Turkish leftist musician Ibrahim Gokcek ends hunger strike after nearly a year


A member of a Turkish left-wing music band ended his hunger strike after 323 days protesting government persecution and a ban on the group's concerts.

Bassist Ibrahim Gokcek of Grup Yorum ended his fast-unto-death after the band asked the Istanbul governor for permission to hold a concert, said activists and supporters who had gathered in front of Gokcek's Istanbul apartment.

Gokcek was hospitalised shortly afterwards, a solidarity group tweeted.

He was one of two Grup Yorum members on hunger strike, demanding the government end targeting of the group, lift the ban on their concerts and release jailed members. Singer Helin Bolek died earlier this month after being on a hunger strike for 288 days, alarming human rights groups and the opposition.

Seven band members were detained in 2016. According to media reports, three of them were later released, among them Bolek and Gokcek.   

The government considers Grup Yorum linked to the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which is designated as a terrorist organisation in Turkey.

Established in 1985, the band became popular in Turkey and internationally for its anti-capitalist stance and combination of Turkish and Kurdish folk music.    (dpa)


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