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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tarkan Goes Straight to the Heart

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan Deluxe presents a series of news stories covering Turkish recording artist Tarkan and how he enters the hearts and minds of his critics and his followers.

TRT Director Wishes Tarkan for Eurovision

Contrary to recent speculative reports that next year's Turkish entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest in Norway would be announced soon by Turkish public broadcaster the TRT, the news now is that the broadcasting house will launch an email poll to choose its 2010 representative.

In what seems to be a sudden change of plan, according to TRT General Director Ibrahim Şahin in an interview published by paper Akşam and picked up by media conglomerate NTVMSNBC, the Turkish public will be given the chance this year to choose their representative by sending an email with their favourite artist's name to the broadcaster until Friday.

Also speaking about his personal preference, "I would like to see Tarkan represent Turkey very much. We made him a proposal last year but he didn't accept it," he said.

It is planned for the TRT to contact the act who has received the most "nominations" and if they can reach an agreement then this will be the entrant to represent Turkey in Oslo.

Şahin spoke of using this new method in Akşam's article, and stated that the reason they decided to let the public choose in an open poll was to make their job easier and receive less criticism.

It was previously reported that Tarkan had also suggested that the TRT let the public decide the act to represent them in the music contest.

Tarkan's Effect on Oranges and Women

In different news, the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review has published an article echoing in English the news previously reported in Turkish finance sections that Tarkan has been a boost to the Turkish fruit industry.

Cengiz Gökçel, chairman of the local Chamber of Agriculture in Mersin, is quoted as having said that, "Russia is our most important market... we have accelerated promotion activities with Tarkan.

"Sales in Russia are rising thanks to advertisements featuring Tarkan."

Plus, media portal Haberturk has published an account suggesting Tarkan's international concerts boost tourism, as Russian female fans who went to his concert in Moscow last month have travelled to Antalya in Turkey for a short break.

Alongside that, Haberturk's sister site for variety news H2 has printed off a report about American science-fiction television series FlashForward where people who can see six months into the future, with reporter Elif Key stating that if she does the same she sees a new Tarkan release flash before her eyes.

Continuing the coverage Tarkan gets in his home nation's press reports, there is an interesting piece in by Turkish paper Cumhuriyet in what it doesn't say about the popular singer.

It has circulated an interview with Tarkan's ex-girlfriend of over seven years, businesswoman and lawyer Bilge Öztürk in which, apart from the reporter's introductory paragraphs, makes no mention of the singer at all, but speaks about her family and career.

At the end of the rare interview, speaking of her new relationship with professional water sportsman Salih Alexander Çakır, Öztürk said that she didn't feel she had to hide her new man, but that she wasn't trying to stick her relationship "in anyone's eye" either.

More Snippets from the Turkish Press

And as Milliyet reports that posters of Tarkan are hung in male hairdresser shops across war-torn Afghanistan, the Sunday supplement to Turkish newspaper Zaman has run an interview with İncesaz, a Turkish traditional music ensemble, where the multi-award winning recording artist gets a mention.

In response to a question whether they would sign off on a joint project with Tarkan, the group said they would work with whomever they "fit in well" with together.

Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah has mentioned Tarkan in a few articles recently, and amongst reports of little-known artists putting the singer on their wish-lists of duets and articles on cosmetic bags for men claiming Tarkan as an example of men who use eye-liner, there is an interview with Turkish pop music singer, theatre actress and writer, Füsun Önal, who once again talked of her addiction to Tarkan as she did previously on Turkish TV.

The feisty female declared that she could probably put aside her principle of not dating younger men and overlook the large age difference to have a quick fling with Tarkan.

Moreover, Sabah columnists have also talked Tarkan with one-time vociferous Tarkan critic Ayşe Özyılmazel - who in a surprise move come out in support of Tarkan recently - decrying her paper's racy interview with sixty-year old Önal of celebrities that refuse to age gracefully, while fellow celebrity correspondent Yüksel Aytuğ has posted up an account about an episode of a Turkish talent contest on TV where guest judge, singer/actress and TV personality Hülya Avşar used Tarkan as an example of sexy dancing.

In criticism of a male belly dancer, she is quoted in the article as saying to the contestant, "In my opinion sex appeal is missing from your performance. Tarkan does a three minute oriental routine, but it's like he is making love with himself."

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