January 16, 2010 marked the beginning of İstanbul’s year as European 2010 Capital of Culture. Also broadcasted live on many TV channels, concerts, street events, fireworks and light shows continued all night long in Istanbul and managed to attract the attention of many people despite the cold weather and rain.
Turkish pop star Tarkan’s special concert in Taksim Square was one of the highlights of Istanbul’s cultural celebration bringing thousands of Tarkan fans together. Tarkan’s concert had received more media coverage than the other concerts even before the concert itself took place. It was not surprising to see the huge crowd in Taksim Square waiting to dance and sing with their idol, a legendary pop icon in Turkey.
Tarkan’s performance was faultless as usual. His singing was crystal clear and his presence on the stage both sincere and inspiring. And his metal-studded jacket by Ceyda Balaban (Jada Balaban), a Turkish designer, image and concept consultant living in the UK, became a talk of the town quickly. The jacket Tarkan wore had the word “İstanbul” on the back with the letter “T” in a much bigger font for Tarkan.
It’s been almost ten days since Tarkan appeared in Taksim Square in İstanbul. However, almost every day there is still a reference to his concert, his costume and his performance in the Turkish media. All the negative criticism has not been directed against Tarkan himself but towards the organizing committee of the events. The committee is criticized for adding too much popular culture into the events of the opening night. All these criticisms are worth looking into.
However, we also believe that Tarkan’s concert and the other concerts in other parts of Istanbul have helped many Turkish people become aware of Istanbul’s being the culture capital of Europe in 2010.
And we believe that the most important criticism in fact lies in the last sentence above.