Music fans enjoying a special worldwide release event on 17 June 2016 for rock band Radiohead’s latest album at record store Velvet Indieground in the Cihangir district of Istanbul were attacked by a mob of about 20 men who took offense to people listening to music and drinking alcohol during Ramadan, reported The Guardian 18 June 2016.
According to social media posts from those attacked, the mob beat them with pipes and beer bottles, but luckily no one was seriously injured. Footage of the attack was live-streamed and shared on YouTube.
The next evening, Turkish police used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of people who rallied near the store against the attack, reported Al Jazeera on 18 June 2016.
The South Korean owner of the store, Seogu Lee, released a statement on the store’s Facebook page on 20 June 2016, saying:
We cannot be defeated by this kind of stupidity. I can’t find any other term to describe this behaviour. Nothing can justify this brutality. Luckily our hopes and dreams are much bigger and powerful.
Radiohead, currently on a tour promoting the album ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, said in a statement:
Our hearts go out to those attacked tonight at Velvet IndieGround in Istanbul. We hope that someday we will be able to look back on such acts of violence as things of the ancient past. For now, we can only offer our fans in Istanbul our love and support.
Local mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan “condemned” the attack via statements on Twitter and said “those responsible for the attack will be brought to justice”.
Three people were taken into custody for the attack, but were released a day later, reported Hurriyet Daily News on 22 June 2016.
» Hurriyet Daily News – 22 June 2016:
Beyoglu mayor hosts owner of attacked record store in Istanbul
» Velvet Indieground Facebook post – 20 June 2016
» Al Jazeera – 19 June 2016:
Turkish Radiohead fans attacked for ‘consuming alcohol’
» The Guardian – 18 June 2016:
Turkish Radiohead fans attacked at listening party in Istanbul
» Freemuse.org – 17 May 2016:
Turkey: “Music that sexually turns on people is a sin”
» Freemuse.org – 13 November 2015:
Turkey: EU and UN address Turkey’s troublesome arts freedom record
» Freemuse.org – 19 May 2015:
Turkey: 19-year-old singer attacked after threats