Grup Yorum

Last updated
Grup Yorum
Origin Istanbul, Turkey
Genres Folk rock, folk, protest music, left, political music, türkü
Years active1985–present
Labels Kalan, Cem Müzik Yapım
Past members Selma Cicek, Metin Kahraman, Kemal Sahir Gürel, Hilmi Yarayıcı, İlkay Akkaya, Efkan Şeşen, Ufuk Lüker, İnan Altın

Grup Yorum is a Turkish band known for their political songwriting. Grup Yorum (Yorum means interpretation or comment in Turkish) has released twenty albums since 1987. Some of the group's concerts and albums were banned over the years, and some of the group members were allegedly arrested or tortured. [1] Yorum remains popular and their albums continue to sell well in Turkey and internationally. Yorum has also given concerts in Germany, Austria, Australia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, Greece and Syria. [2]

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.

Politics refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group.

Turkish language Turkic language mainly spoken and used in Turkey

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, and sometimes known as Turkey Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.


The group publishes an art, culture, literature, and music magazine entitled Tavir, sample issues of which are available on the group's official website, and several group members manage a cultural center in the Okmeydanı neighborhood of Istanbul called İdil Kültür Merkezi. [3]


In 1985, 4 friends at Marmara University formed Grup Yorum. Influenced by the Latin American nueva cancion movement, they combined Turkish and Kurdish folk music and topical song with a left-wing often satirical perspective. [4] While the government frequently asserts that the group is tied to the DHKP-C, and it is not uncommon for audience at their concerts to chant DHKP-C slogans, Grup Yorum is not formally affiliated with any other organization and its fans represent a broad range of Turkish and Kurdish left-wing orientations. [5]

Turkish folk music

Turkish folk music combines the distinct cultural values of all civilisations that have lived in Turkey and its former territories in Europe and Asia. Its unique structure includes regional differences under one umbrella. It was the most popular music genre in the Ottoman Empire era. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, Atatürk asked to make a wide-scale classification and archiving of samples of Turkish folk music from around the country, which was launched in 1924 and continued until 1953 to collect around 10,000 folk songs. In the 1960s, Turkish folk music met with radio and folk musicians like Aşık Veysel, Neşet Ertaş, Bedia Akartürk became the most popular names of the Turkish folk music. In the 1970s and 1980s, with the rising popularity of arabesque and Turkish light western, Turkish folk music has lost some ground, but singers like Belkıs Akkale, İzzet Altınmeşe, Selda Bağcan, Güler Duman and Arif Sağ made successful hit songs and became important representatives of the genre.

Kurdish music

Kurdish music refers to music performed in Kurdish language.

Folk music Music of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

They have sung about capitalism, imperialism, anti-Americanism and the Turkish government’s policies, which they say penalise the poor. One track is about the clearing of poor neighbourhoods to make way for expensive skyscrapers. They also sometimes sing in Kurdish, and were the first band in Turkey to sing in Kurdish when the language was banned many years ago. As a result of this, their albums were shot at with real bullets by police during a raid.

The group composition has been in a constant state of change since the group's inception, and its members have continuously experienced political oppression including over 400 arrests and trials (approximately 400). Their albums have been seized by police and their concerts banned, but despite this Grup Yorum has been one of the top selling groups in the history of Turkey. The band gave their 25th anniversary concert on 12 June 2010 in İnönü Stadium, home to sports club Beşiktaş J.K.. The concert was attended by 55,000 fans. [6] Starting in 2011, Grup Yorum began an annual series of free concerts entitled Tam Bağımsız Türkiye, the first two of which attracted 150,000 and 250,000 fans respectively. [7]

BJK İnönü Stadium football stadium

İnönü Stadium was a football stadium in Istanbul, Turkey and the home ground of the football club Beşiktaş J.K.. Previously, the ground had also been shared with Galatasaray S.K. and Fenerbahçe S.K.. The ground was located in Dolmabahçe, close to Dolmabahçe Palace in the district of Beşiktaş, on the European side of Istanbul. The stadium was demolished except for the walls of the Eski Açık stand and its historical towers in order to build a new stadium for Beşiktaş J.K. at the same location - Vodafone Park.

Beşiktaş J.K. Turkish sports club

Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü, also known simply as Beşiktaş, is a Turkish sports club founded in 1903, and based in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey.

In 2017, all the Grup Yorum members in Turkey were arrested and jailed. Towards the end of the year, they released their latest album "İlle Kavga" (meaning “struggle no matter what”), and their album cover shows instruments that were smashed up by police during a raid in 2016 on the cultural centre where the members were once again arrested and jailed.

This year, in 2018, 6 Grup Yorum members were placed on the wanted list of the Turkish government. These 6 members are currently on the grey list, meaning that they have a 300,00 Turkish Lira bounty on their heads.


Bağlama a stringed musical instrument

The bağlama is a stringed musical instrument.

Guitar fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.

Keyboard instrument class of musical instrument which is played using a musical keyboard

A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, a row of levers which are pressed by the fingers. The most common of these are the piano, organ, and various electronic keyboards, including synthesizers and digital pianos. Other keyboard instruments include celestas, which are struck idiophones operated by a keyboard, and carillons, which are usually housed in bell towers or belfries of churches or municipal buildings.


  1. 1987 - Siyrilip Gelen
  2. 1988 - Haziranda Ölmek Zor / Berivan
  3. 1989 - Türkülerle
  4. 1989 - Cemo / Gün Gelir
  5. 1990 - Gel ki Şafaklar Tutuşsun
  6. 1991 - Yürek Çağrısı
  7. 1992 - Cesaret
  8. 1993 - Hiç Durmadan
  9. 1995 - İleri
  10. 1996 - Geliyoruz
  11. 1997 - Marşlarımız
  12. 1998 - Boran Fırtınası
  13. 1999 - Kucaklaşma
  14. 2000 - Onbeşinci Yıl Seçmeler
  15. 2001 - Eylül
  16. 2001 - Feda
  17. 2003 - Biz Varz
  18. 2003 - Yürüyüş
  19. 2006 - Yıldızlar Kuşandık
  20. 2008 - Başeğmeden
  21. 2013 - Halkın Elleri
  22. 2015 - Ruhi Su
  23. 2017 - İlle Kavga


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  1. "Alleged police torture against music group". Hurriyet Daily News. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  2. Grup Yorum Suriye'de konser verdi
  3. "Grup Yorum'a 'Sen misin direnen' davası". Radikal. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  4. Bates, Eliot (2010). Music in Turkey: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. Bates, Eliot (2014). Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies. Oxford University Press. p. 341 ff.
  6. "İnönü'de 'Yorum' devrimi". Radikal. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  7. "Grup Yorum 3. Bağımsız Türkiye Konseri 14 Nisan'da". Milliyet. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.

Further reading

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