Grup Yorum member Ibrahim Gökçek dies after hunger strike

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Ibrahim’s death follows that of fellow band member Helin Bolek on 3 April, and ally Mustafa Kocak, on 24 April.

According to details, Ibrahim Gokcek, 41, is a Turkish folk musician and activist, who had been on a hunger strike for 323 days, died in a hospital in Istanbul on Thursday.

Ibrahim and Helin Bolek were the members of Turkey’s musical band, GrupYorum. The group is known for its protest songs. It was banned by the government in 2016 for bringing the masses closer to Socialist Ideas, for protesting and singing the songs of working class.

The group’s singer, Helin Bölek, 28, died on 3 April, after hunger strike. The singer and her colleague, the bass guitarist, had begun the hunger strike while imprisoned. Whereas, the authorities have arrested some other of the band members.

Although, both band members were released on November 20, but they still continued the hunger strike in demand of releasing the other jailed members and lifting the ban on concerts.

Two other group members, including Gokcek’s wife, Sultan, remain in prison. His wife was not even released for the funeral.

The Turkish government accuses the musical band of links to the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP/C. The DHKP/C is a militant group which is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey.

The band was founded in 1985 at Marmara University by a group of students as a reaction to the 1980 military coup and the subsequent military policies.

A left-wing part of Turkey, Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) said in a statement comes after the death of Gokcek, saying the only people responsible were the government for ignoring the hunger strikers’ demands.

“We couldn’t keep Helin, Mustafa and Ibrahim alive, it is the responsibility of everyone who has a conscience to create a country where art, concerts, folk songs, thoughts and organizations become free,” said the statement from the Central Executive Board.


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