Turkey: Protests after Grup Yorum concert was banned
A concert with the Kurdish folk ensemble Grup Yorum which was planned to be performed at Olympic Sports Hall in Bağcılar, İstanbul, was cancelled in the last minute. Group members and a crowd of 500 protested against the cancellation at Bağcılar Yavuzselim district. Police arrived to disperse the protesters but were met with resistance.
“They are afraid of our songs and the rightful resistance of the working class,” said counselor Taylan Tanay, who is a spokesperson for the music group:
“The Workers Solidarity Evening at the Bağcılar Olympic Sports Hall was blocked in an illegal and unjust way by İstanbul Police and security forces led by the Governor around 14:00. Even though an application had been made and permits were obtained months ago, the governor’s office banned the event on Friday morning declaring it to be dangerous for the public safety. There are tens of concerts and events happening around İstanbul at this moment. This is a totally arbitrary decision on the governor’s part. The audience gathering at the gates of the hall since 11am was dispersed brutally by İstanbul police.”
Source: Freedom of Expression Weekly Bulletin – Issue 51/12, 21 December 2012
Grup Yorum was formed in 1985 by four friends at Marmara Üniversitesi. The group’s members have been arrested many times, and according to a page in the open encyclopedia Wikipedia, approximately 400 trials have been opened against various members of the group. Their albums have been seized by police and their concerts have been banned many times.
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