Several deputies of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) sang a song of the Grup Yorum, a popular folk music group that is banned in Turkey, in support of its death fasting member İbrahim Gökçek.
HDP deputies Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Serpil Kemalbay, Nuran İmir, Hüda Kaya and Murat Çepni have recorded themselves singing the group's “Gel ki Şafaklar Tutuşşun." Their performances were later combined in a montage video released on May 3.
At the beginning of the video, HDP deputy Leyla Güven says that Gökçek's demand from the government is very “loud and clear.” “His first demand is that they want to do concerts and for this concert, a date and a place are determined. His second demand is that three arrested Grup Yorum members are released. Let these demands be met and let İbrahim Gökçek live,” Güven says.
Grup Yorum member İbrahim Gökçek is in his 322nd day of hunger strike with a number of demands from the government, including the ban on their concerts to be lifted, the removal of the group’s members’ names from terror lists and the raids of İdil Culture Center, where the group carries out its works, to be stopped.My son wants to live, death fasting Turkish musician's father says
Gökçek and a fellow band member, Helin Bölek, embarked on a hunger strike last year while in prison, demanding their right to a fair trial. The government accuses Grup Yorum of links to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP/C.
Bölek was released at the end of 2019 and continued her hunger strike, while Gökçek was released from prison in February of this year on medical grounds.
Despite being released, both of the musicians continued their hunger strike, protesting the government's treatment of their band. Bölek lost her life on the 288th day of her death fast in Istanbul on April 3.
Turkish singer Haluk Levent says he is in talks with gov't for Gökçek
Meanwhile, Haluk Levent, a Turkish singer and leading public figure, has announced that he has been conducting talks with senior government officials for them to reconsider their position on Grup Yorum.
“I have talked with our deputy justice minister and a couple of officials. They have said that the trial process is continuing and they cannot intervene in an ongoing case. They have said that the permission for concerts concerns the Interior Ministry. My talks with the relevant ministry are continuing. I will write about the developments,” Levent said on Twitter on May 4.
Adalet Bakan Yardımcımız ve yetkili birkaç kişi ile görüştüm. “Mahkeme sürecinin devam ettiğini,süren bir davaya müdahale edemeyeceklerini söylediler.Konser izin konusunun İç işleri Bakanlığı olduğunu ilettiler. İlgili bakanlıkla da görüşmelerim sürüyor. Gelişmeleri yazacağım.— Haluk Levent (@haluklevent) May 4, 2020
On April 30, Turkish media outlets released a letter penned by Gökçek, asking for support from Turkey's intellects and artists for his cause.
Indicating that artists have been under pressure from the government for many years now, Gökçek wrote in his letter: “Why are such simple and humane demands not met? I want our demands to be met! We have to now press the government with all our power for our demands to be met. Our intellectuals and artists should form committees between each other, without losing time any longer, talk with the presidency and ensure that our demands are met.”Death fasting Turkish musician Helin Bölek dies