Another Grup Yorum musician on hunger strike dies in prison on 297th day

Mustafa Koçak, a jailed member of the Grup Yorum band who had been on a hunger strike in a prison in western Turkey, died on the 297th day of his hunger strike on Friday, according to Turkish media reports.

Held behind bars for two years, Koçak,28, was one of the imprisoned members of the leftist Grup Yorum. He was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment on terrorism-related charges. Some members of the group are still standing trial.

Based on the testimony of a secret witness, he was accused of providing weapons to the attackers who assassinated a public prosecutor at an İstanbul courthouse in 2015.

The musician denied all the accusations and demanded a fair trial to end his hunger strike.

Koça, who weighed 29 kilograms at the time of his death, is the second person to die while on a hunger strike this month. Grup Yorum singer Helin Bölek passed away after 288 days on a hunger strike.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent human rights activist and a deputy from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said that all Koçak wanted was a fair trial.

“They didn’t even give him that. He is the latest victim of an unjust judiciary. His family fought hard for him. They couldn’t make it.

“They couldn’t make themselves heard by the people. Those who have a conscience will ache, those who haven’t already turned a blind eye. The voice of justice has been drowned out,” he tweeted. (

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