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The police conducted an operation against the İdil Cultural Center in the district of Okmeydanı in İstanbul earlier today (February 26).
The cultural center where Grup Yorum music band has been conducting its activities was raided by the police officers of the Anti-Terror Branch of the İstanbul Security Directorate at around 2.30 a.m. The raid was also supported by the Special Operations Police Forces.
It has been reported that since the police could not break the doors, they could break in the center by cutting its doors with oxygen bottles.
The police also closed the Mektep Street, where the center is located.
The People’s Law Bureau (HHB) has announced the operation on its official Twitter account in following words: “We have been informed that a raid has been conducted against the İdil Cultural Center in Okmeydanı, where Grup Yorum has been carrying out its activities.”
Center raided for six times in two years
The İdil Cultural Center in Okmeydanı, İstanbul has been raided by the police for six times over the last two years.
The center where Grup Yorum music band has been conducting its activities was raided by the police in October and November 2016, in May and September 2017 and in October and November 2018.
During the raids, instruments of Grup Yorum members were either broken or gone missing, their music books were also damaged.
According to the statement made by the group, a total of 30 people were arrested in these raids.
Seven members of the band have still been arrested: Ferhat Kıl, Helin Bölek, Dilan Ekin, Bahar Kurt, Özgür Gültekin, Meral Hır, Duygu Yasinoğlu.
Musicians Meral Hır and Duygu Yasinoğlu will appear before the judge on March 28, 2019. Six members of the band 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/SD)