Helin Bolek of Turkish band “Group Yorum” died for freedom of expression and democracy
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 4th April 2020, Nicosia
We are shocked by the death of Turkish singer Helin Bolek of the left-wing music group “Group Yorum”, which ended after 288 days of hunger strike, protesting against the persecution of the band by the Turkish state.
The group “Group Yorum” has been expressing the left and progressive voices in Turkey for four decades. This fact did not suit the attempt to impose a profoundly anti-democratic conservatism in Turkish society by Tayyip Erdogan, as this has intensified especially in recent years. As a result, neither was “Grup Yorum” spared from the Turkish government’s witch-hunt, given that the band has suffered numerous bans in recent years while its associates were abducted and imprisoned.
Two hundred and eighty-nine days ago, two key members of the band, Helin Bolek and Ibrahim Gokcek, went on a hunger strike for their right to sing freely. Throughout the period, there has been an ongoing international campaign of solidarity with their struggle.
Unfortunately, Helin Bolek passed away yesterday. Even today, on the day of her burial, the police abducted her coffin while violence was used against her relatives, friends and supporters to prevent them from attending the funeral.
AKEL expresses its solidarity with the progressive voices in Turkey that are fighting for freedom of expression, democracy and social justice. Let the final silencing of Helin’s voice raise voices that will vindicate her struggle.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
- Feb26 2015-02-26
- Nov13 2014-11-13