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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tarkan to Donate to Coup Victims?

Posted by Hatice Soylu from Istanbul, Turkey and Steffan Matrak from Moscow, Russia

Rumours say Tarkan to donate to coup victims.
Is it true or just good timing?

Tarkan's six performances at Istanbul’s Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Stage in September are still on sale having failed to sell out, but now that the singer's shows have been attached to major music station Kral's series of star events at the Harbiye, the sponsors are working hard to fill the remaining empty seats.

Rallying around the singer, Kral's pop radio arm will push advertising and promotion, giving away tickets from its radio station to fill seats. It will also manage positive promotion in the media to bolster Tarkan's image on opening night.

Additionally, it's understood plans are in place for radio DJs to handpick Tarkan fans from the crowd to interview during the first show for publication on social media accounts and enhance the artist's "patriotic" image.

It's believed part of this includes the latest rumour that Tarkan is planning to donate proceedings of a concert to the "democracy martyrs" of last month's failed coup.

The promotional news piece is ambiguous; it's not clear whether proceeds from the Harbiye shows are to go to victims or the singer is planning a separate concert - if at all, because no official source will confirm this to date.

Only - true or not - some commentators are saying it's too little too late. Moreover, using the deaths of hundreds to push unsold concert tickets is in bad taste, and unexpected from someone with Tarkan's status.

Reprinted alongside donation rumours amidst criticism of blood money, though, is the news that the iconic singer's tickets are in "high demand", with ticket seller Biletix crashing due to online interest and the singer "bending to fan pressure" to extend his shows.

Firing up the public to buy tickets before they "run out" is good PR, but the situation on Biletix unfortunately paints the different picture of a show artist struggling to sell tickets.

Even with two weeks of sale, the site shows that not a single date has sold out yet. Although Tarkan's shows are pinned on the Biletix home page at the top of the "Hot Tickets" section for most selling, this is due to the amount of dates available compared to others on sale, and after enquiring, the difficulties experienced we have been told are from people returning, not buying, tickets.

The good news is that fans, who haven't seen Tarkan perform live, will now have the chance due to the unprecedented availability of tickets, and with positive propaganda and gossip circulating, expectations are high that seats will be filled for all six dates before September.

On the other hand, it doesn't seem enough demand will be generated for more than six shows, unless the public really get behind the news that proceeds will be donated to families who lost loved ones in July.

UPDATES: Tarkan shows sell out finally >>
Why has Tarkan struggled to sell tickets? >>
Extra date added for Harbiye >>

The iconic singer, who refused to share his condolences with those who lost their lives on his social media outlets, was also absent from a mass rally in Istanbul, where hundreds of thousands of people gathered under the hashtag #TurkeyUnited to protest against last month's attempted coup.

After the attacks, however, the artist signed a celebrity "No to Coup" manifesto, followed by an appearance in a TV advert running the slogan, "We are citizens of Turkey, we won't give in to coups or terrorism".

Revealing the Harbiye line up on Biletix has also shown a change of heart by deciding to focus on Tarkan's classical album, instead of sidelining it for a previously planned pop release.

Kickstarting on September 3, all eyes are turned to Tarkan to see just what gestures he will make, if any, on stage and how the public will react.

As for any planned protests over the singer's political views, rumours from the Tarkan camp say they intend to tighten show security over fears some members of the public may throw objects at the singer.

Not taking any chances, it's being suggested that, along with tighter security and extra body searches, flags of all descriptions will be banned from the singer's September shows.

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