This musician is reportedly on the “threshold of death” after going on hunger strike for 230 days because the Turkish government have accused her fellow group members of being terrorists.
Helin Bolek is a member of the Grup Yorum music collective from Turkey and has reportedly been on hunger strike for 230 days after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) effectively banned their concerts.
Bolek and her arrested bandmate Ibrahim Gokcek recently turned their hunger strikes into a “death strikes”, according to the group.
Members of the left-wing collective had been on hunger strike since 16th May 2019 in protest at the government deeming several members of the group as terrorists and jailing several on charges of “membership of a terrorist organisation”.
In February 2018, Ali Araci, Ibrahim Gokcek, Selma Altun, Inan Altun, Emel Yesilirma, and Ihsan Cibelik were placed on the wanted list of the Turkish government.
Bolek’s mother Aygul Bilgi says her daughter is now close to death from her hunger strike, saying “Minutes are slipping away from our hands. Our daughter is on the threshold of death.
“Everywhere at any opportunity I repeat the same thing, and I will again, she is my only child, she’s all I have. But before all, she is a very good person. She’s not a bad person and she has absolutely not done anything wrong. I don’t want such a good person to die.”
The government accuses Grup Yorum of being affiliated with the banned leftist militant Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front and Bolek herself was released from prison last year.
The group’s guitarist Gokcek is currently on “death strike” in prison and an Istanbul Court has accepted an indictment of life imprisonment filed against him. His hearing will reportedly take place on 14th February.
He has been labelled a terrorist by the government.
The group was formed in 1985 and are popular throughout Turkey as well as having performed in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy among others.
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