Turkey launches investigation into judge for tweet supporting late Grup Yorum member

Ayşe Sarısu Pehlivan

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has launched an administrative investigation into a judge who implied criticism of the prosecution of a leftist band member who died after a 322-day hunger strike, Turkish media reported.

İbrahim Gökçek, the late Grup Yorum musician, was accused of membership in a left-wing terrorist organization.

The band was also prohibited from giving concerts.

“Folk songs do not harm,” Judge Ayşe Sarısu Pehlivan tweeted on May 3 in support of Gökçek’s protest.

Gökçek and Helin Bölek, another band member, went on a hunger strike while in prison to protest the prosecution of the group.

Both were later released but did not survive the long hunger strike.

Grup Yorum is known for its reinterpretation of Turkey’s folk songs in the modern era.

“I felt pain as a human being and posted something [on social media],” Judge Pehlivan told the T24 news website on Wednesday. “No one has the right to interfere in people’s right to life.” (turkishminute.com)

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