Turkish singer Helin Bölek has passed away after passing 288 days on hunger strike protesting the arrest of seven members of Grup Yorum, the music band to which he belonged, accused of belonging to a terrorist group.
“Helin Bölek of Grup Yorum has been martyred from a 288-day hunger strike,” the band announced today on their Twitter account.
Bolek started the protest, along with his groupmate Ibrahim Gökçek, to demand the release of seven members of the folk music band and to denounce the ban on group concerts in Turkey.
Helin sees? Brahim …
Onlar birbirlerine güç oldular.
Ayn? evde ayr? odalarda kal? yorlard ?.
Helin, ölümsüzle? Ti.
? imdi? brahim direni? ini yaln? z devam ettiriyor …
UN YALNIZ BIRAKMAYACA? IZ,
ONUN YANINDA OLARAK, DAHA ÇOK OLARAK
UN ALREADY ATTACKED? IZ.
? BRAH? M ‘? ALREADY ATALIM! pic.twitter.com/i54PwWYzaY
– Grup Yorum (@Grup_YORUM) April 4, 2020
The seven detainees are accused of links to the terrorist organization Partido-Frente Revolucióncionario de Liberación del Pueblo (DHKP-C).
During its 35 years of existence, the Grup Yorum musical collective, made up of dozens of members, has stood out for its leftist and anti-imperialist political songs.
Since 2016, some 30 members of the gang have been detained and the police have intervened the cultural center where they rehearse on ten occasions.
On March 11, Bölek and Gökçek were forcibly hospitalized due to the deterioration in their health, although they were discharged a week later after refusing treatment.
Thousands of people expressed messages of condolences on the death of Bölek on Twitter and asked the government to lift restrictions on the music group.