Ramadan attack on Turkish record store leads to backlash

Ramadan attack on Turkish record store leads to backlash June 19, 2016

Turkish police fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets late last night to disperse hundreds of people protesting after Islamists attacked Radiohead fans for attending an album launch at an Istanbul record store during Ramadan.
The man pictured above was injured when the attackers – one of who was heard on this video shouting “I’ll fuck you alive and your corpse” – hit him on the head with a bottle.

According to this report, a group of about 20 men beat up customers and employees at the Velvet IndieGround music store on Friday night, angry that they were drinking alcohol at the event.
In an angry reaction, last night around 500 people gathered in Istanbul’s central Cihangir neighbourhood to protest against the attack. They shouted “Shoulder to shoulder against fascism!” and denounced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a “thief” and a “killer”. They also held signs saying “no submission”.
No-submission
The protesters dispersed into side-streets in less than an hour, choking on police tear gas. No one appeared to have been injured in the police operation.
Turkish authorities have regularly cracked down on anti-government demonstrations since mass protests in 2013, using tear gas and water cannon against even small gatherings.
At least two people were injured in Friday’s attack at the record store. The attackers trashed the shop in Istanbul’s hip Tophane district, hurled insults and broke up the release party for Radiohead’s new album “A Moon Shaped Pool”.
The British rock group condemned the attack, saying:

We hope that some day we will be able to look back on such acts of violent intolerance as things of the ancient past. For now, we can only offer our fans in Istanbul our love and support.

Images filmed during the altercation and widely circulating on social media show the attackers hurling barstools and wrecking the store.
One of the attackers is heard shouting:

We will kill you, you bastards!

Rayka Simoni, who was outside the store, said the Radiohead fans were “quietly listening to music while sipping beer” when they were attacked. She said:

Twenty people started throwing bottles at them. One of them kicked my friend for telling them it wasn’t right to hit women.

The Hurriyet newspaper said the music store’s owner was a South Korean national who had been living in Turkey for many years. It said many South Koreans were inside at the time of the attack.
Police have opened an investigation into the violence.
Similar attacks have targeted art galleries in the area in the past, with critics claiming Turkey’s current Islamic-rooted government is undermining the country’s secular tradition.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn


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  • Paul

    This is Turkish nationalism yobs more likely than Islamic fascists. The fact the swearing in Turkish is so strong and the way the words are used indicates far right thugs rather than Islamic inspired idiots. Or they could be erdogans thugs.
    That whole area of Istanbul is full of cafes, bars, music and arty places. Erdogan has for some time been trying to shut down this cafe culture.
    It was Ataturk who said ‘I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. It is a weak ruler who uses religion to control the people”. Something that Erdogan uses and applies all too frequently.

  • John

    It might be worth looking at the role of the Grey Wolves in Turkey – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Wolves_(organization).
    Grey Wolves member Mehmet Ali A?ca was involved in the attempt on Pope John Paul II’s life in 1981.
    These ultra-Turkic fanatics are also probably involved in football violence too.

  • barriejohn
  • John the Drunkard

    Ataturk’s legacy is long forgotten. And he wasn’t exactly anyone you’d want to meet in a dark alley anyway. The nationalist movement he led was determined to make an ethnically pure ‘little’ Turkey in contrast to the sprawling multiethnic mess of the Ottoman Empire.
    Just as an Armenian, or the Greeks of Smyrna etc. about the ‘secular’ Turkey.

  • John the Drunkard

    Ataturk’s legacy is long forgotten. And he wasn’t exactly anyone you’d want to meet in a dark alley anyway. The nationalist movement he led was determined to make an ethnically pure ‘little’ Turkey in contrast to the sprawling multiethnic mess of the Ottoman Empire.
    Just ask an Armenian, or the Greeks of Smyrna etc. about the ‘secular’ Turkey.

  • Paul

    John the drunkard
    you miss much about Ataturk in what he did for Turkey, the region, peace and stability. A very clever and a very able leader. Have a read about what the First World Allies decidied on the carve up of the Ottoman Empire, (and what is now Turkey), to suggest the Armenians and Greeks were innocent is wrong; ask the Greeks what they did, ask the British, the French, the Italians and the Russians. They decided they would TAKE the entire place! without reference to any ethnic Turk or Ottoman or Armenian. As to Smyrna, the Greeks killed thousands of Turks and displaced hundreds of thousands as they entered the city thinking they would take the entire country at one point. (And Greece in its modern form has only existed since about 1820 or so (date might be later). Carved out of the Ottoman Empire itself). Lord Kinross in his book on Ataturk sets out an interesting note that when the Greeks took Smyrna they took down Turkish and Ottoman flags they laid them on the streets so people trampled all over them (just like the Iranians did with British and US flags after the Embassy siege -so Greek behaviour is in good company). When the Turks took back the City Turkish soldiers laid on the floor Greek flags for Ataturk to walk on as he entered the City. Yet Ataturk, the man you apparently revile, picked up these Greek flags and admonished the soldiers who did it and said their flag deserves respect. And Turks don’t deny this war, they just don’t admit it was genocide.
    Open your mind. Cheers.

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  • Cali Ron

    Paul : You have conveniently left out the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians. Did you get all your data from a Turkish history book?

  • Paul

    Cali Ron
    Where did you get that figure from? That figure is often bandied about without any substantial proof as though if anyone shouts loudly enough and with enough conviction then it must be true. Well it likely is not. As no one can prove that. This is the problem. Statistically, population wise there could never have been that many killed. And I don’t deny that Armenians died, they did. I am providing a balanced view point. do you know how many Turks died.
    I have read widely on the subject – you too need to read more widely.

  • Paul

    Cali Ron
    And if you read what I put I said clearly one source was Lord Kinross. He is hardly a Turkish history book.

  • Cali Ron

    The Turks still refuse to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, while also debating the death count,contradicting themselves. While the death toll is debatable the genocide is not. The term genocide was coined to describe what happened to them. The man was a documented racist with blood on his hands. He may be loved in Turkey for his contributions to nationalism, but you, like Turkey don’t seem to want to acknowledge the dark side of him. Are you of Turkish decent?

  • Paul

    Cali Ron
    This is my reply to anything personal, peurile and facile.

  • Cali Ron

    Sorry if I got personal. Many a man who has done good things has also done bad. I grew up in a city with a large Armenian community, many having lost homes, possessions and loved ones in the genocide. Perspective can vary a lot depending on how it relates to one’s life. Many historical American heroes were racist murderers, too so I try to keep that in perspective. Purine and facile? Really?

  • Stephen Mynett

    Good point about history teaching Cali Ron, the sort of stuff I was taught as a child in England is quite different to the history that interests me now. Edward I was made out to be a bit of a hero, fighting against rebellious factions in Wales and Scotland but the truth is probably quite different, he was a despot and there was no mention of his treatment of the Jews, executing some, deporting others and making the remaining wear yellow badges )on that one he beat Hitler by a few hundred years). The treatment of the Crusades and missionaries was also done through rose-tinted glasses.
    Many countries are similar to this and have used, some still use, history as a propaganda tool.

  • Cali Ron

    Stephen Mynett: Thank you. They say history is written by the winners, so no surprise it’s not always objective.