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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tarkan: Winning and Losing

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Recent Turkish press reports reveal a variety of news stories about Turkish popstar Tarkan, who is set to open the annual Harbiye open air concerts in Istanbul this August, organised by his production company HITT and mobile telecommunications company Avea as in recent years.

Screencap of news reportScheduled to open with Tarkan on 1 August and end with female singer Sibel Can and guests on 12 August, as previously reported Can appeared on a TV talk show to promote her 2009 album - where she spoke highly of Tarkan.

Newspaper Vatan has reported the story in detail, quoting Can talking about her famous popstar friend live on national Turkish TV (pictured left).

Revealing that Tarkan had given her the much speculated song "Çantada Keklik" a year ago on her request, which had been set for his album, she said, "When I heard the song I told him that I really wanted to sing it. He couldn't refuse me again. And again we went straight to work, with a lot of unbelievable love. We worked on the song for days. We worked in the studio until all hours of the morning to finish it."

She also explained that as with their award-winning song they first collaborated on together, Tarkan didn't take any money from his friend. "Like the other song, my dear Tarkan didn't want any money. But he did something so beautiful, we donated the money. Tarkan made a request that we donate the money, and it was beautiful and meaningful."

Can went on to take the opportunity to send a message to Tarkan on the late night talk show: "From here I want to raise my hat to Tarkan's great work and heart. He is tied up to his job with an unbelievable passion. There's no one else that is this diligent, or loves his work so much. I want to thank him again in front of you all."

Godfather Tarkan?

Newspaper footage of Tarkan at circumcision ceremonyMeanwhile, Tarkan has been sent another message on national Turkish TV, but for totally different reasons and on daytime TV.

Twenty-three year-old Özgür Keskin, claiming to be the boy the popstar acted as a sort of godfather for at his circumcision fifteen years ago, appeared on TV last April to remind Tarkan of his godfather duties.

Stating that he has been trying to get in touch with the singer for nearly a year, he bought newspaper cuttings and video footage of the circumcision ceremony, in which Tarkan took part to verify his claim (see below).

No audio with this footage

Newspaper footage of Tarkan at circumcision ceremony

Celebrating with Tarkan

Elsewhere, paper Hürriyet's sport section has reported that the Turkish national women's volleyball team has celebrated their run of victories against France and Belgium in a tournament being played in Poland - with Polish organisers giving the Turkish victors a Tarkan music treat.

Hosted at Rzeszów in Poland, during the qualification games for the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championships, the Poles helped the Turkish team celebrate winning their way to Japan for the World Championships by playing them Tarkan's award-winning track "Şımarık" (Ölürüm Sana, 1997).

Losing his Sex Appeal?

Genco Ecer
Genco Ecer: "I've come to fill the Tarkan void"
And as newcomer to pop, sexy male singer Genco Ecer claims he has come to fill the Tarkan void a new generation of singers has been unable to fill, another report writes about a special jury selected list for the living 100 most sexiest Turks, with Tarkan not even making it into the top twenty.

Tarkan has been placed at 22nd place, because of what the article termed as "a loss of sex appeal".

The report claims that it is a possible warning to the star for moving his attentions from music to nature campaigns, effectively denting his sexy pop image.

Tarkan Project Rejected

And finally, news portal Haberturk reports that a planned project with Tarkan to promote Istanbul's status as a cultural capital next year has been dropped by the city's artistic committee.

It had been reported back in February this year that Tarkan had been set for an open air concert in July as part of the celebratory countdown to Istanbul becoming a European Capital of Culture in 2010, but Haberturk now claims that the project "Symphonic Istanbul Songs with Tarkan" has been rejected by an artistic committee for the Greater City of Istanbul at the last minute.

The Haberturk story alleges that workers at Tarkan's production company HITT have said they have yet to be informed of the project's failure.

Aiming to merge Turkish classical pieces to western symphonic compositions, the project had been considered as part of the second leg of the "Moving Towards 2010" project for Istanbul2010, comprising of open air concerts to be held in various squares and parks of Istanbul as well as the coastal strip of the city.

Within the framework of the project to be launched in early August the objective is to reflect the musical and cultural diversity of Istanbul through concerts to be held in various musical styles.

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