March 5, 2020
Helin Bolek, a member of a popular folk music group, who had been staging a hunger protest in Turkey died on the 288th day.
Bolek who died on April 3, was a member of the banned group and been protesting against the imprisonment of her band members.
The news was affirmed by the group through it’s post on the group’s Twitter account.
Grup Yorum said singer Helin Bolek, 28, died Friday at a home in Istanbul where she had been staging the hunger strike in an attempt to pressure the government into reversing its position on the band and its members.
Grup Yorum, known for its protest songs, is a folk collective with rotating band members. It has been prohibited from performing in Turkey since 2016, and authorities have jailed some of its members.
The government accuses Grup Yorum of links to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP/C.
Bolek and fellow band member, Ibrahim Gokcek, had embarked on a the hunger strike while in prison to press the government to lift the ban and free detained band members. They were released in November.
The two were demanding that Grup Yorum be allowed to resume concerts, that jailed band members be released and that lawsuits against the group be dropped.
Two Grup Yorum band members, including Gokcek’s wife, remain in prison.