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Tarkan: "I'm moving back to Europe!"
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Bravo magazine (Germany), April 2000

Tarkan: his carreer in five pictures

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Fit for America:  In '94, Tarkan, already a superstar in his homeland, left Turkey and moved to Manhattan

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Tarkan: girls love him, boys copy his style

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Long hair, stubbly beard, dressed in white: Tarkan became famous as a Prince Charming

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Gold for his typical, exotic oriental pop sound.  After Europe, Tarkan now conquers South America

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His toughest part:  in January/ February 2000 Tarkan served the Turkish army for 28 days
Tarkan appears at the interview with a big smile on his face.  "In three days I'm flying to Mexico", he says excited.  "My album sold over 200,000 copies over there - while I'm singing in Turkish!".  Not only there, but also in France and Brazil Tarkan is a star.  "I'm gonna need a private jet soon", he jokes, but all of a sudden he gets serious.  "All kidding aside.  In reality, I can give up on luxury.  I realized that during my 28 days military service." 
In the army, you got treated like any other soldier.  Did this military service change you?
It hasn't changed me, but I found myself again.  Before, I lived for many years in the glamour of show business.  Whenever I needed something, I only had to snap my fingers to make it happen.  All of a sudden I became a no-one, relying on myself, and I had to follow orders, without asking questions.  That was hard!
Which personal things did you have with you?
Only a tooth-brush, underwear and a book about Zen-philosophy, the Japanese version of Buddhism.  Their philosophy is "Live at the moment".  I love reading books about various religions in this world.  It provides me with strength and relaxation to face difficult situations.

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"Suddenly I was a no-one and had to follow orders, without asking questions!"
What was the hardest thing to deal with in the army?
The military training in the snow - from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.!  Many times I didn't feel my frozen feet anymore.  My whole body was chilled to the bone, however I wore long underpants, jogging pants and the military uniform.  Many times, my clothes were soaking wet, as during marching on the slippery barrack square I sometimes slipped out and fell into the snow.  
Did you also have to shoot?
Oh yeah.  Actually, I was very good at shooting.  We got 30 seconds to shoot 3 bullets as close together as we could.  I immediately got it right.
Do you own a gun in New York to protect yourself?
Oh no. I'm against violence.
Which kind of labor did you have to do in the army?
I worked in the kitchen.  Scrubbing the floor, dishwashing, laying the table and serving my comrades the food.  They all sat at long tables, and I served them food out of a huge casserole.  Whenever the officers didn't watch, the other soldier mocked at me, 'cause Tarkan, the star, had to serve them.  But soon enough they found out I was just one of them. 


"After 12 hours of military service in the snow, I didn't feel my feet anymore!"

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Did you make new friends in the barracks?
Yes, I did.  Their names are Erol, Mehmet, Esat and Ali, and they have nothing to do with show business.  Erol is a policeman.  At nights in the dormitory, he told me his sad love story.  His fiancée Senay promised to wait for him, but she left him for another man who could give her more luxury.  When I heard him crying every night, I tried to comfort him.  I told him she was unfair to him and he had been too good to her.  But at the same time, I realized I don't know what real love is.  My feelings for a 
woman have never 
been that strong to cry for her for weeks.  I became clear to me that I'd never experienced true love, although I thought I did a few times.

What did you do after your military service ended?
I partied every night and went to all the clubs in Istanbul with my old friends.  Then I went into the studio and produced a song "Sen baţkasýn" (you are different) for the Turkish singer Levent Yüksel.  After two weeks I flew back to New York, where I'm recording my new album.
"When I tried to comfort a friend, I realized I have never genuinely been in love!"

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How does a normal day in the US look like?
(laughs)  Quite differently than in the army.  There I had to get up at 5.30 a.m., in New York I get home at that time.  No, all kidding aside: Normally I get up at 9 and prepare breakfast - two scrambled eggs, cereals with milk, oranges and yogurt.  Then I go to the fitness-club or I go jogging in Central Park.  Normally I only start working in the studio in the afternoon.
Do you want to stay in New York, or are you moving back to Turkey?
I like living in New York, and I'm going to keep my loft in 
Manhattan  anyhow.  Finally I managed to decorate it in a bright way with few pieces of furniture, with the help of an architect.  But I am indeed looking for a new home in Europe - probably in South-France or Paris.  I thought about moving back to Germany at first, but there and in Turkey I already live as a child.

Your fans are impatiently awaiting a new single - when will it be released?
By the end of May.  After that, my new album will be released.  If I'm gonna be touring afterwards is not sure yet.

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Tarkan on stage

 Translation from German: Marleen 


© Marleen 1999-2004