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Turkish Pop Legend Takes It All Off

Written by PETA | February 19, 2010

Question: Why are we obsessed with Turkish pop legend Tarkan? Answer: Deemed the “Prince of Pop” and the Turkish Elvis, the international musical phenomenon is also a friend to animals. He took time out of his hectic schedule to pose with Penny, a PETA staff member’s rescued pooch, and to urge people to help control the animal overpopulation crisis by having their animal companions spayed or neutered. Check out his new ad and an interview he did with PETA Germany:




When did PETA first enter your life?
During the promotional tour for my album Come Closer, PETA reached out to me to voice feelings about my wearing a fur coat on the album cover. Having been an animal lover since childhood, this instance when I was pictured wearing fur on the cover of my album was truly a regrettable one. On the day of my album’s cover shoot, we tested many looks, one of which happened to include a coat with fur accents. The pictures ended up being used as the album’s cover artwork. In hindsight, I wish I had never worn the coat—but I am also a believer that everything in life happens for a reason. Because of that mistake, PETA and I crossed paths, joined forces, and are now working together to protect animal rights worldwide. Once all the unimaginable circumstances being suffered by helpless animals were brought to my attention and I saw footage portraying the horrible pain that animals were enduring for the sake of fashion, I immediately swore off fur.

What do you think of PETA?
I am happy to be supporting PETA—an organization that’s fighting for animal rights worldwide. PETA’s relentless efforts to protect the well-being of animals around the world is a cause that is very important to me.

How do you think we can make animals’ lives better? Do you think that the existing campaigns are enough?
I am fortunate enough to be able to use my celebrity to draw attention to PETA and to encourage my fans to join the animal rights movement. I feel it is up to all of us to take a stand as consumers and choose a cruelty-free lifestyle. Once we stop encouraging industries that are making a profit at the expense of animals, we will end the demand and make a change for animals worldwide.

Do you think that celebrities are doing enough to protect the rights of animals in Turkey?
There have been many celebrities in Turkey who have spoken out for animal rights, including my dear friend, Sezen Aksu, who is both an animal lover and an activist. I hope that with this campaign, more of my colleagues, friends, and fans will be inspired to voice their support for animal rights.

How did you find your dogs?
Over the last few years, I have rescued approximately a dozen dogs from the streets of Turkey. Some were brought to me by friends, and some have even shown up at my doorstep looking for a home. They have brought me endless joy, and I treasure their unconditional love.

How many dogs do you have, and where do they live?
I currently have four dogs (all rescued), named Efe, Carmella, Johnita, and Jackie. They all live with me at my ranch just outside Istanbul.

Do you have a favorite among them? Why?
I love all my dogs, as each has his or her own unique character. But Johnita is very special to me—she is the one who never leaves my side, no matter what.

Tell us a story about you and one of your dogs.
I used to have a dog named Efe, who I loved—and who passed away. Just a week later, a stray dog who almost identically resembled Efe showed up at my doorstep. I immediately welcomed him into my family and named him Efe as well.

How is your life nowadays? What is the latest with you?
I am currently in the studio working on my new album. In my free time, I like to work with many nonprofit organizations such as DoÄŸa DerneÄŸi (Nature Foundation), UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and more, to use my voice for change. But most of all, I am happy to be able to come home to my loving companions at the end of a long day at the studio.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • Gaynar says:

    You have good heart and a beautiful soul that will live forever xxxxx

  • Luna says:

    You should make another campaign with him and ask him very politely if he would like to become vegetarian, and show him what a tragedy the animals suffer to become “food”. Gosh he’s so sweet and beautiful inside and out

  • Nomac says:

    Good Job Tarkan. We are proud of you.

  • Madzia says:

    He’s amazing ! He sings so beautiful and creates a wonderful music and besides he is really brave, with big, great heart. He is against cruel treatment of animals also in his country, for example killing animals problem in traditional Bayram. His words about it were brave. It truly impressed me.

  • Julia Gatell says:

    I have always been a big fan of Tarkan and I support the great labor that PETA do for the animal rights Im very happy that PETA and Tarkan work together sharing the message with the world and I believe that Tarkan’s voice will help a lot he’s an amazing artistand a extraordinary activist human beingso many people will heard him around the globe!!!! Congrats greetings from MEXICO

  • Lisa keliher says:

    A beautiful man with a beautiful soul. You have a new fan. Thank you.

  • Valerie McIntyre says:

    It’s nice to read the Tarkan regretted wearing the fur coat on his album cover. Fur is NOT popular nowadays…besides it looks best on the animal who was born with it. I have to laugh. I have rescued SO many dogs and cats over the years and many were dumped in my yard. So many people don’t realize that animals are living beings with feelings and souls and are no different than us humans. Yes being a celebrity allows one a lot of power to promote good. Animal activism is one of the best things Tarkan or any other celebrity can do. Way to go Tarkan. You make many of us proud. I am sure the dogs of Turkey are all looking for your ranch.

  • melisa says:

    Tarkan is the best!!!!! Thank you so much for bringing awareness to this issue! thanks to PETA Germany turkish dogs are getting lots of help!!! Hopefully we can all make a change and better the lives of animals instead of ignoring them. WAY TO GO TARKAN!!! TURKIYE SENI SEVIYOR!!!!

  • B says:

    Tarkan was always an activist on about animal rights and was a huge supporter for our mother earth! I love his vision and heart… and i always believed that he is the only one who can be a right role model for Turkish youth. Thank you Peta for choosing him and let him to say his words.

  • oguz says:

    wow it is so nice

  • trknmania says:

    tarkaaaaaannnnn harikasn tek kelimeyle…

  • Begum Ozbek says:

    As a Turkish citizenI can confidently say that Turkey is the hell on earth for animals. Support from internationally recognized organizations such as PETA will go along way in educating people about animal rights and helping animals in need. Rock on PETA! Please continue to bring more help to those poor angels of Turkey. Of course Thanks a million to compassionate and talented Tarkan. I have always been a big fan of his music and now I am also a big fan of his personality and big heart.

  • Faruk says:

    This is great

  • Juana Jenny Balbuena says:

    Not everybody does that some people can’t even see the importance of this type of involvement. I’m very happy Tarkan does. Congratulations to him and every person that cares about animals children elder etc and anybody that needs help

  • sandra keskin says:

    tarkan you are not just as musician a miracle.. as married with a turkishkurdish man i just hope that in turkey one day people will have respect for animals… i just can thank you and plead you to make more to change turkish thinking about animals…. tessekler canim selamlar sandra

  • Sharon says:

    Very good job! Read that hes gonna release a new track with rihanna? would be great! love him so much greetz from L.A.

  • Şımarı says:


  • Andre Inglis says:

    All around the world! Thank you so much for speaking up for the voiceless Tarkan!!

  • Melis G. says:

    I have loved his music for years and knowing that he loves and cares for animals. Makes me love him even more. Tarkan sen Supersin

  • sara says:

    Yay! Turkish Power! Way to gio