Friday, May 13, 2011

Turkey: Band members detained in police raid

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
ISTANBUL – Daily News with wires

Some 36 people, including three members of a music band, have been taken
into custody in a security operation launched by the police in three
separate locations in Istanbul’s Şişli and Beyoğlu districts on charges of
membership in the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front,
or DHKP-C.

Among those taken into custody were Ali Aracı, Ali Papur and Caner
Bozkurt, three members of Grup Yorum, a left wing music band.

“The culture center and the associations are legal institutions. Three
members of Grup Yorum were taken into custody at the culture center. There
was no search warranty for the arrest. Grup Yorum attracted tens of
thousands of people to its concerts. The police could have searched these
locations in the morning but came around 2 a.m. It is said there is a
confidentiality decision in relation to this matter. There was no legal
basis for this raid,” said Taylan Tanay, a lawyer who visited the scenes
of operations, according to Doğan news agency.

Organized crime units raided the İdil Culture Center on Piyalepaşa Avenue
in Beyoğlu, the Youth Federation Association and the Rights and Freedoms
Association on Mektep Street in Şişli with assistance from riot police
around 2 a.m., following a decision taken by the Istanbul 3rd Court of
Serious Crimes. When those inside failed to open the door despite the
police’s search warranty, the police broke the windows and threw tear gas
inside. In turn, the people inside reportedly began chanting slogans and
singing marches. The police waited until 5 a.m., after which time they
forced the doors open by using battering rams.

The police seized large sacks full of documents relating to organizational
activities. A red flag hanging at the entrance of the association was
brought down by the police who also closed the area of operations with a
long security cordon. Crime scene investigation units and special forces
were also involved in the operation. The suspects were taken to the
Istanbul Police Headquarters.

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