Turkish Superstar Still Critical

Turkish superstar Ibrahim Tatlises is still in a critical condition after being shot in the head by an unknown gunman March 14.

He and his spokeswoman, Buket Cakici, were attacked as they left the Istanbul studios where Tatlises had just completed his regular weekly show.

It was the third attempt on his life. He was injured in one shooting in 1990 and escaped unharmed in the other, in 1998.

Scores of Turkish artists and fans flocked to the hospital in Maslak, the European quarter of the Turkish capital, where Tatlises was being kept in an induced coma after several hours of brain surgery.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called the hospital for information on his medical condition and ordered authorities “to do everything necessary” to find the gunmen, according to Hurriyet newspaper.

Other local reports claim that at least two people opened fire with automatic weapons and sped away in a black car.

Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu told reporters that 11 shots were fired during the attack. Two bullets hit Tatlises and another two hit his assistant.

Few artists in Turkey have reached the superstar reputation enjoyed by Tatlises, who has made a fortune from his music.

He owns restaurants and hotels and recently invested in a building project in the city of Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, but there have regularly been Turkish media reports linking him to the local mafia.

Prosecutors have previously questioned him in connection with investigations concerning several organised crime groups.

Some news reports said Kurdish rebels may have been responsible, but there was no indication as to why the rebels would target Tatlises, and there was no official statement and no reaction from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a rebel group fighting for Kurdish self-rule since 1984.