose language is close to Turkish, and where almost all Turkish singers can sell just as many albums in Azerbaijan as in their native Turkey. In the Central Asian republics where the languages are less similar, the report argues that the appeal of Turkish pop is no less strong.

"Tarkan the most listened to singer in the Turkic world"

Lamiya Adilgızı, writing from Istanbul for Zaman talks of the Turkic republics of the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia sharing a linguistic, cultural and historic bond with Turkey, and when Zaman pooled people from these regions they all cited Tarkan as one of their favourite Turkish singers.

Known for his huge concerts in Azerbaijan, Tarkan was also the leading choice to open a new station for the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on the 21 March in the Turkish capital of Ankara to greet the airwaves across the Turkic world this year.

"Tarkan's music inseparable from our lives"

Tarkan with Uzbek singer Rayhon Ganiyeva
Tarkan pictured with Uzbek singer
Rayhon Ganiyeva
When speaking to Zaman, İsmayıl İsayev from Azerbaijan, Salamat Yeralin from Kazakhstan, Dovlet Garayev from Turkmenistan, and Dildora Tilakhodja from Uzbekistan all agreed Tarkan was their favourite singer, with the common thread being that his music was especially popular at nightclubs, wedding receptions and other such large public venues.

Tilakhodja also explained in the article that with the popularity of Turkish music rising and the Turkish style proving to be successful, singers from these regions and beyond sometimes chose to perform in Turkish, or imitate the songs - similar to Russian singer Philipp Kirkorov's cover versions of Tarkan's tracks.

"Sometimes they take a Turkish song, replace the words with Uzbek ones and sing it like their own," she said.

Watch an Example of Tarkan's "Soft Power":

A Turkish Top Pop Specimen:
Tarkan's "Pare Pare" (Metamorfoz, 2007) re-synced with his video to
"İkimizin Yerine" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997)

Watch more: Re-synced Tarkan music videos 1 | 2 | 3 >>
Subtitled Tarkan videos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 >>

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