The situation in Istanbul – 09:00 am GMT, 03/16/2020

Yesterday in front of the hospital in Istanbul’s Uumranieye district, where from March 11 until now, members of the Grup Yorum, who are conducting Death Fast(hunger strike till death) – Ibrahim Gökçek and Helin Bölek, were held forcibly to undergo forced medical intervention, an press conference was held. members of Grup Yorum the parents of Ibrahim and Helin, as well as many people supporting the struggle of musicians for freedom of art for the people.
During the press conference, a protest declaration condemning the unlawful detention of Ibrahim and Helin at the Umraniye hospital, attempts to conduct a forced medical intervention against them, was read. The statement also condemned the forced medical intervention against political prisoner Mustafa Kocak, who since March 12 has been held against his will at the Şakran Prison Hospital near Izmir, western Turkey.

After reading the protest statement, the parents of Ibrahim and Helin made statement about the latest situation of the two resisters. Ibrahim’s father, Ahmet Gökçek, said his son was continuing his hunger strike till death by sending greetings to all artists, musicians, intellectuals and people who support Grup Yorum’s struggle. He also said that Ibraim wanted to be released from the hospital and continue his hunger strike till death at the House of Resistance in Istanbul’s Kucuk Armutlu neighborhood, from where he was kidnapped by the police together with Helin on the night of 10 March 11, 2020.

Helin Bölek’s mother, Aygul Bilgi, said doctors canceled all visits to the hospital because of the spread of the coronavirus (CoVID-19), which prevented her from meeting her daughter. She said authorities are trying to silence the voice of their children. Bilgi also said that at every opportunity she tells Ibrahim and Helin that there are dozens of people outside the hospital who support them in their struggle and that no one will leave them alone, until the two are released from the hospital. The two members of the Grup Yorum in turn, have said they will continue their resistance, and that they have full confidence in the people who support them. Aygul Bilgi said she had a phone conversation with her daughter, who, when asked “do you need something, daughter,” Helin said she didn’t need anything, but wanted to know what was happening outside the hospital. Her mother replied that they are all well and worried about their condition. Helin has sent greetings to all who support their struggle.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim and Helin’s health is deteriorating. They suffer from debilitating wounds due to prolonged standing motionless. They are suffering from difficulties to speak of, as their physical and mental strength diminishes gradually. The stress that the two have undergone over the last few days further aggravates their condition. Nevertheless, Ibrahim and Helin are conscious, fully contacted and adequate, so far no forced medical intervention has been carried out against them, but the danger of doing so remains.

For the 6th day, Ibrahim and Hellin’s parents and comrades are on duty at the hospital, with people supporting the Grup Yorum’s struggle against fascism stay on vigil on shifts of several dozen people.

Dozens of riot police, SWAT team members, agents of political police and plainclothes police officers from public order unist, as well as several APCs and water cannos, remain in the hospital area.

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