Monday, March 14, 2011

Ibrahim Tatlises

News agencies are reporting of the shooting last night  of one of the most famous singers in Turkey and in the Middle East, Ibrahim Tatlises.

According to the BBC:

He was shot in the head by unidentified gunmen late on Sunday night and left in a critical condition, reports said. Mr Tatlises, 58, had just left the offices of private Turkish channel Beyaz TV with his spokeswoman, who was also hit. They were both taken to hospital and underwent surgery. Doctors treating the folk singer at Maslak Acibadem hospital said he had suffered a brain injury. His spokeswoman was said to be in a stable condition after an operation on her neck.

Ibrahim Tatlises has recorded more than 30 albums and has also acted in numerous films. He also hosts a TV show.

İbrahim Tatlıses was born of mixed Arab and Kurdish descent in the city of Sanliurfa. Following the death of his father, Tatlises was raised by his mother. In his teens, he began his career as a wedding and events singer. Given his rise from poverty He became a symbol of the Turkish dream and has earned a large following of devoted fans.  

According to Wikipedia:

He released an album in 1975, and Tatlıses temporarily left music. Moving to Istanbul with his family in 1977, he then worked as a salesman while recording his second album, Ayağında Kundura. In the 1980s, he recorded numerous folk dance songs with the accompaniment of an orchestra in the rural uzun hava style.

İbrahim Tatlıses - Bebegim

Anybody who has spent any time in Turkey will have no doubt seen this man and heard his distinctive style of music. His influence in the music industry is unquestioned but many purists looked down on  his arabesk style- a hybrid of Arabic and Turkish. He is certainly a character; a one of a kind Turkish celebrity with his huge moustache and shiny suits, his macho posturing and Godfather pretentions.

Sadly, news from the doctors is not at all good. He is intensive care and is given a 50-50 chance for survival. Doctors also have revealed that trauma to the brain as a result of the shooting will probably result in paralysis. To all his fans this assassination attempt brings to a shocking close to a long career of man they called  "The Imparator."


Tatlises' condition is slowly improving, his doctors report. Hurriyet Daily News states:

Tatlıses is still in intensive care, Dr. İlhan Elmacı from Maslak Acıbadem Hospital said Tuesday. “As long as the patient stays in intensive care, this means the risk of death continues,” Elmacı said.

Umm.. ok. For an expert, that's very information-lite, isn't it? And, isn't it a kind of reversal of cause and effect?

…both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül have been calling the hospital to get information about the health condition of Tatlıses.

That's awfully nice of them.

According to ZAMAN newspaper, the National Police Department has put together 10 special teams, each consisting of 30 police officers, to find the individuals that attacked folk music singer İbrahim Tatlıses, who was critically wounded in a drive-by shooting in İstanbul on Monday.

Ten times 30 equals 300, I do believe.. and that's what I call "intensive." Probably in no other country in the world would the attempted assassination of a "folk" singer create such large amount of police attention. 


  1. I just heard this news this morning, eclipsed as it was by news of Japan.

    It's interesting to me how many Turkish people (men especially) say they absolutely despise İbo and all he stands for, and would never sink to that level. But those same people (men again) all have at least 3 İbo CDs in their cars, scars on their arms from cutting themselves while listening to İbo as teenagers, and burst into song whenever they hear İbo singing.

    Personally, I can't stand him or his music.

    Whenever there's a report of John Boehner crying about something, I'm reminded of İbo crying when he talks about being born in a cave in beautiful Urfa... Americans have come to this!

  2. I knew a British woman who worked in Kusadasi and she told me the funniest story. According to her story, at a dinner party, she was introduced to this famous singer with a big thick mustache and an arrogant manner. Her description fit Ibo to a tee. Although everybody was amazed that she had never heard of him and the Turkish crowd was clearly in awe of the man, she was much less than impressed. The singer was somewhat offended by the fact that she was unfamiliar with him.
    When I asked her who the singer was, she told me, "I have no idea to this day." When I asked her if it might have been Tatlises, she shrugged and said that it could have been. Such is the relatively of fame.

    On a similar note, one time I was listening a BBC radio call-in show which featured Lionel Richie. (I got the feeling that Richie suffered from the same affliction I mentioned in the above tale) The show was nearly intolerable with Richie talking about what an incredible person he was and all the callers stoking the fires of his ego. But finally, near the end of the show, one caller from India spoke and told "Mr. Richie" how he was his biggest fan.. blah blah.. and then, he added,"Oh and congratulations on your comeback!"
    This was followed by a bit of dead air in the studio. Obviously Mr. Richie hadn't realized that he had been gone.

  3. Nice update! I saw yesterday that there was a second catfight at the hospital between Derya Tuna-- described as his life partner of 20 years-- and Ayşe Something-or-Other, his mistress of 11 years. Apparently, neither thought the other had any business there.


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