T/N: KOFICE (Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange)
The pith of Hallyu these days is K-pop. What once started with “Dae Jang Geum” and “Winter Sonata” is now beloved the world over for K-pop. Maybe “the world over” is a little too much, but the interview below proves that it’s not an exaggeration. Here’s an interview with a K-pop fan in Turkey, which we’ve only known vaguely as our brother country. Feyza Özdeş is a die-hard K-pop fan and the manager of JYJ Turkey fan club.
Q: Send your greetings to JYJ fans in Korea.
A: First of all, I would like to greet all JYJ fans in Korea in the name of JYJ Turkey. We are sending our sincere good wishes and love. We are waiting for the day when we can meet our Korean fellows in a great JYJ concert and share the joy all together.
Q: What are the attractive points of JYJ from the viewpoint of JYJ TURKEY? Who do you like the most among the members?
A: If you look at JYJ from JYJ Turkey’s perspective, you will see three mindtaking talents who are unearthly modest,hardworking and caring.They don’t fear from non-stop challenge and they always aim for better than what they currently do.They are gutsy warriors of music and music industry in our eyes.They are the source of inspiration.No matter what your age is, where you live, what language do you speak or what kind of sociocultural background you have, you just fall into their charm at the moment you see them.That is not something many artists can manage to do.Most importantly, they are open to their fans.JYJ lets people feel like fans are a real part of their lives, so all of us are trying our best to reach them and promote them in our own countries with the power of that feeling.The closer we feel like they are, the stronger we become.This is how JYJ is extraordinarily appealing to us.
I should emphasize that we have never been biased as JYJ Turkey.There is just no way we can chose one of them in terms of loving the most.Each one of them are so precious to us.They have their own ways to touch souls of people,they add their own flavors to their art.It’s not that we love them in different levels but we love each one of them in different ways. We fans can feel the love of trio too.
When you take a look at recent times, Turkey received albums from Kim Junsu thanks to Minister of Culture and Sports,Choe Kwang-shik.Many people felt the excitement of having ” Tarantallegra ” albums and we can’t even express how happy we felt to see that happening.It was beyond kind and caring of Kim Junsu for Turkey.So we are deeply grateful to both esteemed Choe Kwang-shik and Kim Junsu. Again a while ago, Kim Jaejoong came to Turkey and took a very huge step into giving us further hopes.It was an extra happiness and honor to see him with our president and with president Lee Myung-bak too. He did great here.This improvement fired the way we work much more, that’s why we are so grateful to him and of course to esteemed president Lee Myung-bak.We thank from the deepest of our hearts.
Before these, on his previous birthday, Park Yoochun thanked us for one of our visiual projects we made for him.When we saw him actually doing that, we were almost fainting from overflowing and joy. Crying from happiness is the most well-suited description for our reaction I think.We were supposed to be the ones giving a present yet he gave us one.I just hope that other artists’ or bands’ fans can feel such pleasure and honor at least once in their life times.We are thankful to Park Yoochun eternally. Before Kim Jaejoong fan meeting, all three of them signed 600 albums for their Turkish fans which is something unbelievably kind and unforgettable.Even if we are forced to choose, you see there is just no way because they love their fans in their own ways and we love them in our own ways.We see that supporting three of them equally,loving them equally brought us equal fortunes.Kim Jaejoong, Park Yoochun and Kim Junsu are just dears of our hearts and lives
Q: As a JYJ fan club, what activities is JYJ TURKEY engaged in?
A: Until now, JYJ Turkey has been engaged in promotion-based activities.In addition to promoting them in official social accounts,releasing news and translations and more,we have also been doing our projects that we called visual projects.We formed a filming crew with well-dominated friends who can spend time,effort, and whatever power they have for real.We made plans for long-term goals.We developed dramalike, documentarylike, musicallike, newslike story structures&concepts and more, then filmed.
What we needed were specific topics and enough material and information to write about.We wanted to show people why we love and support JYJ to this extent.That was the motive we had.Our ultimate goal was to attract more and more people from both our own country and from abroad by creating lovable, overflowing scenes dedicated to JYJ.
