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Didem Kinali, known simply as Didem, is a Turkish Belly Dancer. She has been dancing since her childhood. She has gained some measure of international recognition since she started appearing on the live Turkish variety İbo Show, hosted by İbrahim Tatlıses. She is of Roma (Gypsy) ethnic heritage, a fact of which she is proud. Didem's mother is also a belly dancer and her father is a drummer.
Didem and her two sibilings were raised in Kuştepe with her mother who immigrated from Saloniki, Greece, and her father from Yugoslavia. Although her mother was a belly dancer, Didem has said that her mother wasn't the one she learned from. Sema Yildiz, the famous Roman Turkish belly dancer, discovered Didem when she was a young teenager (13-14), and recognized her talent. Sema has also trained other famous Turkish belly dancers, including Asena, who was Ibrahim's belly dancer before Didem. Asena is also Sema's daughter.
Didem spent her first four years working at Sultana's Dinner and 1001 Nights Show in Istanbul, an institution close to Sema Yildiz and the belly dancing community, before entering the television domain on the İbo Show. She came in third in a contest held at this venue, but attracted a lot of attention nevertheless.
In August, 2008, İbrahim Tatlıses announced that Didem will no longer be dancing on his show, which she had been doing weekly for a couple of years. No reason was given, but as Didem, in her very first interview, mentioned going back to school (which she dropped out of at an early age to put all her energy into dancing), perhaps this is the reason. There have been a lot of rumours about her, as well as about Ibo. He talk-banned her when she started, because he wanted people to remember her by her dancing.