(Yürüyüs magazine No.57, March 11, 2018)






A music group that gives concerts to a million people…

Despite all the pressures of fascism, the band that survived for 33 years…

A group, all of whose members have been arrested…

A group whose Idil Cultural Centre has been raided four times in a year

And finally, those not currently held have had a price put on their heads by fascism and they have been put on a “terrorist list”…

That is Grup Yorum.

And the reason Grup Yorum is exposed to such attacks? The revolutionary ideas of Yorum are artistic. With this revolutionary art directly reaching the public and being effective. This effect on the people is what makes the enemies of the people scared of Grup Yorum.

Imperialism and its collaborators despite their gigantic military forces are so weak in the face of our folk songs. Look at them. They are so weak, they arrest the revolutionary singers of Grup Yorum and put the rest on “wanted” lists.

There is a name for this – it is desperation. Our folk songs that go from person to person are a problem for the enemies of the people. It is clear that it is not their huge technological opportunities and military forces but our songs that are strong.

The power comes from being the Voice of Hope.

AKP reactionary fascists put Grup Yorum on the “terrorist list” by order of imperialism, showing how scared they are of songs of hope for the people. We will increase the fear felt by the enemies of the people. Because we will continue to sing folk songs of hope for the people everywhere.

For 33 years Grup Yorum has experienced all kinds of attacks and prohibitions and knew how to overcome all of them. Revolutionary musicians appearing on a “terrorism list” is a first in the history of the world.

How has Grup Yorum created so much fear among the enemies of the people?

Because every folk song of hope is a factor in organising the people to resist.

This is why fascism cannot tolerate it and tries to silence it. But it will not succeed…

Because Grup Yorum is not alone, more precisely, Grup Yorum has shown once again who the friends and enemies are.

Everybody knows that Grup Yorum for 33 years has been at the side of the people, whatever their problems. A witness to every moment of the fight. It has given a tongue, words and a tune to the people in the fight and resistance.

And now, Grup Yorum’s turn has come. Now is the time to answer fascism, and make Grup Yorum live in every part of the country.

It’s a fight. The people and enemies of the people are in inevitable collision with one another. And victory will go to the people singing Grup Yorum songs.

We say to the fascist enemies of the people who are servants of imperialism

You cannot find a prison to incarcerate Grup Yorum or a cemetery in which to bury it. Because Grup Yorum is the people. And for exactly that reason, there is no prison or cemetery big enough to hold Grup Yorum. There has not been and will never be. Your reactionary fascist minds cannot grasp it but look, centuries before, people’s minstrels said the following to tyranny:

Our fingers cannot be counted and we cannot be consumed by breaking them…”

You cannot consume Grup Yorum. You cannot burn folk songs that make the people breathe everywhere. You tried this many times but you were defeated every time. Because it is impossible to silence Grup Yorum. It is possible to behead people’s artists but not to silence them. History bears witness to this.

The people have honour. They can be struck in a thousand places but not surrender to you. Since everything for you is a matter of your interests, this is not something you know. Everything in your world is for sale, including yourselves, and you have hope of getting a result by putting prices on peoples’ heads. But you are wrong. Because for all your wealth, in the face of the people’s honour you are not even worth a postage stamp. And Grup Yorum is expert at being the voice of people’s honour.

You for your part are an enemy of this voice. The rising voice of honour and hope just causes your lips to bleed. You put into practice the order you got from your imperial masters that “this voice must be silenced” and you issue a blacklist. But you are wrong. There is no sword capable of silencing the voice of Grup Yorum. Fascism has made no headway against art for the people. When fascism has clashed with revolutionary artists, the revolutionary artists have always won. Nazim Hikmet, Yilmaz Guney, Ruhi Su, Victor Jara and others have become immortal.

Wherever there is resistance to injustice, there will be Grup Yorum songs sung

Even when the lips of Grup Yorum have bled, their tongues have never ceased singing folk songs of love for the people. Wherever there is tyranny, wherever there is injustice, Grup Yorum, like Koroglu, is a cry of remembrance. It is the rising voice of the people’s refusal to submit.

