Grup Yorum member Gökçek dies after ending death fast

Ibrahim Gökçek, bassist of the socialist band Grup Yorum, led a death fast protest for 323 days in protest at the state repression against his group. With the protest, the 39-year-old musician demanded the lifting of the concert ban of Grup Yorum, an end to the police raids against the Idil cultural centre, the release of all imprisoned band members and the cessation of all legal proceedings.

The musician ended his death fast on the 323rd day, on May 5, after Turkish officials agreed for a talk with the band for permission to make concerts.

After ending the fast, Gökçek was taken under treatment in the intensive care unit of Reyap Istanbul Hospital in the Esenyurt district.

A statement made on Twitter account of the music band today said; “We have just learned about the martyrdom of İbrahim Gökçek at the hospital he had been taken to. We express our condolences to all our people and all humanity whose heart beats with us!”

A statement released by the band about Gökçek’s health situation yesterday said; “He has no blood left in his body. He got 3-liter blood transfusion yesterday, which will continue today as well. He is currently receiving vascular feeding and will be given formula into the stomach after 24 hours. He will remain in intensive care for a month.”

Gökçek was reportedly connected to respirator after a deterioration of his condition last night. His heart has reportedly stopped at around 1 pm today.

BACKGROUND

Helin Bölek, another member of the left-wing musical band, passed away on the 288th day of her death fast on Friday. Helin Bölek and Ibrahim Gökçek were arrested about a year ago during a house search at the Idil Cultural Centre in Istanbul. They were accused of membership in the banned Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C). After going on a hunger strike, which they later turned into death fast, Bölek was released in November 2019 and Gökçek on February 24. Both musicians continued their fast demanding an end to the reprisals against the popular left music formation.