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About Tarkan Pictures Song Lyrics Music&Video Fun stuff


Facts & Figures
Latest news
Concert dates

The story so far

He has been the best selling artist in Turkey for years now, and the past year he's been conquering every European country with his songs "Şımarık" (commonly known as "the kiss-song") and Şıkıdım.  His music is the perfect balance between Western pop-music and oriental influences.  His lyrics are loaded with Turkish slang, often sexually tinted.  He dances in a sensual, provocative way.  But who is this man really ?  Let's get to know him a little better... 

At the beginning
tarkan205.jpg (28171 bytes)Tarkan Tevetoğlu was born on October 17, 1972 in Alzey, near Frankfurt (Germany), where he lived with his parents, two brothers and three sisters.  His parents lived in a rental house and worked in a factory.  Later on, his father started a successful business as an interior decorator.  Therefore, it was a complete surprise that, when Tarkan was about 14 years old, his father suddenly decided for the family to move back to Turkey.

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his father Ali  

his mother Neşe

Musical education
Back in Turkey, Tarkan started his classical musical education at the Music High School in Karamürsel.  He worked together with famous and successful Turkish composers.  Afterwards, he continued this musical education in Istanbul.  At the age of 16, he already performed in Turkish bars and clubs to earn his pocket money.

Mehmet Söğütoğlu
In 1993, while he and his family were still having problems adjusting to the Turkish way of life and decided to move back to Germany, Tarkan would have done the same if it wasn't for Mehmet Söğütoğlu.  
Mehmet Söğütoğlu is the owner of Istanbul Plak, one of the most successful record companies in Turkey.  A mutual friend gave him a demo cassette with Tarkan's songs, and he jumped right to it.  If he would have reacted a few days later, Tarkan would already have moved back to Germany, and his life would have taken a complete different direction, and he would probably be leading an anonymous life over there.

The take-off of his carreer
After having met Mehmet, who is his producer today, Tarkan'shoesYineSenzis.jpg (57151 bytes) musical career started off.  His debut album "Yine Sensiz" (Again without you) was released in December 1993 and sold over 700.000 copies.  The second album "Aacayipsin" (You are wonderful) was released in May, 1994, and sold over 2.000.000 copies in Turkey and hoesA-acayipsin.jpg (60554 bytes) 700.000 copies in Europe, which hadn't been accomplished by any other Turkish pop star before.

A megastar was born !
Tarkan broke sales records and rose to the top of the Turkish rock- and pop scene.  From then on, he couldn't take one step without media attention.  His life was documented on every front-page and every TV-program.  In fact, he was the first male ever to appear on the cover of the Turkish Cosmopolitan.  Finally, he had the success he always dreamed of, but this huge success also had its price.  When he couldn't take a step anymore without a bodyguard and the paparazzi following him around, Tarkan decided to move to the United States at the end of 1994.

New York
Tarkan studied for two years at the Baruch College in New York.  As a result, he speaks English fluently.
Ahmet Ertegun -who has Turkish roots also-, the founder of the giant record company Atlantic Records, is eager to support Tarkan in becoming the first Turkish top act in America.  He heard Tarkan perform in Istanbul, and immediately felt that he could reach the top in America too.  Next summer he will release his first album in English.

Taking over Europe
In the mean time, Tarkan was taking over Europe.  In 1995 he toured in 26 Turkish cities and managed to rush over 800.000 fans to the stadiums.  At the end of that year he did some concerts in Western Europe and over here he also found a large circle of fans. 
In March, 1997 he toured together with Sezen Aksu, who is the Queen of Pop in Turkey, and with whom Tarkan has written some songs (e.g. Şımarık, Şıkıdım).
hoesOlurumSana.jpg (58645 bytes) After a break of three years, Tarkan released his third album "Ölürüm Sana" (I'm crazy about you) in July, 1997, which was followed by a giant European tour.  Locations like London (Hippodrome), Paris (Bataclan), Berlin (Arena) were just some of the locations Tarkan easily filled.  The album sold over 3 million copies in Turkey alone.

When the single "Şımarık" (spoilt) was released, it became a giant hit all over Europe: it reachedtarkan1.jpg (12892 bytes) the Top 3 in France, in Belgium it even raised to no.1. 
For the European market, the record company released a compilation album simply called "Tarkan", which contains basically the same songs as the "Ölürüm Sana" album, but with some additional songs from the "Aacayipsin" hoesTarkan.jpg (44596 bytes) album. e.g. Şıkıdım, Dön Bebeğim, Gül Döktüm Yollarına.

In the spring of 1999 (March-April) he did another successful European tour, which brought him to the following countries: Germany, France, England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Austria.
This tour was followed by a summer tour (July 1999) to Portugal, Ukraine, Morocco, Tunisia and even Russia and Australia.

In May, 1999, he was voted the "Best selling Turkish artist" at the World Music Awards in Monaco, which got him world-wide attention .

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Tarkan a deserter ?
November 1998, Turkish newspapers reported that Tarkan could be stripped of his citizenship, because he failed to show up for military service.  An 18-month service is compulsory for every Turkish male. 
Due to his current success in Western Europe, Tarkan refused to start his service.  Efforts to make him an honorary cultural ambassador for Turkey and thus postpone the military service, failed.  The case attracted wide attention in Turkey.  If he returned to Turkey, he would have been arrested and sent to a military tribunal.  If he stayed abroad (like he did, he is still living in New York), he could be stripped of his citizenship. 
October 1999, a new law in Turkey which allowed Turkish men to reduce their military service to one month, after paying a 16.000$ fee.  At January 10, 2000, after having stayed 16 months abroad, Tarkan returned to Turkey to go to the military.  After giving a superb concert in Istanbul, during which he got an army haircut, he went to the army a few days later and his service ended on February 14th.

My opinion on Tarkan
I personally feel Tarkan is one of the best artists, if not THE best artist of the last decade.   His music is great, and besides that, he is an excellent performer.  He has a great, sensual voice which always stays in tune, he's a superb dancer, and of course, he is strikingly good-looking.
I wish him all the luck in his big dream to become a world star, and I hope he will provide us with his wonderful music for many years to come.

© Marleen 1999-2004