Today, a singer in the “Yorum Grup” band lost her life in the Turkish fascist prisons after a hunger strike lasted for 288 days..
NEWS 03 Apr 2020, Fri – 20:45 2020-04-03T20:45:00 NEWS DESK
After 288 days of hunger strike, the singer Helen Polik who is a member of the
music band Yorum Grup, lost her life. She went on hunger strike to protest against the Turkish authorities’ arrest of members of her group and demanded their release from prison, in addition to allowing them to continue the music, but the Justice and Development Government rejected her demands, which made her continue the strike until she lost her life on Friday in Turkey’s prisons.
Shamefully the long fight by the Yorum group for the right to sing, for their music and physical survival, has been largely ignored by European social movements. Their extermination is part of Erdogan’s bloody war against women, gays, anarchists, Kurds and anyone who speaks out for freedom or democracy.
Turkish Islamist President R.T. Erdogan mobilized thousands of agents who have occupied the town of Armutlu where Kurdish singer Helin Bölek was buried. Regime police dropped fired water cannons and tear gas at the mourners even inside the cemetery.
In Istanbul, the rally in memory of the musician has been aborted by Erdogan police who have arrested the civilians involved. The number of people detained is unknown.
Turkey: Jailed Grup Yorum musician on hunger strike force fed and tortured
Mustafa Koçak, a jailed member of the Grup Yorum band who has been on a hunger strike for 254 days in an İzmir prison, was removed from his cell and brought to a hospital where he was subjected to involuntary treatment as well as torture, the Bianet news website reported..
The revelation was made by Koçak’s lawyer, Ezgi Çakır, who released a video statement in which she described the details of the intervention her client endured.
Mustafa, in happier times.
“He was dragged out of his jail cell while tied to a chair and taken to the Şakran Prison’s hospital campus on Thursday at around 4:30 p.m.,” Çakır said, adding that they were prevented from seeing him for four days, despite appealing to the prosecutor’s office and the hospital administration.
She said she was only able to see Koçak after he was brought back to another prison.
“He told me what he went through for five days, and I intend to reveal this to the public,” she said.
“He told me he was subjected to forcible treatment for five days by three doctors including the hospital’s chief physician and an internist, that he explicitly stated that he did not agree to the treatment and that they put him on a drip anyway.”
“He showed me his arms, which were black and blue all over, from his shoulders to his wrists.”
“His hands and feet were cuffed and his mouth was taped so as to prevent him from screaming. His head was also restrained after he tried to remove the drip with his teeth.”
“He stated that several plainclothes police officers, members of the National Intelligence Organization [MİT], doctors, the prison prosecutor and the T2 prison administrator were also intermittently present in the room during the intervention.”
“He was not even allowed to go to the toilet for five days, resulting in him soiling himself, and they did not clean him up, either.”
“The people who blocked us from entering the premises for reasons of hygiene, they are the ones who caused Mustafa to soil himself and made him wait for five days [in that situation].”
Çakır added that Koçak was also exposed to sexual assault and harassment, including the insertion of a baton in his rectum.
“He informed us that he was harassed and constantly subjected to verbal insults, that the officials laughed at him and mocked him.”
Çakır concluded by saying: “Mustafa has a message for you. He continues to resist.”
The video was published by the Twitter account of the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) and drew reactions from human rights groups, including prominent rights advocate, deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.
“The allegations are appalling! … Was this torture carried out against a person that weighs 33 kilos?” Gergerlioğlu tweeted on Thursday.
Held behind bars for two years, Koçak is one of the imprisoned members of the leftist Grup Yorum. He was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment on terrorism-related charges. Some members of the group are still standing trial.
Some of them recently went on a hunger strike and death fasts in prison, demanding freedom for the group’s members and an end to a ban on its concerts.
One of the musicians, İbrahim Gökçek, was released from pretrial detention in February after a forensic report advised against his imprisonment for reasons of health.
‘Death Fasting Grup Yorum Members are in Critical Condition’
HDP Foreign Affairs Commission has addressed an open letter to the international community, raising concerns over the critical condition of death fasting Grup Yorum music band members: “Hear the voices of hunger strikers and take immediate action.”
Click to read the article in Turkish
Hişyar Özsoy, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Vice Chair, has addressed an open letter to the international community regarding the condition of hunger striking Grup Yorum music band members.
By TM –
“We have given free concerts for people. We have been the voice of the poor, the miners and the workers. We have been put on terror lists for that,” Gökçek said. “I am trying to be a barricade against a great assault.”
Members of Grup Yorum are standing trial on accusations of membership in a terrorist organization.
Thirty members of İdil Kültür Merkezi, a cultural center in İstanbul affiliated with the band, were also imprisoned in a raid on the center in February 2019.
Some of them went on a hunger strike in prison, demanding freedom for the group’s members and an end to bans on its concerts.
Some members of the band were received in Brussels by Marie Arena, the chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights.