Bravo magazine 6
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Télé Club Plus
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Paul de Leeuw
World Music Awards
Bravo magazine 1
"I'm moving back to Europe!"
Bravo magazine (Germany), April 2000
Tarkan: his carreer in five
for America: In '94, Tarkan, already a superstar in his
homeland, left Turkey and moved to Manhattan
girls love him, boys copy his style
hair, stubbly beard, dressed in white: Tarkan became famous as a
for his typical, exotic oriental pop sound. After Europe,
Tarkan now conquers South America
toughest part: in January/ February 2000 Tarkan served the
Turkish army for 28 days
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."
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!
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.
I was a no-one and had to follow orders, without asking questions!"
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.
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
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.
12 hours of military service in the snow, I didn't feel my feet
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
| 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.
I tried to comfort a friend, I realized I have never genuinely been in
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
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
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.
Tarkan on stage
Translation from German: Marleen