İSTANBUL - Taken into custody in a police raid against İdil Cultural Center ahead of Grup Yorum concert in İstanbul, Nuriye Gülmen and Rıdvan Akbaş have been arrested, Yasemin Karadağ, Fırat Kaya and Ezgi Kul have been released on probation.
Detained in a police raid against İdil Cultural Center in İstanbul on August 5, Rıdvan Akbaş and Nuriye Gülmen, an academic discharged from public service by a Statutory Decree, have been arrested.
Sharing a message on Twitter, People's Law Bureau has said, "Our clients Nuriye Gülmen and Rıdvan Akbaş have been arrested. Our clients Yasemin Karadağ, Fırat Kaya and Ezgi Kul have been released on probation."
While Grup Yorum band announced that they would hold a concert in İstanbul on August 9, the Governor's Office of İstanbul banned it. Ahead of this concert, the police raided İdil Cultural Center on August 5, detaining Betül Varan, Bahar Kurt, Dilan Poyraz, Eren Erdem, Sercan Toptancı, Barış Yüksel, Rıdvan Akbaş, Nuriye Gülmen and Fırat Kaya.
The cultural center where the group has been conducting its activities has been raided by the police for over 10 times over the last two years. During the raids, instruments of Grup Yorum members were either broken or gone missing, their music books were also damaged.
According to a statement by Grup Yorum, over 30 people were arrested in those raids. Three members of the band are still arrested.
Grup Yorum members İbrahim Gökçek and Helin Bölek went on a hunger strike, then on a death fast, demanding an end to the ban on their concerts and police raids to their cultural center and the release of arrested band members. They were both arrested at the time.
While Bölek was released on November 20, 2019, Gökçek was released by an interim ruling based on a forensic medical report on February 24.
Helin Bölek lost her life on the 288th day of her death fast on April 3, 2020 and İbrahim Gökçek lost his life on the 323rd day of his fast on May 7. After the band made an application for a concert, Gökçek ended his death fast on May 5 and was hospitalized for treatment.
The Governor's Office of İstanbul rejected their application to hold a concert in Yenikapı Meeting Area.