Indeed, we drew attention of countless people and parties in time.I believe the reason why we reached to this goal of ours is that we are sincere in what we do and people can feel it. So they believe that there must be a good reason behind why we are doing this,and that JYJ is worth it. Making introductions to people who don’t even know about JYJ or K-Pop at all is something that we will keep doing always too.
With all efforts we spent, JYJ Turkey has nearly 13.000 members currently.Today, even families of our members love and support us in our way to love and support JYJ. Except visual projects, our team makes periodical gatherings and chase after every chance to meet with our members to get to know them even closer,exchange ideas, and develop relationships to a better level.Especially during project processes, it’s our tradition to gather in houses or offices and do preparations together.This is why our interaction is so tight.We turned this love we feel for JYJ to a totally concrete reality and mutual wish of challenging together and succeeding. That’s why people are eager to taste the atmosphere we create and take their place in our activities to show it all worldwide.
Apart from these,we aim for huge open-to-everyone activities for future JYJ events such as concerts or meetings.We did an example of it during the time when Kim Jaejoong was here.
Q: If you were given the opportunity to personally interview JYJ, what questions would you like to ask first?
A: Personally, interviewing JYJ would be the most amazing and most difficult thing I guess.It is because there are just a lot of things to ask.However our prior questions would be about if they think of a permanent future in Turkey or not.By this,I mean regular events, sales, promotions and whatever comes to mind. Second top question would be that if we as JYJ Turkey can ever have the opportunity to provide guidance to them officially.This matter is so essential for us because we believe that our minds are beyond ready thanks to all of what we experienced,observed, and developed until now.We know how to make things work here.It’s a feeling like of a mother wants to guide her child because she knows that it will be useful.We believe that this country is like never truly unfold puzzle for them yet so we would love to be one of the sides who help them picking up right pieces and placing. This is the highest point of what we ask for.
Q: Is there Korean culture you are interested in other than K-Pop such as dramas, movies, Korean language and tourist sites of Korea?
A: Turkish JYJ fandom has a good perception of history and brotherhood between Turkey and South Korea.Most of us got interested in South Korea thanks to the feeling of loyalty and curiosity to that communal relationship.That’s why we have always stayed interested in this mutual history which leaded us to be curious about cultural texture of South Korea too in a natural process.We saw that two communities have many similarities as well.Then interest for K-Dramas, K-Pop and anything giving the familiar feeling of K-Trends highly increased in time. Currently, thousands of people are craving for a visit to South Korea I can say.
Q: Kindly introduce us K-Pop singers Turkey is interested in other than JYJ.
A: As far as we observed other than JYJ, K-Fans in Turkey really wish to see Kim Hyun Joong.He has many fans keeping his good reputation here.I believe he deserves that reputation too.If he comes, I am sure Turkey will welcome him very well and with love.As JYJ Turkey, we will be honored to pave the way for his fans and help with anything if that time comes.
Q: What do you think are the attractions of K-Pop? Also, how is it different to the pop culture of Turkey?
A: K-Pop is a very colorful genre that people enjoy being a part of it. Its speciality is attracting people with very well prepared MVs, stages, choreographies, shows and crazy crowd for well presented singers. This level of entertainment understanding can be rarely found in other countries.K-Pop is looking for perfect combination of show and music.Every detail of the presentation should be handled in high standards.I think this is what people like the most about K-Pop.
Turk Pop doesn’t have a K-Pop-like color.Turkish music divides into many genres in itself like Turkish Folk Music, Artificial Turkish Music and world music genres applied by Turkish artists.No matter it is Turk Pop or something else among those genres, Turkish artists love adding traditional Turkish flavor to their songs and to their style of singing which is something we are pleased with.So our music is presenting either only itself or a harmony of traditional and modernized sounds. We know that many Turkish people love K-Pop and many Korean fellows living and visiting here enjoy Turk Pop.