Türkiye’s King of Arabesque İbrahim Tatlıses set to play London in the autumn

Affectionately known as Ibo or “İmparator” (‘Emporor”), İbrahim Tatlıses is one of Türkiye’s biggest and best loved music stars. Now aged 70, he has recorded 42 albums in a career spanning 52 years and his music continues to attract millions of listeners.

The Urfa-born singer recorded his first album, Kara Kız/Beni Yakma Gel Güzelim, on tape aged 18, which he proceeded to sell at weddings and restaurants.

Other tapes followed the same DIY channels to market until he was discovered by a music producer six years later, and his next release, Ayağında Kundura, became a nationwide hit, establishing him as a great new talent.

Of Kurdish and Arab heritage, Tatlıses has carved out a name singing popular Turkish and Kurdish folk songs, though his biggest hits, such as Gelmesin, Dom Dom Kurşunu, Mavi Mavi, were in the Arabesque style. This fusion of Turkish pop and folk, with heavy influences of Middle Eastern melodies, came out of southeast Türkiye and dominated the country’s popular music charts in the 1980s and 90s.

Tatlıses, who is also an actor and entrepreneur, has survived two attempts on his life, in 1998 and 2011, and was also shot in the leg in 1990.

The singer’s long recovery after being shot in the head in 2011 meant there have been no concerts or new recorded music for many years.

Tatlıses entered the studio in 2018 to record Yaylalar, followed by new album Gelmesin (2021). Last year, he also made his first stage appearance in 12 years.

This October, the legend will be performing at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, so buy tickets fast as this will be a guaranteed sell-out event.


Title: İbrahim Tatlıses – Efsane Geri Dönüyor! (The Legend Returns)

Date: Sunday 23 October 2022

Times: Doors open 7pm, show starts 8pm

Venue: Eventim Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9QH

Tickets: prices vary from £57.40 to £166.75, available from the venue Box Office – click here