A TV investigator on Schwalbe tires: Tan Caglar is Schwalbe's new brand ambassador. The 41-year-old wheelchair user is a true multi-talent and not only tours Germany as a comedian but is also a successful actor. For example, he embodies the role of a visceral surgeon in a well-known TV series and has been investigating as a criminal assistant in a successful crime series since November 2021. In the interview, he explains his connection to Schwalbe, his various roles and what his greatest passion is.
Welcome to the Schwalbe family, Tan! And that's not new to you at all, is it?
Tan Caglar: Thank you very much! That's right, we've actually been working together for just under five years, with a brief interruption. In 2017, it was about an advertising motif for the international trade fair Rehacare, now I'm an official brand ambassador and the cooperation is being significantly intensified.
What is important to you in the cooperation?
I am someone who is very dependent on his mobility and movement. Everything I do, I do in my wheelchair. That's why it's also important for me now to show that the cooperation is linked to my personality and is authentic. At Schwalbe, I notice that they respond to the needs of us wheelchair users with their products, listen to us and then incorporate our feedback into the development of new tires.
You yourself were born with a spinal cord disease that didn't affect you that much in the beginning. You have been a wheelchair user for about 15 years now and suffered from depression at the beginning. How did you manage to get out of this situation?
It took time. In addition to the support of my family, sport has helped me decisively. I was an enthusiastic basketball player before, and now I'm a passionate wheelchair basketball player.
What does basketball mean to you? You are currently still active in the 2nd Bundesliga in wheelchair basketball for the Paderborn Ahorn-Panthers.
That's really the passion that burns in me. I grew up with it. I recently played in a game again after two and a half years and immediately noticed: "Oh wow, you're really getting into it. That's why I surely don't want to renounce it. So, it's of course exciting that Schwalbe is currently developing a wheelchair tire that is specially tailored to the requirements of wheelchair basketball.
What exactly does the collaboration with Schwalbe look like?
The cooperation is much broader, so on the one hand I will be involved in various projects, about which more will certainly be known in the coming weeks and months. On the other hand, I will also be contributing my input and practical experience to the development of wheelchair tires, including those from wheelchair basketball, of course.
What does your practical experience look like?
My very first wheelchair, which I still have, has Schwalbe tires. If the thing still holds up so well after well over ten years, then they must be good (laughs).
What do you think is so special about Schwalbe tires?
I used to have solid rubber tires, too, and I noticed back then that they were incredibly heavy. Every time I rode down a sidewalk, it really banged - the chair almost popped off a bit. I didn't even know in the beginning when I had pneumatic tires then that they were Schwalbe tires. The difference was extreme though, they were much more comfortable. My experience with Schwalbe has been enormously positive.
For you personally, the past year 2021 was very eventful - in addition to your work as a comedian, you have also been present as an actor for a few months and reach an audience of millions. How did that come about?
I have a bit of a feeling that nothing happens or everything happens at once. That's exactly how it was with me: I was on the road as a comedian, but completely on lockdown, everything was canceled. Then when two calls came in, I first thought: What's going on now? It was pure coincidence. After the two auditions I thought to myself 'One of the two roles would be incredible'. Actually, the fact that I got two acceptances was, of course, unbelievable for me.
As a comedian, you are still on tour, even if the events are often postponed now. Is there a priority you would like to set in the future?
I honestly don't have a priority in what I do. I find comedy incredibly great because of the live audience and the direct feedback. With acting, on the other hand, you can fill your role with new content every time. It's a huge challenge and a lot of fun. Especially because they are both roles that I wanted to do as a child; I always wanted to be a doctor or a policeman.
What are you most passionate about?
My main goal is to entertain people. That's what I've always liked best - it was the same with basketball. For example, I've always preferred to play away from home rather than at home, just to feel the reactions and the headwinds. Entertaining people was always my thing. Even as a kid: I had a magic box and was always doing demonstrations. I think at one point I wanted to pay 50 pfennigs for admission because I was convinced that what I was doing here was pretty good (laughs).