But all you know is establishing a throne in your palace of exploitation. Whereas Grup Yorum has established a throne in the people’s hearts. This is why every house of the poor in Anatolia is a house, studio, theatre and stage for Grup Yorum. Revolutionary art established among the people is not a stage you can dismantle.

Grup Yorum’s songs are the voice of heroism under torture and a fist of honour that strikes torture in the face. Grup Yorum’s songs are primarily about resistance. They start off from the place where there is resistance. Hands may be manacled behind you and there may be no blood left in your body but as long as Grup Yorum songs are sung it means the flag of resistance has not fallen and will never fall. They know this and so resort to low methods of attack.

Grup Yorum folk songs are indispensible when pacing around in prison or when resisting. Voices that begin to shout, “Long live resistance, long live victory” tear down tyranny’s dark work. From morning to evening in prison, Group Yorum songs bring fire from one prison cell to another. You understand this with both hearts and ears.

Grup Yorum songs maintained the morale of a girl working in a textile factory. These songs became a guide to freedom for this teenage girl.

Callused hands build barricades when patience is at an end, and an angry voice comes from these barricades. This is the voice of anger, with Grup Yorum as a composer.

Grup Yorum compositions are the natural voice of halay dances by strikers and the squares where there is a struggle going on. Wherever there is a just struggle, Grup Yorum songs are sung and the halay is danced there. It boosts solidarity against fascism, shoulder to shoulder with the people.

For those who have lost their way, Grup Yorum is like the Polar Star, showing the way ahead.

It is a guide to those who still have a desire to reach their goal even if their lives have been turned upside down. Without even once falling into an ambush, theirs is the path of struggle. They remove reasons to feel depressed, make people run down their path, and run faster, And on roads full of adventure…

Grup Yorum is henceforth a tradition

After 33 years we can say that Grup Yorum is a tradition. They carry the torch of people’s minstrel once carried by a master like Ruhi Su. Even if you imprison everyone, you cannot put an end to the art of Grup Yorum.


Look at how mothers who are just again and again have given birth to a new future for Grup Yorum. So that instead of lullabies, babies listen to Grup Yorum folk songs while growing up, even before they have started to talk. This is why you are losing this struggle. Because with the struggle and the future of art for the people, Grup Yorum has won the future for itself.

Your imperialist bosses know that Grup Yorum is the only artistic organisation that sings songs with anti-imperialist, anti-American feeling and does not give up this practice. So this communicates the truth to the people and sharpens class consciousness. Imperialism is an enemy to Grup Yorum as it does not sing of obtaining freedom from America or democracy from the European imperialists. And Grup Yorum regards it as glorious to be considered an enemy by imperialists.

Grup Yorum and those like it must proliferate, in order that the voice of independence as opposed to imperialism, democracy as opposed to fascism and socialism as opposed to capitalism should be louder, in Anatolia and everywhere in the world. And this is why such “democracy” champions in Europe, especially Germany, have banned Grup Yorum. But repression and bans are of no avail against Grup Yorum. Even if you imprison its members new ones will arise and the voice of hope will continue to be heard over an ever wider area.

The imperialists wanted revolutionary thoughts to be erased all over the world and particularly since the 1990s, they have wanted to make the left change its beliefs and cause a turncoat left to be dominant. The Marxist-Leninists of Turkey in the world have gone over to the attack against this pressure from the ideological point of view, and Grup Yorum sings these songs of resistance and attack.

What they sing gives expression to love of the people and the homeland. Grup Yorum sings folk songs of the fight and of love, devotion, self-sacrifice and of the comrades in this fight.

That is, the voice of revolutionary beliefs they want to silence is spreading more widely. This reality makes the imperialist lowlifes resort to fascist collaborators in an effort to silence this voice. Because this voice carries the historic message to the people: “Since it is human to make dreams into reality/ we can establish a new world all over again”.

