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Kostas Martakis 275x212Tarkan is undoubtedly one of the most popular singers in Turkey. In addition to his record-breaking album sales, he is known for staging concerts that draw tens of thousands of people. In 2004, at the "Karadeniz Eregli Love, Peace and Friendship Festival" approximately 700,000 people watched his concert, while in 2006 authorities reported almost the same numbers.






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"I've never seen such a sight before. I'll never forget this picture as long as I live," he said after the 2004 festival. In 2006 he also performed in Eastern Thrace, in front of an audience of 50,000.

His popular image has been courted by several companies; he became the face first for Pepsi, then for two Turkish telephone companies, Turkcell and Avea. His 2003 tour was sponsored by Opet and he shot three television advertisements for them. Tarkan's popularity can also be measured by the fact that he became the first Turkish singer to require personal security guards. His bodyguard is Levent Agaoglu, the founder of Legend Security. Agaoglu's company is also responsible for the security of Tarkan's house in Istanbul, and the office of his production company HITT. His bodyguards escort him during his personal travels as well.

In recent years, Tarkan has gained international recognition beyond his parents' native Turkey. He is popular in Eastern European countries like Romania and Bulgaria, and in Russia, where he has performed extensively.In 2006 He gave his first Middle Eastern concert in Dubai in front of 9,000 people.He is also known in Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Macedonia, the UK and the USA, mainly among the Turkish diaspora. His popularity in the United Kingdom, although Tarkan has never charted there, is also evident from the success of his Wembley Arena concert, given in London, on 13 April 2008, where he was interviewed by BBC radio prior to the event.


While his song "Simarik" has been sampled by various artists in these countries, the lucrative film industry in India has also poached several Tarkan hits, including "Sikidim", "Kuzu Kuzu" and "Dudu", for various Bollywood films.

His Kis Günesi song has been chosen as one of "The Unforgettable Hits of Turkish Music" by Hürriyet newspaper.Tarkan also has many fans in Iran. In conjunction with the release of Metamorfoz, Tarkan became the first Turksh artist to have a mp3 player named after him. German manufacturer of storage products and audio devices TrekStor joined up with Tarkan for their mp3 player series i.Beat. Packed with special features, the digital player was titled the i.Beat Emo Tarkan edition.

Tarkan does not like to talk about his personal life, which has partly fueled the "is he-is he not gay" discussion, and the subject of his relationships often fills the front pages of Turkish newspapers and magazines. In 2001, when Tarkan was moving houses in New York, a worker stole what the domestic media tried to portray as compromising photos which suggested his homosexuality, but were simply photos with other men in swimwear in a public nude beach.

Kostas Martakis 293x428In a special interview to Hürriyet, Tarkan contested the widespread assumption that he was gay. Tarkan subsequently gave fewer and fewer interviews and television appearances, limiting himself to a small number of trusted journalists. In 2006, he claimed that his relationship with the media had gone wrong.

In a rare interview in 2006 he said, "There's a trust crisis between me and the media. I'm fed up with being forced into arguments, that all my words are twisted around. I don't want to do it any more. It's no fun any longer. They are aiming right for my head ... When I go to America, I'm so jealous of their talk shows. There are no such things in Turkey.

Who shall I talk to in Turkey, in which talk show? Plus, they would film me in ridiculous places and I would end up being shown as someone I'm not. And in the end, the topic will always come back to the same question: Are you gay? Are you bisexual?

He was together with female lawyer Bilge Öztürk for 7 years until they amicably split in 2008. The artist has been quoted in the media several times as regarding the institution of marriage to be outdated, stating he would only get married if he had children for their benefit. Tarkan owns a ranch-like property in Polonezköy, Istanbul, where he cultivates fruit trees and keeps animals. Tarkan also owns a flat in Murray Hill, New York, worth approximately 5 million dollars, according to the Turkish press (the flat was sold on 6/29/2010 for $1,475,000).

In February 2010 during a drug raid police officials found narcotics in the singer's house. In September 2011 he admitted before court that he had been using drugs, he however claimed that he never paid for them.






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