Top Turkish singer shot in the head, clinging to life
ISTANBUL - Famous Turkish singer Ibrahim Tatlises, popular across the Middle East, was clinging to life Monday after being shot in the head in Istanbul, media reported.
An unknown gunman opened fire on the 59-year-old singer about 30 minutes after midnight Saturday as he was leaving a television studio and about to climb into a car, several newspapers reported.
At least one bullet entered the back of his skull and exited through the front, chief surgeon Caglar Cuhadaroglu said after a four-hour operation on the singer, the Anatolia press agency reported.
"His life is still in danger but the situation has improved since he arrived at hospital," he said. Internal haemorrhaging has been stopped but Tatlises could be paralysed if he survives, he said.
Doctors had decided to keep him in a coma for the next 24 hours, the surgeon said.
Tatlises's spokeswoman was shot in the neck in the same attack. The would-be killer and motivation for the assassination attempt were not known.
Called the "Turkish Pavarotti" or "Emperor", Tatlises is one of the most famous singers in Turkey and is also popular across the Middle East.
He is also a powerful businessman, running his own production house, a television station and a chain of restaurants.
Tatlises, who is of Kurdish origin, was shot in the leg in 1990 and escaped unharmed another murder attempt in 1998, the Hurriyet and Vatan dailies reported.