Samidoun salutes the martyr, revolutionary Grup Yorum musician Ibrahim Gökçek

Ibrahim Gökçek, before and during his strike

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Ibrahim Gökçek, who was martyred this morning, 7 May, two days after achieving victory in his 323-day hunger strike. Gökçek, a musician of the revolutionary music band Grup Yorum, is the third hunger striker to be martyred in Turkey in one month, after Helin Bölek and Mustafa Koçak were on hunger strikes for 288 and 297 days respectively.

Last Sunday, 3 May, Samidoun participated alongside organizations from all over the world in the International Internet Conference and Concert for Solidarity with the Resistance, organized by the Anti-Imperialist Front in support of the imprisoned hunger strikers of Grup Yorum and People’s Law Bureau. Approximately 17,000 people watched the livestream of the solidarity event with speakers and participants around the world.

Ibrahim Gökçek also spoke at the conference, reiterating the words of his letter from 30 April:

“After Helin and Mustafa Koçak, who continued the death fast for justice, lost their lives, calls are made for me not to die. Of course, I want to live, too. Well, friends, as the resistance has come to this stage, it has not made any solid gains, how can I quit the resistance?

I want our demands to be fulfilled! Now, with all our strength, we must put pressure on the government to meet our demands. Without losing time, our intellectual and artist friends should talk with the relevant ministry and the presidency by forming committees among themselves and ensure that our demands are met. I greet you all with the warmth of Helin and Mustafa and with the enthusiasm of our resistance!”

It is important to reiterate the victory achieved by Ibrahim Gökçek and Grup Yorum on Tuesday 5 May, two days before he died. He stopped his hunger strike after Turkish Ministries, politicians, and organizations “vouched for Grup Yorum and declared that they would struggle until the permission to hold concerts was obtained and the imprisoned members were released.” Grup Yorum has applied for three concerts in Istanbul and one in Ízmir.

Ibrahim Gökçek, revolutionary musician

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the hunger strike martyrs Ibrahim Gökçek, Helin Bölek and Mustafa Koçak. We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in Turkey, including members of Grup Yorum and the People’s Law Bureau. Political prisoners around the world should be liberated at a time when they face a double threat in COVID-19 and intensifying prison repression. Freedom for all political prisoners!

As Grup Yorum is an internationalist music band, we end with the lyrics of their song Kalbu Falestini:

“This land is the land of our ancestors

shoulder to shoulder, martyr

Abu Ibrahim, good days will come

Don’t send me off, hold this gun.”