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Bravo Magazine (Germany), July 1999

In Europe, Tarkan has already made it.  Now, the 26-year old, whose new single "Şıkıdım (Hepsi senin mi?) has just been released, is ready to conquer the world.  "My July calendar contains performances at very diverse countries", Tarkan says, looking great and ten pounds less weighted.  "I will perform in Tunisia, Portugal, Australia and even in Russia."  The fact that he is even a star in Russia, is a big surprise for Tarkan.  "Last month I was voted best foreign singer at a Russian radio station.  My song "Şıkıdım" has been covered over there by a famous Russian singer and has been a giant success over there years ago." To prepare for the tour he went on a diet en did a lot of working-out to keep fit.  "I don't eat bread or potatoes", Tarkan confesses.  But, nevertheless his giant success, Tarkan is not completely satisfied.  He regrets not having time for love right now, and he his homesick.  The reason:  The Turkish military authorities haven't decided yet whether or not he can re-enter Turkey after having refused his military service...

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I love my country 
and I'm proud to be Turkish

You haven't been to Turkey for 8 months, 'cause you would have to go to the military immediately.  What's the latest news in this matter?
Tarkan:  The military authorities haven't made a decision yet.  The only thing for me to do is wait.  My only hope is a special arrangement for Turkish people living and working abroad.  They have the possibility to reduce their 18 months service to 4 weeks.  This would be an ideal solution for me, and I will do it if I can.  But right now my application hasn't been accepted yet...
How does the Turkish public react?  Are your songs banned by radio stations?
Tarkan:  No, on the contrary.  I've heard I'm more popular than ever.  My fans miss me and finally want to see me live again.  Most youngsters have a modern attitude towards traditional values.  But of course there are conservative people too, to whom I am a disgrace to the society.  Last November, my mother was even threatened on the phone because of my refusal.  I was totally shocked to hear that.  Because I love my country like nothing else, and I'm proud to be Turkish!
Your mother Neşe is still living in Istanbul.  Do you miss her much?
Tarkan:  I sure do!  I can hardly bear it.  Luckily she meets me often when I perform somewhere in Europe.  In the United States, no one from my family has visited me yet.  But in August I will finally be moving into my new home in Manhattan - I will invite them all then: my sisters, my mother and her friend.  She married again two years ago, with an architect.
Your father Ali died four years ago.  Was his death a big shock for you?
Tarkan:  No!  He had a  serious heart disease for about 15 years and always suffered unbearable pains.  Sometimes I can still hear him crying.  When he had the relieving cardiac arrest, it was a relief for him and for us.  We had never been very close.  But I was close to my sisters - and I still am.  I visit my sisters Gulay and Nuray often in Mainz (Germany).
Do they treat you like a superstar?
Tarkan:  * laughs * No, no.  They spoil me with my favorite dish: fried chicken with potatoes and onions.  I have to sleep in my little niece's kids bed - in between the dolls, cuddle bears and toys.  Yeah, really!  My nieces  and their friends are my hardest critics.  I'm really glad they like my new single "Şıkıdım"...
What is the song about?
Tarkan:  It's about a girl that's dancing so sexy and hot that she made me go crazy.
Has this already happened to you?
Tarkan:  Yes, with my latest girlfriend!  I fell in love with her in November, when I saw her on the dance floor in a club in Paris.  I was totally fascinated by her movements.  When she suddenly grabbed my hand and dragged me to the dance floor, I was lost.

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Sikidim is about 
a girl I fell in love with

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I don't believe love 
can grow into friendship
Are you still together?
Tarkan:  No, unfortunately.  We broke up a month ago.  The reason was the distance between us: she is 23 and lives in Switzerland.
How did you get over it?
Tarkan:  Better than I thought.  I threw myself at my job and broke all contact with her.  It's no use in staying good friends after a relationship.  It can't work, it only makes things more complicated. 
You seem to know what you're talking about...
Tarkan:  Well, yeah.  It was my third serious relationship since I moved to New York four years ago.  The hardest thing was breaking with Elif.  She was five years older than me and worked as an head editor of the magazine "Cosmopolitan" in Turkey.  We met during an interview.  When I moved to the States in 1994, she quit her interesting job and joined me.  Our love didn't survive my hectic life.  Therefore Elif went back to Turkey after two years.  I haven't heard from her since.  I also never saw my last but one girlfriend again, even though we were together for 8 months.  She was also Turkish, but lived in Los Angeles and worked as a graphic designer.  I'm now solo again.  Too bad!
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I am back single since 
one month and I threw myself 
at my work
What are your future plans?
Tarkan:  When I'm back in New York, I'm going into the studio to work on new songs.  Next to a Turkish album, I'm also going to release my first English album.  
I don't know when it's going to be released yet. 
Do you already know how you are going to celebrate the new Millenium?
Tarkan:  My biggest wish is to spend it with my family in Turkey.  I hope the authorities will come to a decision...

  Bravo Magazine, July 1999.  Translated from German by Marleen



© Marleen 1999-2004