Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shocking Death of the Dancer

171234_defne-joy-fosterThe Turkish entertainment world was shocked to learn Wednesday of the death of a famous TV host, and actress, 31-year-old Defne Joy Foster. Up until last week, Foster appeared in a popular dance contest show, based roughly on "Dancing with the Stars" but had been eliminated only the week before. For a rundown on what is presently known- and there's a lot of remaining questions, I think- click at the link below. Here is an excerpt:

..reports said she might have died due to excessive alcohol consumption. The house in the Kadıköy district where she died was the house of Kerem Altan, the son of Taraf daily Editor-in Chief Ahmet Altan. News reports said Foster was out on Tuesday night at a bar in Taksim with Altan and the two friends later went to Altan’s house. After a while, Foster lost consciousness.

Altan tried to help her, but was unable to do so and left the house to call a doctor. When he came back, he found that Foster was dead. Police and paramedics rushed to the house at the news that she had died. Ahmet Altan and Foster’s husband, İlker Yasin Solmaz, also went to the house. Police reportedly found asthma medication in Foster’s bag.

Until more information arises as to the cause of death, the circumstances remain mysterious. On the surface, attributing her death to asthma seems peculiar since she was engaged in strenuous dance routines without much detectable problem. Additionally, that particular show regularly scheduled its contestants to dance three routines on each show. Hardly what one would expect from a person who suffered from any kind of health problem. Wasn't any kind of health examination or vetting process?

As a result of her death, the popular show has been thrown into turmoil. The high-rating show's producer, Acun Illicali, has not yet decided whether to continue with the contest or to stop the show and is holding meeting with his media company to decide.

Foster's sudden tragic death cuts short a promising career. With her lively personality and mile-a minute wit, she was a unique personality on Turkish television. With both American and Turkish parents, Foster combined the best of both cultures and she will be missed.


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  1. Sad. Interesting, though, that as soon as I saw that the man with her was the son of the Taraf guy, I went "whoa."

    And then I asked BE about it, which resulted in a long conversation that was one of the most interesting we've had in years.

    Things are so deliciously complicated sometimes.

  2. @ stranger
    Yes. I thought I would leave that part for others to speculate on. :)

  3. I had a hard time getting through Orhan Pamuk's "Black Book," but one thing he perfectly captured in that story was the multi-layered-ness of every event here (perhaps the same could be said of many Eastern countries). You can never explain one event without explaining 5 others in the past, and the explanations and connections change depending on who you're talking to.

    And even if this woman's death was just a regular tragedy, the endless speculation (not to mention really shoddy reporting, like why the hell did Altan leave to call a doctor? What is this, 1952?) is kind of thrilling.

  4. I- probably like you- have my theories but I'd prefer to keep them off the more public channels. Hopefully somebody will be looking deeper into this. More than the usual Sunday afternoon gossip celebrity news.

    Ever read Don Delillo's "Libra"? although it IS definitely a well-worn topic, I found it fascinating. I couldn't make it through his other book, "Underworld" I tried twice and gave up.

  5. That makes me feel better about Underworld. I don't think I even got through the first chapter. Same goes for Thomas Pynchon, to whom Delillo is invariably compared.

    Even a couple of years ago, I might have posted some of the wilder speculations on this death. More and more, though, I find myself hesitating to say much of anything. Not like my blog is so widely read or anything, but our good leader has, of late, extended his libel civil suits to bloggers... On one hand, I feel like a wimp and a sellout (I did get expelled from high school for spearheading an underground newspaper, after all), but on the other hand the prevailing force in much of my life right now is my bottomless desire to be the one who raises my son.

  6. Yes, Libra was much more enjoyable and accessible, as they say.

    Of course, people should be expected to be responsible on the Internet, but if you wish to see the underbelly of humanity, you just have to go to HuffPo comment section or still worse, Youtube's.
    If anything my post here is a call for answers but I am not in any position to point fingers at anybody. Hopefully the police will continue to look for the causes of her death because what is known doesn't really add up.
    I have written some articles about American politics and some of the outlandish people who are involved in it. I believe I have more right to speak about this subject.
    AS far as life here, I tend to be a complainer about the everyday issues which most Turkish people readily sympathize with.


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