Yes, this is what is needed by life and the peoples: to establish a new world all over again… That is, to establish a socialist world all over again, free of imperialist exploitation and fascist tyranny… Exactly for that reason, the fight for tomorrow must be started from today. That is, the vanguard of this struggle are the rank and file under the leadership of Dayi (Uncle). The voice they seek to suppress is the voice of Mahir, Huseyin and Ulas. They will not suppress it. Because the voice of the peoples says “”War Until Liberation”.

The tradition of revolutionary art is the secret of invincibility

Who is Grup Yorum and why do they want to destroy it? Why do they put Grup Yorum members in prison?

Why do they offer rewards and put people on wanted lists?

The answer to these questions is clear.

Grup Yorum is the voice of history. It is the memory record of the people. “The Sultan has the directives, the mountains are ours” – this is the saying. The Kenans and Leylas go to the mountains to oppose the directives, wrapped in the folk songs of hope that contain the peoples’ pain. Perhaps there is no bullet in the gun barrel but these folk songs show the eagerness for battle of falcons, whatver their weapons are.

Grup Yorum is a guide to the future. The people’s artists in question are aware of their historical responsibility. What is the aim, what direction is the march going in… How will each step be taken… All these are part of Grup Yorum’s traditions, describing their knowledge of life like a book.

Grup Yorum sings folk songs of hope. Hope for the peoples is revolution and socialism. “War Until Liberation” expressed the will and takes socialism away from being an abstract goal. Grup Yorum sings folk songs that express revolutionary will.

Grup Yorum sings folk songs of honour – honour that opposes your lack of honour, that is, capitalist injustice and fascist vileness. Resisting with honour is to be right. And Grup Yorum are expert in summoning all to dance the halay that expresses the essence of resistance.

As is seen, Grup Yorum has a mission. Grup Yorum is the representative of people’s art, revolutionary art. It is different in that it is organised. Grup Yorum is the organised state of the “Big Family” of the people. This being so, no fascist attacks and bans can stop Grup Yorum. Soloists can be jailed, new soloists come on stage. They live inside great collectivism. So much so that even the unborn are organised in Grup Yorum within the people while still in the womb. This is the immortal and unbeatable secret of artistic tradition that is revolutionary and on the side of the people.

Where Grup Yorum is different is that in the area of art it is a vanguard, a leader, an organiser. Above all, Grup Yorum has created a revolutionary alternative in the artistic sphere. This alternative is essentially characterised by being organised and revolutionary. Being organised means organising among the people for victory, out of love for the people and homeland. Grup Yorum does this with great enthusiasm.

To be organised means making revolutionary thoughts take on a material form. Individualism is the hollowness of bourgeois thoughts given a material form. The bourgeoisie use individualism in an attempt to make artists who originate from the people surrender or become ineffective. Because unorganised artists cannot be a force opposing the enemies of the people. Those who remain outside the solidarity and organisation of the people cannot escape eventual surrender to the system. That is, art has to take a position against fascism. The way to do this is through organisation. It is Grup Yorum that does this.

Revolutionary Art Is A Front Against Fascism

From yesterday to today, Grup Yorum, in the struggle for people’s liberation is organised in the artistic front against imperialism and fascism. Today the enemies of the people show their fear of Grup Yorum’s organisation when they throw all members in jail, offer rewards for those who are not in their grasp and put them on “wanted” lists. Fascism has officially declared war on Grup Yorum.

In the course of a year, the Idil Culture Centre has been raided four times, all Grup Yorum members have been jailed or are being hunted, and the only meaning of all this is to seek to isolate them from the people and prohibit their concerts.

But in vain. They did not succeed and will not succeed. Grup Yorum cannot be cut off from the people. They won’t get a result from jail or from “wanted” lists in their efforts to criminalise. They cannot succeed!

This is what Dayi said: “We are human beings of this soil. We are people. We are one with the people. We are the vanguard of the people.” We can also make this definition of Grup Yorum’s art tradition at the side of the people. So Grup Yorum makes revolutionary art in this land. The music of the Anatolian Rebellion goes from ear to ear and heart to heart and in this land. And no obstacle can prevent it.

