Turkey: Two Grup Yorum members released after 10 months of detention

8 October 2020
Two Grup Yorum members presented next to each other
Image: Sultan Gökçek (left) and Bergün Varan (right) / Free Grup Yorum! on Twitter


30 September: 36th Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul released two members of Grup Yorum, Sultan Gökçek and Bergün Varan from jail on bail and condition of judicial control after they were arrested during the police raid on 29 November 2019, reported Evrensel.

Sultan Gökçek (wife of artist İbrahim Gökçek who died in May 2020 on a death fast) and Bergün Varan said during the hearing that they do not know why there were detained.

Gökçek and Varan’s statement transcript from the court hearing on 30 September is available on Twitter.

The Turkish authorities have frequently targeted Grup Yorum for singing about political injustice and inequality. 

This includes three members currently serving prison sentences, two members dying from hunger striking against unjust prison sentences, over 30 members being detained, more than 10 police raids on Grup Yorum’s İdil Cultural Centre.

Hold the Turkish authorities to account and help us email the Minister of Justice in Turkey to end the persecution of musicians and defend freedom of artistic expression.

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