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.