Duvar English

A musician from Grup Yorum died on May 7 two days after ending his death fast that lasted for 323 days.

İbrahim Gökçek, who ended his death fast “since the resistance have reached a political victory” on May 5, died at a hospital in Istanbul, where he was taken for treatment after ending his fast, the group said in a tweet.

Another death fasting Grup Yorum member, Helin Bölek, died on the 288th day of her death fast in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district on April 3.

Gökçek and Bölek had been on a death fast with a number of demands, 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.

None of the demands were met despite repeated calls on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to lift the ban on the group’s concerts.

Founded in 1985 as a reaction to the 1980 military coup and the subsequent military policies, Grup Yorum is known with its leftist stance and songs about political issues in Turkey. The group has always been vocal about human rights violations and freedoms in the country, prompting authorities to accuse them of being “members of terrorist groups” often.

Both Bölek and Gökçek were accused of being members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C).

Thousands of people took to Twitter to share messages of condolences, including a number of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu.

“We couldn’t save him. His request was to sing his songs freely,” Tanrıkulu said.

Singers and artists also shared messages of condolences.

Gökçek’s funeral will be held in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.