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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Activist Tarkan in Father's Land

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Screencap of reportsReports are coming in about Tarkan's appearance at a festival held in his father's homestead of İkizdere, a town and district of the Rize Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey today.

Thought to be the first to be held in the daylight hours at such an early time, reports say that in an area with a population of over 2.5 thousand people, an attendance of 25,000 festival goers was attained, with people coming from neighbouring regions for the event.

UPDATE: Watch Kral TV concert footage >>

Celebrity reports had claimed that nearly half a million people were expected to turn up in attendance, at what has been described as the largest festival of its kind in Turkey.

The 15th Ovit Yaylası Şenlikleri (Mountain Pastures Festivities) has reportedly seen crowds as large as 250,000 in past years, previous reports claim.

Tarkan Happy to be in Rize

festival PosterThe reports write that due to technical difficulties with the sound system, Tarkan started his show later than scheduled. Greeted by the applause of thousands, Tarkan appeared in stage in local dress and told the crowd he was happy to back in his father's homeland.

At one point during the concert, Tarkan noticed a fan crying and stopped singing to ask them not to cry, the reports say.

It was believed that a local TV station in the region might air scenes from the festival live, and while it did broadcast some parts of the festival, Tarkan's show was not aired.

Activist Tarkan

Meanwhile, paper Vatan has published a DHA news wire that gives a figure of 15,000 attending people, and prefers to focus on messages Tarkan gave from the stage, instead.

It's reported that Tarkan asked the crowd how the campaign against the proposed building of a hydro-powered dam in the region was going, before he went on to show his support for the campaigners.

Tarkan is quoted as saying, "From what I hear they won't be built. Don't stop the struggle. I'm with you. These lands were left to us by our grandfathers. We will not let them go. Yes to tourism. No to HES [hydro-powered dams]. They say the water is flowing for nothing. Is that possible? So does the sun and the wind then."

Appearing at the festival's finale, Tarkan spoke to the crowd in-between his songs to express his joy at being back "home".

"It's real good to be back home. The scenery is something out of a painting. Everything is so beautiful. I love you very much and have missed you."

Tightened Security for Tarkan

Vatan's report also writes that Tarkan came to Rize with 6 lorries and a 64-manned team. A special security force was in place, with no one allowed to approach the singer at all.

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