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Turkish megastar comes under fire for centennial concert in Izmir 

The centennial of Izmir’s liberation from three years of Greek occupation in the early 20th century started a new fight between the opposition in the government as well as Neo-Ottomans and Kemalists.  
Turkish pop singer Tarkan performs March 3, 2007, during his concert in Rotterdam.

IZMIR, Turkey — “I am not going anywhere until he sings ‘Geccek,’” Ayda Gurel, a 20-year-old student at one of Izmir’s private universities, said as she elbowed her way further to the stage where Turkish pop star Tarkan sang and danced on Sept. 9. 

The megastar’s concert, which drew hundreds of thousands to Izmir’s waterfront, was the key event at the centennial celebrations that marked the port city’s “liberation” by Mustafa Kemal’s forces after three years of Greek occupation after the First World War. Many Turks see the recapturing of the multicultural trade city as one of the building blocks of the modern republic founded by Kemal Ataturk in 1923. 

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