Turkey’s world-famous pop star Tarkan, renowned comedian Cem Yılmaz and singer Sezen Aksu are “more or less” affiliated with Turkey’s hotly-debated Gülen group, according to a columnist for the pro-government Sabah daily.
Ersin Ramoğlu claimed in his Monday column that Tarkan’s grandfather, Fethi Tevetoğlu, was a close associate of US-based Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The columnists also claimed that Tarkan and several other stars in Turkey are critical of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, because they have “more or less” affiliated with “FETÖ,” a term used by Turkish authorities to refer to the the Gülen group.
Ramoğlu also claimed that famous Turkish singer Sezen Aksu is connected to the group because her father was the founding principal of Yamanlar College in İzmir, which was closed down by the government due to alleged Gülen links.
In a similar vein, the columnist also stated that comedian Cem Yılmaz is linked to the group through his brother Metin Can Yılmaz, who is married to Dilara Altaylı, daughter of a former National Intelligence Organization (MİT) member Enver Altaylı, was arranged by an associate of Gülen.
This is not the first time columnists affiliated with pro-government media outlets accused Tarkan and Sezen Aksu of having secter links to the Gülen group and supporting the last years coup attempt.
In October 2016, Columnist Bayram Zilan from the pro-government Milat daily argued that Tarkan’s newest song “Cuppa” could have been composed for the July 15 coup attempt, saying that the song’s name would have been changed from “Cuppa” to “Cunta,” a Turkish word that corresponds to “junta, if the coup attempt had been successful.”
“The fact that a composer like Sezen Aksu, whose songs tug at our heartstrings, comes up with this sort of hollow song is a bit strange. Yet, what is even stranger is that this song was released one day before the coup attempt, July 14. Don’t you think it is a bit strange for a person like Sezen Aksu coming up with this sort of cheap song? Don’t you think that it’s a bit strange that a megastar like Tarkan, who turns down tens of lyrics offered him by many composers, sings this hollow song?” Zilan wrote in his column.
“If the coup had been successful, would the Fethullahist junta have turned the word ‘Cuppa’ into ‘Cunta’ [Junta] and then used the song as a ‘coup song’? Why was this song released on July 14 and not on July 15, 16, or 18? Sezen Aksu and Tarkan need to answer these questions,” Zilan wrote.
Tarkan’s “Cuppa” was composed by singer, songwriter and producer Sezen Aksu, who has sold over 40 million albums worldwide.
In a similar vein, Ömür Varol, a TV commentator from the pro-gov’t Beyaz TV argued in July that due to its lyrics and name, Sezen Aksu’s newest song “Manifesto” could have been calling for a second coup attempt in the upcoming autumn season.
According to Varol, the song “Manifesto” (Manifest) reminds the word “memorandum,” which is generally issued by the military officers in the aftermath of a military coup.
During a live TV Show, Varol also analyzed the lyrics and clip belonging to the song.
The TV commentator mostly focused on these two lines: “the wind is blowing backwards again, oh we have a harsh autumn ahead of us,” and then claimed that the singer may be signaling a second coup attempt in the upcoming autumn session.