İbrahim Gökçek: Of course, I want to live.

A letter from İbrahim Gökçek, on day 318 of his death fast (hunger strike till death, unless demands are met)

The death fast that we continue today to make our art freely is on its 318th day. Much has been said, written and drawn about our resistance until today. Our resistance has already exceeded the borders of our country. It can be said that; Our resistance has been heard and supported all over the world from Antarctica to Latin America.

Our intellectual and artistic friends, we have had many days that we shared the same stage and platforms together. And for those who we haven’t been able to share the same stage, we sang for the same purpose; we have the honour of making art for a fairer and more liveable world. We have also experienced the pressure of the powers who have been fed by people being ignorant and not being organised.

As our intellectual and artist friends, you have done your best to support and spread this resistance, more or less. You came to us and shared our hunger, organised concerts for us. You have personally supported us with your productions and have made many efforts to make the voice of our resistance heard. Unfortunately, we were unable to make Helin live, who we carried this resistance with shoulder to shoulder.

After Helin, Mustafa Kocak also died who continued his death fast for justice, calls are made for me not to die. I want to live, of course. So, friends, how do I leave the resistance when the resistance has come to this stage, when there is no concrete gain?

As intellectual and artists, we all got our share from the pressures and attacks of this state. Our theatres, concerts are banned, the lawsuits and investigations opened against us because of our social media posts are endless. Did not these attacks become so reckless since we could not organise together and build stronger resistance until today?

Ali Aracı, a captive Grup Yorum member, should be released immediately. There is no justifiable reason for this detention, no legal justification. It was understood how unfair and arbitrary the raids were during the unfair trials which had no evidence. The lies and demagogies about Grup Yorum members and İdil Culture Center have all been useless and empty.

All Grup Yorum members were arrested with false witness statements. Today, 4 Grup Yorum members are detained for being in our İdil Cultural Center and with the statements of the defamatory witnesses. One is Ali Aracı. I was released thanks to the strength of my resistance and your solidarity. I want my colleagues with whom we compose, I want to be able to make new compositions with Ali. I want imprisoned Grup Yorum members to be released and to be able to give a concert!

Why are such simple and humane demands not met? I want our requests to be fulfilled! Now, with all our strength, we must put pressure on the powers to meet our demands. Intellectuals and our musician friends should now meet with the relevant ministry and the presidency by establishing delegations among themselves without delay, and ensure that our demands are met. I greet you all with the warmth of Helin and Mustafa and the enthusiasm of our resistance.

İbrahim Gökçek