Ibrahim Tatlises is a Turkish Pop-Arabesque singer and actor of Kurdish-Arab origin who sings in Turkish. He was born in the city of Şanlıurfa and is a folk singer and former actor. Tatlıses has recorded 42 albums, including notable albums such as Ayağında Kundura and Selam Olsun. He is also the host of the television programme İbo Show and is a leading actor who has appeared in several dozen films. He has directed most of the films he acted in. Also, he is a businessman involved in the restaurant and tourism businesses, as well as in construction projects in Iraq. He was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2011.
Tatlıses was born in Urfa. Regarding his ethnicity, he said “My father was an Arab from Şanlıurfa and my mother was a Kurd from Turkey. “. He lost his father during childhood, and did not attend high school. He did not know how to read or write.
He sold tapes and sang at weddings and in restaurants until a producer discovered him in 1976. He had adopted Tatlıses (sweet-voiced) as a stage name.
In the 1980s the Turkish government had banned the use of Kurdish; at a concert in Sweden in December 1986, he had sung folk songs in Kurdish and was thus prosecuted for separatist propaganda, but found not guilty in 1987.
In 1988, he was asked by businessman Mehmet Yilmaz at a cultural festival in Usak to sing a Kurdish folk song, but refused, saying “I am a Kurd, but the laws ban me for singing in Kurdish”. For this, he was indicted on September 19, 1988. Presently, He records songs in Turkish and Kurdish.