We won’t sing! We will not follow your tunes!
Helin Bolek, a 28 year old member of the popular Turkish folk band Grup Yorum, died this week while at a hunger strike that lasted for 288 days. She had been protesting the Government ban on the band. Her protest was at once a movement for the rights of the artists and their freedom of speech.
The folk band, with twenty five albums to their name, is particularly famous for their protest songs penned against government atrocities. The ban on them had been in force since 2016. Many of their members are in jail. Istanbul police has raided the cultural centre that the group was associated with over ten times in the last two years. Musical instruments were destroyed and thirty artists including members of Grup Yorum have been arrested.
Early in 2019, Helin herself was behind the bars and released after eleven months. However, she refused to give up on her protest or hunger strike till her last breath. Once again, the wider world had to witness with an impotent silence one more bright young and vocal talent brutally forced to a permanent silence by a Fascist regime.
Srotaswini Bhowmick, Assistant Professor & Senior Manager – Academic Administration, Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts and Mass Communication (USLM)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.