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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Press Snippets: Critical Campaigns

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Screencap of reportA portal involved in property rights has re-published an article in Turkish paper Akşam that sees the start of a new nature campaign against the Turkish government by the country's main nature society, this time in Tarkan's paternal homestead of İkizdere in Rize (see left pic).

Aiming to highlight the creation of a Turkish Water Committee, the Doğa Derneği was in the Turkish Black Sea region of Rize last week to campaign against the proposed building of hydro-powered dams, because of the significant threat to the ecosystems of rivers and streams.

Noting that they were campaigning against the destruction of natural habitats for human gain, the property portal reminded its readers of the song Tarkan had written for the society, "Uyan" (Wake Up).

"His words are now being sung in his dad's village in Rize," it writes.

Tarkan had teamed up last year with the society for a nature campaign to stop the building of a controversial dam in Turkey's impoverished southeastern region.

Istanbul's Culture: A Few Fireworks and Tarkan?

Screencap of reportA media portal reports an interview with journalist Nihat Genç, in which he harshly criticises his government's handling of Istanbul's inauguration as a 2010 European Capital of Culture (see left pic).

In the interview, aired on Turkish TV, Genç accused the organisers of "not recognizing Istanbul" and that spending so much money on celebrations when there was so much poverty was obscene.

"How did this country produce so many imbeciles? They don't even know their own heroes of culture. A few fireworks, Tarkan shakes his belly, and there you have it," Genç complained in his long rant against the city-wide cultural events.

Meanwhile, Zaman's columnist Hilmi Yavuz in his article continues the same criticism, but in a less pensive tone.

Despite describing the Tarkan-esque celebrations as great, Yavuz complains they didn't really give a sense of Turkish culture at all, and were merely used to enhance the deception of Istanbul's modernisation - or more accurately westernisation - when in fact the great city had many problems that needed solving.

And finally, Hürriyet Max reporter Efe Sıvış also takes a pot shot at Tarkan and the Istanbul celebrations in a recent article.

Mocking the overblown budget and exaggerated celebrations, whilst putting it down to the ignorance of it being the country's first time to handle such an event, Sıvış wonders what Tarkan's contribution meant to Istanbul's culture.

"I never understood how Tarkan giving a concert in Taksim was going to promote Turkey worldwide... I still don't get it now," he writes.

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