When concerts were banned, Grup Yorum went out onto roofs. When theatres were barred to their concerts, they held them from the tops of lorries and travelled from street to street to come in contact with the people.

Grup Yorum has created a tradition in revolutionary art of not heeding bans and not giving in to repression. If they come to a place, a room in a house, a village field, a strikers’ tent, outside a cemetery… Wherever the people are. And the stage has always been where Grup Yorum could be.

And we never remained without politics. We always replid to every attack by fascism with our revolutionary politics. This is what Grup Yorum has done. They gave a clear answer to fascist attacks and said: we will defeat your terror lists with our new compositions! Not your lists but the music we compose will win!

Grup Yorum makes folk songs out of love for the people and homeland

While Grup Yorum members were being put on “terrorism lists”, two artists from the system ranks emerged – Yavuz Bingol and Selda Bagcan… The message from the ruling class was clear: be like them. Sing songs like them.

The spokesman of British imperialism, the BBC, broadcast an interview with Selda Bagcan. They were saying, if you have to be a leftist, be like Selda Bagcan… Turn your back on the people, obtain money and fame… Instead of organising, choose individualism… Look down on the people and promote yourself…

For money, for your interests, the songs you sang yesterday you will betray and turn into one of the palace clowns and an enemy of the people…

This is a ruling class operation aimed at putting an end to revolutionary art. And essentially it aims at thought reform. Because they are afraid.

Because through the vehicle of revolutionary art, a mass of hundreds of thousands, even millions can be attracted. And these masses can increase the confidence of the people in themselves. So that every Grup Yorum concert became a show of people’s strength. Not just concerts, every Grup Yorum song with its anti-fascist, anti-imperialist content became a position held by the people against the enemies of the people.

The “great crime” of the Grup Yorum members is to boost the hopes of the people with their folk songs at concerts. In conditions where everything is being done to deprive the people of hope, folk songs that give the people hope are enough to attract violence from fascism.

Pir Sultan said, “You turn if you want to, I am not turning back from my path.” Centuries have gone by since but the irreconcilable contradictions between the people and the enemies of the people and the merciless clash between them go on, and what Pir Sultan said then is said by Grup Yorum now.

Grup Yorum makes the folk songs of this land. It struggles for the independence of this land, it pays the price for this land. This is why it is connected to this land and nobody can remove it from there.

Grup Yorum sings songs of hope for the people. It struggles for the liberation of the people from exploitation and tyranny. It turns the paying of a price for the freeing of the people into a dynamic of liberation. This is why it has a place in the hearts of the people. Nobody can remove it from there.

This being the case, forces of the people support “Grup Yorum is in our house, Grup Yorum is everywhere”. And they know that what they are supporting is also their own hope, honour, fight, longing and future. This is a barricade we put up against fascism that cannot be overcome.

This is our call to all of our human beings in the ranks of the people, from seven to 70:

Let us show that we support the slogan “Grup Yorum is in our house, Grup Yorum is everywhere”. Let us make concrete the inability to destroy Grup Yorum, using the creativity of the people and the unlimited character of the methods of the people. There is something that everyone can do. Let us bring out Grup Yorum everywhere. Let us lay siege to fascism with our own creativity.

Since they are looking for Grup Yorum, let us reply in every square, every city, every city neighbourhood, every street: Grup Yorum is in our house… Grup Yorum is everywhere!

Let us write it everywhere, let us spread it everywhere: GRUP YORUM IS IN OUR HOUSE…

With this slogan we will once again show the power of the people. Do they search for members of Grup Yorum? We will shows with the forces of the people that there are a thousand and one places where they are found in the hearts of the people. There is something everyone can do. Some can publish for the people, some can sing… Some will even play Grup Yorum songs from the minarets of mosques. Songs of hope will rise from the marketplaces, the schools, the fields. There is no limit to the creativity of the people. For as we have always said, Grup Yorum is the people. We cannot be silenced!

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