All band members are arrested after one week’s detention on grounds of resisting and cursing law enforcers, and being terror organization members
On 23 November 2016, all of the members of a Turkish band dubbed Grup Yorum were arrested late night. Although the official statement regarding the band members’ arrest was not released yet, they were arrested on grounds of resisting and cursing law enforcers, and being members of the outlawed far-left militant group Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C), according to BBC Turkce.
DHKP-C is an armed organization which is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU. The group has claimed responsibility for several bombings and assassinations in Turkey such as the murder of Turkish businessman Ozdemir Sabanci, a member of one of the richest families in Turkey, and the murder of Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz.
Grup Yorum is known for its lyrics honoring militants deemed to be terrorist who were killed by the Turkish security officers in clashes, and glorifying armed violence. Some verses from their songs read “Hit! Hit! Hit! Hit! Hit with the Gatling gun! Hit! Let our passion become bullets; bombard atrocity with them!”, “The word is done with its practice. It is now the gun’s turn!”, “The poured blood will not remain unreciprocated. We will settle accounts!”, “Hello those who go down with guns in their hands!”
Last summer, the group arranged an opportunity to address a concert crowd via teleconferencing for the parents of slain DHKP-C militant Safak Yayla, who took prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz hostage and eventually murdered him. The parents hailed the audience as “revolutionists” and asserted that “Safak Yaylas never die and many more Safak Yaylas will be born.”
Grup Yorum’s support for the DHKP-C is not confined to giving voice to militants’ families. The band attends the funerals of DHKP-C militants as well. Band members were seen in a video clip as singing an anthem at the tomb of a militant who was killed while attacking the police in the Turkish city of Tunceli. Also, a band member was photographed while marching with a suicide bomber to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of the DHKP-C.
Despite its unabashed support for DHKP-C, Grup Yorum is backed by Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP). For instance, the CHP helped Grup Yorum organize a concert in the Great National Assembly of Turkey in 2015 after the band complained of experiencing difficulties in finding a venue to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their foundation. Some CHP deputies expressed grief over the arrests of the members of Grup Yorum on their personal Twitter accounts. Moreover, the band’s former vocalist Hilmi Yarayici is currently a CHP deputy.