Message of support from Joan Baez to arrested members of Grup Yorum of Turkey


As reports about arrests of all members of Grup Yorum of Turkey were released, lawyers of the group stated that they were arrested with the accusations of assault, resistance, and membership in a terrorist organization. This has taken place despite the fact that there is no imputation stated in police reports and/or records.

Awkward assertions

A journal found at İdil Culture Center, where Grup Yorum holds its meetings, is considered as evidence of crime. On the other hand, the traditional dance costumes of İdil Folk Dances Group and İdil Drama Club are defined as ‘monotype costume of an organization.’ Furthermore, 2030 TL also found at the Center is deemed as ‘money of the terrorist organization.’

Computers, flash disks, and phones of the band members were previously seized by the police when they were taken into custody. With the latest decision for their arrest, all of the equipment has also been considered as ‘belongings of the terrorist organization’ without even an examination of these devices.

Another interesting assertion in the police record is the question with regards to the entrance door of the Center. Police asked ‘why the İdil Culture Center had a sliding door.’

Lawyer Ünsal: ‘All the proceedings are handled by the police!’

According to the statements of the band’s lawyer Aytaç Ünsal, even a hammer at the Center is considered as crime of evidence.

Pointing out a serious detail, lawyer Ünsal said: “Even 3 days after they were initially taken into custody, there were no official records of their files at the prosecutor’s office and the counter terrorism unit. There was no file number and no prosecutor. So, this means: all proceedings are handled by the police. In other words, police can detain people without having to report on it. This should not be allowed!”

Workers at İdil Culture Center were also taken into custody

Additionally, one of the 4 workers who were remodeling the Center were also taken into custody. One of them has been arrested, along wiht the member of the band. The statement of the worker where he said ‘I symphatize with Grup Yorum and I came to İdil Culture Center before,too’ is taken as a reason for his arrest. Other 3 workers are in house arrest.

Recently, members of Grup Yorum had recorded a video where they used the instruments which had been smashed by the police during previous raids at İdil Culture Center, located in İstanbul.

Support from Joan Baez

World renowned musician, composer, folk singer, and activist Joan Baez had previously took stage with a broken guitar during the 30th year anniversary concert of Grup Yorum in 2015 and said ‘We are going to repair everything.’
Protest singer Baez sent a message of support to the arrested members of the band recently saying ‘the fact that they were arrested actually means that their music and work touch on people and mobilize them.’

Also saying ‘I will be telling your struggle while I sing my songs’, Baez extended her appreciation and thanks to the band members.




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