2 of 10 Arrested Grup Yorum Band Members Released

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The İstanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court, which tries the Grup Yorum music band members, has ruled for the release of Sultan Gökçek and Betül Varan.

Yurdagül Gümüş and Nurhan Yılmaz, who are not members of the band but were being tried in the same case, have also been released.

Sultan Gökçek has been arrested in İzmir Şakran Closed Women’s Prison since May 2017 and Betül Varan has been arrested in Burhaniye Type T Prison since September 2017.

The court has ruled that band members Helin Bölek and Bahar Kurt’s arrests shall continue.

Grup Yorum members are being tried for “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “managing a terrorist organization.”

Eight members arrested, six wanted

İdil Cultural Center in Okmeydanı district of İstanbul, where Grup Yorum do their works, was raided six times by police officers in the last two years.

During the raids, instruments that belonged to Grup Yorum were broken or disappeared. According to a statement by the band, 30 people were arrested in total in these raids.

Eight members of the band are still arrested: Seher Adıgüzel, Ferhat Kıl, Helin Bölek, Dilan Ekin, Bahar Kurt, Özgür Gültekin, Meral Hır, Duygu Yasinoğlu.

Six members are in the Ministry of Interior’s “gray list” as wanted terrorists: İnan Altın, Selma Altın, Ali Aracı, İbrahim Gökçek, Emel Yeşilırmak, İhsan Cibelik.

There is also a 300 thousand TRY (~56,000 USD) bounty for those who will report the band members, who are charged for being a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

Selma Altın and İnan Altın applied for asylum in France.

The band’s annual “Independent Turkey Concerts” have been banned by the governorship since 2015. (AS/VK)