World Bulletin / News Desk
Singer İbrahim Tatlıses, who was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting two weeks ago, on Monday talked to the press for the first time since the incident, when he was also released from intensive care, indicating that he is no longer in serious danger.
His doctors at Acıbadem Maslak Hospital have been saying his progress has been remarkable since his three operations on March 14, the day he was shot, but were worried that his injuries could leave him permanently paralyzed on his left side. However, hospital officials said his left side was improving.
Tatlıses wanted to do the interview to talk to his fans. Only a few short questions were asked during the interview as per the instructions of his doctors. In response to the question on how he was feeling, the singer said, “I am super, super!” He also thanked the Acıbadem Maslak doctors and medical staff, saying they were “very good.”
He said he was touched by the news of hundreds of people waiting outside the hospital since he was first taken there, as well as by the scores of e-mail messages he received inquiring about his health. “I want my admirers to pray for me. I am sending out my best to all of them,” he said.
His doctors also spoke to the press. Acıbadem Maslak chief surgeon Çağlar Çuhadaroğlu and Tatlıses' neurologist, İlhan Elmacı, as well as the hospital's plastic and reconstructive surgery expert, Şükrü Yazar, and physiotherapy expert, Reyhan Çeliker, talked to a small army of journalists outside the hospital.
Çuhadaroğlu said the team of doctors treating Tatlıses were very pleased to see his progress, but said that for his health to maintain the rate of improvement it has shown so far, Tatlıses would need peace and quiet. He said for the time being, his visitors will be restricted to his next-of-kin and he will not be allowed to give another interview before his release from the hospital. He said the hospital was making a point of informing the public about Tatlıses' condition, but added that they will not hold another press conference as Tatlıses has been removed from intensive care.
Dr. Elmacı, who performed brain surgery on Tatlıses, said: “Mr. Tatlıses has left the intensive care unit. He is not in grave danger. His overall condition is good. We will decide on the date of the next operation based on the results of lab tests and other indicators. Everyone has been curious about whether or not he will be able to sing again. We believe that there are no medical obstacles to prevent him from singing.”
Dr. Çeliker, who monitors Tatlıses' physiotherapy and physical rehab exercises, said: “His rehabilitation process is going smoothly. We will start walking exercises over the next few days. Physiotherapy on the left arm and leg, where there has been some loss of strength, is also continuing.”
Dr. Çuhadaroğlu said Tatlıses would have to remain at the hospital for another two weeks. He also commented on the condition of Tatlıses' left side, saying there has been improvement.
His doctors also said Tatlıses was yet not able to stand by himself, but will soon start walking exercises.