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Ibrahim Tatlises (Kurdish Îbrahîm Tatlises, Turkish Ibrahim Tatlises; born 1952) is a Turkish Arabic-style singer. Performs songs in Turkish and Kurmanji.
Born on January 1, 1952 in Turkey in Sanliurfa into an Arab-Kurdish family. The surname at birth is “Tatli” which means “cute” in Turkish. After taking the stage, Ibrahim adopted the pseudonym Tatlises, which translates to “sweet voice”. Tatlises was born into a very poor family and was one of seven children. He worked on a construction site for a long time. There, one of the filmmakers of the city of Adana once heard his voice, after which Ibrahim began to perform in various cafes of Adana, and then on stages in Ankara and Istanbul.
In 1975, Tatlises released his first record entitled Ayaginda Kundura. In total, more than 40 albums of the singer were released. Ibrahim Tatlises also shot and acted in various films, produced talk shows, worked as a director, screenwriter, wrote poetry, worked as a journalist and composer. Companies owned by Ibrahim Tatlisses specialize in construction, food, film and music, technology, tourism, aviation and automobile manufacturing, publishing, etc.
In the July 2007 elections, Ibrahim Tatlises ran as a candidate for the Istanbul Youth Party MP, but did not receive the minimum votes required for the elections.
In the mid-2000s, Ibrahim Tatlises founded his own music channel Tatlises TV, on which his clips, as well as clips of well-known Turkish pop singers (Mustafa Sandal, Sibel Jan, Mahsun Kirmyzygyul, Hussein Turan) “rotated”. The channel also featured a musical talk show Ibo Show, where Ibrahim Tatlises served as a permanent host until early 2011.
On March 14, 2011, after the Ibo Show in Istanbul, Ibrahim Tatlises was attacked, severely injuring his head and miraculously surviving. About 11 bullets were fired from a submachine gun into the singer’s car, which left the territory of the television center on the main street. 4 bullets hit Tatlises, the rest went to his assistant. In Germany, the singer underwent two surgeries, one of which lasted 4.5 hours. For some time Tatlises was in a coma, after which he underwent a long rehabilitation course, but he was not able to fully recover: speech and coordination of movements are impaired, the singer’s left hand practically does not work.
A few months after the assassination in September 2011, while still in the hospital bed, Tatlises married Aishegyul Yilmaz, with whom he had been romantically involved for around 12 years. However, the marriage did not last long: in early December 2013, the couple divorced because of the singer’s infidelity. In April 2013, Aishegyul Yilmaz Ibrahim Tatlises gave birth to a daughter, Elif Ada, who became the sixth child of the “Emperor of Turkish Pop Music”. In April 2012, Tatlises made his first appearance on national television following a murder attempt, where he received the award for “great achievement in his work”.
In the 1980s, the Turkish government banned the use of Kurdish. At a concert in Sweden in December 1986, he had sung folk songs in Kurdish and was therefore charged with Separatist propaganda, but was found not guilty in 1987. The charges were dismissed after he expressed regret. In 1988 he was asked by businessman Mehmet Yilmaz at a cultural festival in Usak to sing a Kurdish folk song, but he declined, saying, “I am Kurdish, but the laws forbid me to sing in Kurdish.” For this he was charged on September 19, 1988.
In 1994 there was evidence that Turkish counter-guerrilla organizations were attacking Kurdish businessmen, including Tatlises, Idris Ozbir, Halis Toprak and Necdet Ulucan. In 1998 it was reported that Tatlises had offered to be a mediator between the government and the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) during the armed conflict. He recorded a song with Iranian Kurdish musician Abdollah Alijani Ardeshir.
In 2018 he publicly supported the Turkish military operation in Afrin against the People’s Protection Units.
On March 14, 2011, he was attacked and severely injured his head. At 00:30 local time, he and his spokeswoman Buket Çakici were shot by unidentified assailants after leaving the offices of Turkish private broadcaster Beyaz TV after its weekly TV show. As they got into their vehicle, Tatlises was hit by a bullet, entering the back of his head and exiting through the front. Çakici was also hit in the neck but survived the attack. The perpetrators carried Kalashnikov rifles and fled in a black car. He was taken to Istanbul’s Acibadem Hospital for emergency treatment. He underwent a four-hour operation to have the remaining bullets removed. After that he was in a stable condition. He regained consciousness five days later. After a week, doctors announced that he was making a good recovery. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited him and announced that he is recovering well. Turkish police arrested around 20 people involved in the attack. On April 7, Tatlises left Acibadem Hospital with a police escort and traveled to Ataturk International Airport, where he boarded the Ministry of Health’s Hawker 900XP ambulance flight to Germany for intensive rehabilitation at the Murnau Trauma Clinic.