Turkey detains six members of left-wing band Grup Yorum

Turkish police detained on Wednesday six members of Grup Yorum, a popular, left-leaning folk-rock band, Duvar news site reported.

Band members Dilan Poyraz, Bahar Kurt, Betül Varan, Eren Erdem, Barış Yüksel and Sercan Toptancı were detained during a concert rehearsal in Istanbul’s Beykoz district, it said.

Police also raided the city’s İdil Cultural Centre, which is run by the band, Duvar said.

The Istanbul Governor’s Office had recently banned a Grup Yorum concert set to take place in the city on Aug. 9.

The Grup Yorum folk collective was formed in 1985 and has released 23 albums. But the band has not been allowed to perform since 2016 as the Turkish authorities have accused members of being affiliated to the DHKP-C, a militant Marxist group considered to be a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

Earlier this year, two members of the band, Helin Bölek and İbrahim Gökçek, died following an intermittent hunger strike to demand the lifting of concert bans on the group, an end to raids on the band’s cultural centre, and the release of imprisoned band members.