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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Guide to the Stars

Russian pop stars performing in Anatolia in southern Turkey this week decided to go ahead with the concert lineup, despite feeling "emotional" after the news of Tuesday's earthquake, which killed more than 6,000 people.

"Morally it was a very tough experience when the whole country is in mourning," singer Vladimir Levkin said Thursday in a telephone interview from Anatolia.

An ex-member of Na-Na, an all-boys' band, Levkin was on stage in the Falez hotel on Tuesday together with fellow musicians Vica Tsiganova and the band Tete-a-Tete.

"There were a lot of Russians and Turks [at the concert], and their reaction was very good, although we expected more people to come," said Hakan Duran, deputy manager of the Falez hotel.

The music tour to Anatolia, costing $341, had been widely advertised in Moscow by the Inalex tourist agency days before the disaster and drew many Russians to the popular holiday destination.

According to Inalex deputy director Tatyana Chuvilkina, only one concert was canceled on Wednesday while less people than expected had attended the Tuesday gig.

Levkin said that the public in the concert hall had been "dancing happily" on Tuesday despite the tragic event.

"People here are far away from everything that happened," he said. "Anatolia is like a sovereign state."

He added that he and other artists had decided to give part of their concert money to victims of the earthquake.

Alexei Lyakhov, manager of Tete-a-Tete, said his band also planned to donate concert takings and would be prepared to participate in any charity concert organized by the Turkish side.

"We all were shocked and we thought that [Tuesday's] concert would be canceled," he said.

Lyakhov also said that Russian tourists had "felt much safer" once they knew that their idols were not panicking or planning to abandon their fans. A highlight of the festival - Tuesday's bash with Irina Saltikova and St. Petersburg DJ Igor Nadzhiyev - is still slated to go ahead.

"The show must go on despite the tragic event, but it is difficult to do," said Tsiganova, known for her patriotic, folksy songs such as "Balalaika-Zaraza."

"How is it possible to perform and have fun, when such a thing has happened?" she said.

Elvan Levent contributed to this column.