April 3, 2013

Grup Yorum Fights Back

Turkey’s best known revolutionary band, Grup Yorum, is organizing its third traditional public concert at the Public Bazaar in Istanbul’s Bakırköy neighborhood on April 14. This is especially remarkable since the band has recently faced severe police and political repression.

The first of the concert series was called “Independent Turkey” and was organized in 2011 with the participation of 150,000 people. The second concert in the series was organized last year with the participation of 350,000 people. Grup Yorum expects to draw 500,000 people to the concert this time with the slogan that "an independent Turkey is not a dream.”

Grup Yorum has a new CD out and it contains two songs which were seized during a police operation against the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party–Front (DHKP-C) in February. These will be performed on April 14 for the first time in the concert. An orchestra of 18 people will accompany the band in the concert, while the İdil Folklore Team and the Beşik Public Dance Group will also perform dances. Many guest artists will be present in solidarity and there will also be a poetry reading.

We see from this that Grup Yorum is firmly rooted in the people's struggles and that the band is not backing down in the face of repression directed at it. Grup Yorum does well because it is part of a mass movement and because its music is beautiful, creative and based in the struggles of the people.

Pussy Riot made the mistake of acting without the masses, without articulated revolutionary politics and with making rebellion its ends and means. Its members were easily isolated and persecuted and were defended mainly by the ultra-left and liberals internationally. Grup Yorum, on the other hand, stood on principle and could be confident of its support from the people.

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