1-Grup Yorum now has two martyrs.
Can you describe this process?
There are people who don’t understand why there is a death fast, there are people who say wasn’t there another way.
Can you answer these?
How the process of resistance began. This wasn’t our first resistance. We have been constantly facing and resisting the pressures of fascism for 35 years. I mean, we’ve been coming from this tradition since the beginning.
We are constantly battling these pressures and attacks, from the shootings to our tapes, to the prisoners, from the prisoners to the concert bans. We have never given up our dreams of art and independent Turkey for the people. We are also walking more assertively and decisively today. Fascism is the reason for the existence of Grup Yorum, and that explains a lot.
As for our resistance and political victory today. After the July 15 coup in Turkey, emergency state was declared and attacks against us increased with this process. What happened during this process. Our concerts were banned and we were scattered in the neighbourhoods and we were on the roof, we were on the truck crates. We have made calls for everyone to give Grup Yorum concerts where they are. We played our instruments under the smoke of pepper spray and sang our resistance songs. Fascist AKP was attacking against our determination but we were rebuffing their attack. Then they put six of our friends on the terror wanted list. How can we, who played a concert for millions just yesterday, be declared terrorists a day later? If a country is ruled by fascism then no wonder. Here millions have been taken to the terror list, not just Grup Yorum members because Grup Yorum is the people. What we’ve done is against these lists and concert bans. We launched a” we respond to your lists with our songs ” campaign and once again showed that they can’t silence us. In other words, we have always responded to these processes and we have never been without policies for a period of time. We’ve been threatened with death. Our wrists were broken, our hair was pulled out, we were arrested and there wasn’t even a Grup Yorum member left in the country for a while. We went through this process and we tried every way out of it. Interior Minister Suleyman soylu,” Grup Yorum will not be able to do their concert since Im around”, he said.
So if a band can’t perform, it means his gone anyway. We did not accept this injustice, we resisted and 5 of our friends in prison launched an indefinite hunger strike resistance. On top of that, the raids on our Idil Cultural Centre did not stop. The torture and custody’s continued, and then two of our friends turned their resistance into a death fast. Helin Bölek and İbrahim Gökçek. Both were later released but our demands were not accepted. We were not able to perform, nor were our remaining prisoned comrades released. So our resistance continued outside.
288. Days later, Helin Bölek, who was 28 years old, was immortalized. With the martyrdom of Helin, resistance grew. Songs for Helin started coming from everywhere. HELIN became the Immortal Song and the concert at the House of resistance was continuing with Ibrahim Gökçek. Our choir is getting stronger every day. Calls were being made for ownership and acceptance of claims from everywhere. The whole left was united, and Ibrahim Gökçek was striking in the hearts of all the people.
Ibrahim’s demands were on everyone’s agenda. This was in fact a declaration of our political victory because the AKP wanted to isolate and isolate us and terrorize and destroy us, but it failed, and the only agenda of all the peoples of the world and the whole left was the demands of Grup Yorum and the survival of Ibrahim. In this sense, AKP fascism could neither break us from the people nor silence us, on the contrary, our voice was more heard before the peoples of the world and our resistance was united with the peoples of the whole world. Here is our political victory and our pioneers IBRAHIM GÖKÇEK and HELIN BÖLEK. The two musicians who lit our way and immortalized for the sake of their songs and the values they believed in. Ibrahim Gökçek and Helin Bölek will be on every stage of Grup Yorum concerts. With the words of Ibrahim Abi,”we will come back to the squares by doubling the millions”.
2 – Ibrahim Gökçek was actually taken into treatment, the biggest dream was to go back to the scenes and make music.
When you left, you said” political victory ” was ours.
Can you open this? There have been some who have objected to this, What do you mean by political victory?
Our resistance raised the whole world and our demands cost the people of the world.
Helin raised the world and Ibrahim United the People. During the resistance, we have created a unique example of solidarity and ownership throughout the world. We won the political victory through the ownership of the peoples of Anatolia and the world. In this process, our demands United the peoples and increased internationalism. All over the world, actions were organized for Helin and Ibrahim, songs were made, poems were written, ministries were called. Statements were made by organisations, institutions, parties, MPs and artists all over the world. Helin Bölek, martyred on 3 April It became the most searched name on Google. 567 artists, musicians, theatre and film actors, directors, cartoonists in Greece.
The band signed, released statements and released dozens of compositions and songs in response to requests for Grup Yorum’s demands. Support hunger strikes were carried out on 4 continents. More than 3 thousand Grup Yorum listeners in Europe made hunger strikes in support. In Europe, hunger strikes were held indefinitely, the consulate was visited every day and the demands of the Grup Yorum were exclaimed. We united the people around our demands, and our resistance created a unique example of ownership on a world scale. Ibrahim and Helin resisted their hunger to organize new concerts and were martyred for performing their art. During this resistance, the peoples of Anatolia and the world announced The Voice of Helin and Ibrahim to the whole world. All the notes now play Helin and Ibrahim. Our resistance has created a new understanding of art.
In this sense, the political victory of our death fast resistance was won at the cost of life and blood by the redefinition of revolutionary artistry, by our line of right and legitimacy and unifying. No more scenes without them. The instruments of Ibrahim and Helin were a gift to us, their voices joined with the voices of the peoples of the world, and they are stronger now than before. They are now the immortal song of the peoples of the world, and they have presented a political victory to the peoples of the world.
3 – You applied for a concert in Yenikapi on August 09.
You’re so ambitious, you expect 5 million…
Could you open this a little bit?
