Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sacrifice And Struggle: Victory for Grup Yorum

After 323 days of death fast, İbrahim Gökçek, bassist of the Turkish reolutionary political music group Grup Yorum ended his hunger strike. Grup Yorum had their musical instruments destroyed during a raid of the Turkish police into their cultural center in Istanbul and their members were imprisoned on charges of being linked to the banned DHKP-C, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, which has been conducting armed struggle against the Turkish state for many decades. Grup Yorum has always had a political stance and condemned and publicized the atrocities committed by the Turkish state and the condition of prison in Turkey.

In 2019, the members of Grup Yorum started a death fast demanding to be allowed to play music and play concerts, while still imprisoned. Singer Helin Bölek died on April 3 after 288 days at the age of 28, and the march during her funeral was suppressed. Mustafa Koçak died on April 24 after 297 at the age of 28, while imprisoned and tied on his bed.

Ibrahim's demand was the Grup Yorum be allowed to play live again, and if that demand was accepted he would stop his hunger strike. The acceptance of the demand and the end of the death fast is a political victory of the freedom struggle against of the oppression of people's and artist's rights. The fight continues to help Ibrahim stand back on his feet and to free all imprisoned Grup Yorum members.

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