Tuesday, September 22, 2009

After Hours

Tarkan. Sikidim

What do you get when you combine Elvis with Bruce Springsteen and add a dash (just a dash, no more) of George Michael and teach this creation how to speak Turkish? That's right, Tarkan. You know, I might be overstating this a bit, but I'd say the three most revered figures, past or present, in Turkey right now are 1. Ataturk, 2. Mehmet the Conqueror, and, 3. Tarkan.

Here we have one of his early hits. The title is spelled "sikidim," but it's pronounced "sheekidoom." It's a crazy language. I speak it poorly. Anyhow, this is a weird video; he has to be rescued from his own rabid fans. They totally trash his car. That's not legal, is it? Well, ladies, the sad news is that you're wasting your time. Tarkan is quite gay (see update below). It's kind of odd how he came out. His apartment in New York was being renovated. One of the workmen, who just happened to be Turkish, found a stash of gay porn and threatened to sell the story to the Turkish tabloids. Tarkan called the guy's bluff and outed himself. Even though homosexuality is taboo in Turkey (as it is throughout the Islamic world to various degrees), Tarkan is still a super-megastar at home.

One of the reasons why I love to visit Turkey (which hasn't happened since 2002) is that you get to hear Tarkan everywhere you go. His tunes go equally as well out in the sticks as they do in the middle of Istanbul or Ankara. Expect to hear more of them in the future.

UPDATE: Well, perhaps the issue of Tarkan's preference is not quite as settled as I thought. The last time I was in Turkey - granted, it was a while ago - every single Turk I talked to would say, "Yeah, Tarkan's gay, but he's still awesome" or something similar. I'd ask how this came about and they'd all tell me the same story, the one I more or less relate above. For me, the issue doesn't really matter. Tarkan is awesome - plain and simple. But if it makes any difference, let's just categorize his sexuality as "undeclared" and bask in his awesomeness.


Matthew Weber said...

Where did you read that he was gay? The man has had a string of girlfriends. You need to go to Tarkan Deluxe (Google it) to get the real story on that. They have a Q&A on Tarkan. Find it and get updated.

Dark-Huntress Heather said...

He's not gay. He was with his last girlfriend, Bilge, for almost 8 years. The supposed porn was pictures taken at a beach of him hugging male friends. Please!!! But as Matthew said, check out Tarkan Deluxe. Ali writes well and sifts through the Turkish media which loved to rip apart Tarkan.

Igor Keller said...

Seriously, it makes no difference to me either way. I'm just relaying what I heard from Istanbul to Ankara to Antalya to Ptarra and everywhere in between. Ali lives in friggin' Germany. I'm sure he knows his Tarkan - and that's fine, but every Turk I've met pretty much tells me the same story - which is the one I've told.

It's a very familiar tale; George Michael had "long-term girlfriends" (as did Rock Hudson the Tab Hunter). Michael even threatened to sue a number of tabloid reporters when they alleged his homosexuality. This lasted for years. It's not a bad thing. It has actually worked out for everyone involved. GM can be gay, and the tabloids can exploit his latest arrest for cruising. It's not ideal, but at least it's real.

This in no way diminishes Tarkan's greatness. Won't someone please say something about Serge Gainsbourg, who wasn't gay but was quite the pop music genius??

Matthew Weber said...

yeah but the one you were told was obviously wrong, because they weren't porn mags, they were pictures of him on the beach with mates, and that was it! There was nothing in it, but the media played the hype and the public believed it - or wanted to - and that is what we're saying. Sometimes an outsider NOT IN TURKEY can see things the way they are. Ali is in the UK by the way, Adelind is in Germany. The gossip is wrong, is all I'm saying. I don't care either way.