POLICE ATTACK ON THE FUNERAL PLANNED TO BE HELD FOR GRUP YORUM GUITARIST IBRAHIM GÖKÇEK WHO LOST HIS LIFE ON HUNGER STRIKE!
3 ATTORNEYS WHO WERE AT THE VENUE FOR THEIR CLIENT IBRAHIM GÖKÇEK WERE DETAINED!
Grup Yorum Guitarist Ibrahim Gökçek lost his life on May 07, 2020. He was on hunger strike for 323 days until 5 May 2020 , when he suspended his protest. He could not be saved despite all the efforts of the physicians. He died of reasons related to his indefinite hunger strike. In accordance with the last will of Ibrahim Gökçek, a commemoration was planned to be held in the ‘cemevi’ –where the Alevi community get together- in the Gazi Neighbourhood (Istanbul) on 8 May 2020. After the commemoration and march, his corpse was going to be
transferred to his hometown Kayseri to lay him to rest.
However, the police blockaded the Gazi Neighbourhood in the morning. They did not let anyone enter the ‘cemevi’ where Ibrahim’s funeral was to be held. Around 50 people had already entered the ‘cemevi’ earlier. They continued to wait there. The police attacked the people who wanted to participate in the commemoration, and used gas bombs. Many were detained. Then they started to attack the people inside the ‘cemevi’, using gas bombs. They forcefully entered the ‘cemevi’, breaking the doors. They wanted to seize Ibrahim Gökçek’s corpse. In the meantime, our colleagues, Seda Saraldi, Didem Baydar Ünsal and intern attorney Doga Incesi who were standing by the morgue where Gökçek’s corpse was laid, and tried to keep Gökçek’s corpse intact. The police reacted by detaining our colleagues and many others.
The police could thus seize the corpse of Ibrahim Gökçek. His family was told that they would be taking back their son’s corpse on the road out of Istanbul. Gökçek’s family took the corpse. They departed to Kayseri in order to lay the guitarist to rest. The police accompanied them.
The event today -the police attacks first on the people outside the ‘cemevi’, and then the people inside, the seizing of a dissident guitarist’s corpse- all are illustrative of the increase in the extra-legal measures taken against the regime’s opponents in the country.
The family, friends, and attorneys of Ibrahim Gökçek as well as those who followed the artistic works of dissident music group, Group Yorum were denied one of the basic universal rights -“the right to hold a funeral service”. Ibrahim Gökçek, who had already been deprived of his right to freedom to express himself through his music, by the targeting and defamation of the Grup Yorum. Besides, 3 members of the Progressive Lawyers Association, 2 attorneys and 1 intern attorney were detained due to the fact that they defended the right to hold the funeral service.
We call on the authorities to ensure the immediate release of our colleagues and to give an end to illegal interventions to Ibrahim Gökçek’s funeral.
We call for our colleagues worldwide to stand in solidarity with the ÇHD to persist in struggling against rights violations!
Long live international solidarity!