A recovering Apel Tamagoglu receives a $2,500 check from a crowd-funding campaign. (Photo by Evan Rofheart)
By Sabina Mollot
Apel Tamagoglu, the 78-year-old tailor who was stabbed repeatedly during a robbery at his Kips Bay shop, has been in tough spots before. In fact, he was once shot in the hand during another holdup, he said this week.
Tamagoglu, a Turkish citizen as well as a citizen of the United States, said the other robbery happened 15-20 years ago; he can’t quite remember exactly when. But he did recall how the gunman had come in and asked if he could fix a velvet suit. The robber later went to prison, Tamagoglu said, adding that the man had also robbed many other people.
Asked if he’d thought about calling it quits after that incident, Tamagoglu, a native of Istanbul, said no. In his heavily accented English, he explained, “I have to work. I have to help the kids.”
Apel (pronounced Ah-pell) has two grown daughters as well as three grandchildren ages 10, 15 and 22.
He also downplayed the previous armed robbery, saying, “The hand is no problem.”
Tamagoglu said since the recent stabbing, during which he had his skull fractured, his lung punctured and suffered other injuries, he’s been receiving care at Bellevue Hospital, though he’s now at home. He also said he’s trying to do some work at the shop, albeit slowly, since he lives upstairs. “I feel good, thank God,” he said.