We will perform our annual “fully independent Turkey” concert in Yenikapı this year on 9 August. We said We have a promise for Ibo and Helin and we aim to sing our fighting folk songs with our 5 million people in Yenikapı on August 9. We will celebrate with millions the victory of our resistance.
Ibrahim and Helin made their bodies instruments to sing, to organize concerts, now we will play our songs and instruments with them on our stage. As every year, we will shout the slogan “fully independent Turkey” from one mouth. Whether in the squares or on the roof, despite all the obstacles and attacks, we will fulfill our promise on August 9th, and we want to share the joy of our victory with the people of Anatolia once again. If necessary, we will turn our places, houses, schools, businesses, squares and streets into concert spaces and we will shout our longing for a “fully independent Turkey” once again on 9 August.
4 – After the martyrdom of Helin Bölek and Ibrahim Gökçek, you composed a new song: Victory Folk Dance
Tens of thousands of people downloaded it on the day it came out. At the moment 130 thousand people have downloaded, more than a first site.
What do you think this piece has found in the public?
With our Victory Folk Dance song, we described the political victory of our martyrs. In that respect, our song was very important. This song was a call for us not to mourn the aftermath of our martyrs, but to continue to fight and produce. It would be a betrayal of our fallen comrades because they showed us how to fight injustice on the front line so that we can sing our songs and grow the struggle. We have to run faster now, both to sing our songs and to fulfill our promise to them. We know that and we call on everyone to fight with us. That’s what we called it with our song.
One by one, we described the creations of our three martyrs. In the first continent, we said, “Helin Bölek is now an Immortal Song.” It was whoever took a instrument composed a song for Helin. Noone can tell us Helin has died. We have 3 babies now who was born after Helin’s martyrdom who are named after Helin. The martyrdom of Helin and Ibrahim Gökçek, the “starlit heart” combined this anger. Everyone around the Grup Yorum’s demands was one voice one heart. These two comrades are commanders of 7 notes. Hail to our commanders, and I swear to you, we will make our struggle even bigger.
In our third continent, we described Mustafa Koçak. We hailed the steel they couldn’t co-operate with. They couldn’t bend Mustafa’s wrist for 296 days. A 29-year-old teenager who was given an aggravated life sentence over the false statements of a confessor with no evidence at all. This was not enough, they wanted to collaborate, threatened to rape his pregnant sister, but he said” I will not be a scapegoat, I’m a mountain goat”. He began to resist the death fast because they had already put him in a coffin alive. They were going to lock him up for life. Mustafa began his death fast resistance and did not kneel against this injustice. His only weapon in his possession was his body, and with it he was martyred in resistance to the death fast, demanding a “fair trial.” The AKP could not create fascism as a collaborator, and as long as Anatolia has brave children, it experienced the most concrete example of the fact that it could not get results with its policies.
Mustafa Koçak was the strength of all of us, the hope of morale. Helin Börek, Ibrahim Gökçek and Mustafa Koçak are today our honor, our hope, our justice and our honor. We will continue our march with what we have learned from them.
5 – Ali aracı 23 June, Bergün Varan and Sultan Gökçek 16 July have cases.
What can we do about it, how can we offer support for them to be released, Is there anything that you want people to do?
Sena: First of all, we call on everyone to take care of our prisoners.
We won the political victory with international solidarity and ownership, we saw our own strength and how weak the enemy was during the resistance. As imperialism tried to isolate and terrorize and destroy us, our resistance moved around the world and our demands reached everywhere. In this sense, we must continue to resist and respond to all the policies of the enemy with the power of internationalism. Grup Yorum is the hope of socilaism of the people of the world today. We carried this hope everywhere we went, we said the common enemy of the peoples of the world is America, we expressed the problems of the peoples of the world. We carried the hope of revolution everywhere we went.
So they tried to drown out our voices, we faced bans, obstructions, arrests. They want to prevent the Grup Yorum from bringing hope to the people. Today, our concerts are banned, our cultural centre is raided and our members are arrested. But we have wasted every obstacle, we have broken through all this pressure by coming out of it even stronger. We have given two martyrs in this cause. We will take the imprisoned Grup Yorum members out of the hands of fascism with resistance and ownership. There are a lot of things that anyone can do in that sense. From wherever we are, we can do something for our prisoned members. We can attend their courts, organize delegations. We can send information about Grup Yorum to the press. We can organize actions, we can phone the Ministry of justice, we can send mail, if we are abroad we can send mail and phone the consulates. We can take actions in front of the consulate. We can write letters to our prisoners and take solidarity videos and photos for them that we’ll post on social media. By turning the whole place into a place of action, we can claim Ali, the Sultan and Bergün.
6 – The police abducted Ibrahim Gökçek’s funeral, threw a gas bomb at Cemevi and buried him in Kayseri.
They didn’t even let Helin’s body get washed, it was handled with a mobile device.
How do you evaluate this attitude of fascism?
Burying their dead is a right, even in the conditions of war, but even in the conditions of fascism it is prevented. This is real. Those who call us yam yam(canibal) are unfamiliar with the general culture of our people. Those who call us yam yam(canibal) are the ones who say “we will exhume the dead and burn them”. Those who call us yam yam(canibal) are the ones who abduct our funerals. Those who call us yam yam(caninal) are the ones who exploit our people, oppress them, sell our country, and are traitors of our country.
That’s why these rhetorics has no meaning. Fascism has no respect for the dead, because it is who kills, slaughters, starves and exploits them to the bone. Whoever did this has no respect for the dead. If its being cannibalistic then here you go this is the new definition of yam yam (cannibalism). Yamyam (Cannibalism) is Fascism.
Original Source in Turkish:
Translation in to English: