November 26, 2012

More Repression Directed At Revolutionary Grup Yorum

We have previously covered political repression in Turkey and the revolutionary band Grup Yorum. Bianet is running the following story.

Fellow Artists Support Suspected Musicians

13 suspects including members of popular music band Grup Yorum were ordered to stand trial today, with artists, politicians and intellectuals supporting outside the courthouse.

26 November 2012, Monday

13 suspects were ordered to stand trial for allegedly becoming members of the leftist "terror" organization DHKP/C (the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front), resisting to police intervention and vandalism. The suspects might receive sentences from 25 to 110 years.

In their initial defense, suspects claimed to be innocent, saying that they only used their legal rights to protest and make public statements.

Grup Yorum members Ezgi Dilan Balcı and Ayfer Rüzgar were also present in the trial.

Turkish Criminal Court Judge Ali Alçık postponed the trial to April 2, 2013, while none of the suspects being dismissed.

In May, police raided Grup Yorum members during rehearsals in a concert house, detaining their music instruments and subjecting to harsh treatment. The musical instruments were returned a year after the incident, with none of them playable.

The suspects were supported by a dozen of intellectuals, politicians and artists, including Deputy Efkan Şeşen, Pınar Aydınlar and Nur Sürer.

Some Grup Yorum members protested their partners' trial with chains on their musical instruments and black tapes on their mouths.

"They [authorities] are afraid of folk songs because they are the people's sole weapons," Caner Bozkurt, a band member, said.

Folk singer Pinar Aydinlar said that the target of the attacks on band members indeed aimed at the people.

"No government should fear music, theater and cinema," Nur Surer, theater actress, said. (AS)

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