Turkish singer Ibrahim Tatlises shot in head in attack

Turkish singer Ibrahim Tatlises in Ankara (7 March 2011) Ibrahim Tatlises had just left a building housing a private Turkish TV channel

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Turkish singer Ibrahim Tatlises, famous at home and across the Middle East, has been shot and seriously wounded in an attack in Istanbul.

He was shot in the head by unidentified men after midnight on Saturday 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.

The singer, known as Emperor and one of Turkey's biggest stars, had just left a TV studio shortly after midnight, and was about to leave by car when he was attacked.

According to media reports, the gunmen, carrying Kalashnikov rifles, escaped in a car.

No group has yet claimed involvement in the attack, although newspapers said Mr Tatlises had been shot in the leg in 1990 and had escaped unharmed in another incident in 1998.

Doctors treating him at Maslak Acibadem hospital said a bullet had entered the rear of his skull and had passed out through the front, Anatolia news agency reported.

"His life is still in danger but the situation has improved since he arrived at hospital," chief surgeon Caglar Cuhadaroglu told Anatolia after a four-hour operation.

His spokeswoman was said to be in a stable condition after an operation on her neck.

Ibrahim Tatlises, who is of Kurdish origin and from the south-eastern city of Sanliurfa, has recorded more than 30 albums and has acted in numerous films. He also hosts a TV show.

As well as being a major singing star, Mr Tatlises is a well known businessman with interests in Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.

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