Police detain many people at the funeral of Helin Bölek

The Turkish police have prevented a funeral service in Istanbul for Grup Yorum musician Helin Bölek, who died on death fast against state repression. Numerous people were arrested.

The funeral service for music band Grup Yorum member Helin Bölek, who died on Friday, on the 288th day of her death fast in Istanbul, has been prevented by the Turkish police. The body was to be taken in the morning hours from the "resistance house" in Küçük Armutlu, where Helin Bölek and her band colleague Ibrahim Gökçek were conducting their hunger strike, to the Alevi place of worship (Cemevi) in Okmeydani. In Nurtepe the convoy with the coffin was blocked by the police. Drivers of the two cars with the body and the relatives and lawyers of Helin Bölek were arrested. The police demanded that the body be transferred directly to the cemetery in Feriköy.

All access roads to the Cemevi and the Idil Cultural Centre in Okmeydani were closed by the police in the morning. Despite this measure, hundreds of people have arrived in front of the Cemevi. They protested with slogans against the police blockade and sang songs from Grup Yorum. They then set off towards the cemetery but were stopped by the police and started a sit-in. The police attacked the crowd and arrested many people.

While people continued to wait outside the Cemevi, the body of Helin Bölek has been taken to the cemetery by police force.