Attack on Istanbul record store example of ISIL mentality: Deputy PM
ISTANBULThe attack on a record store in Istanbul targeting a listening party during Ramadan represented the “mentality” of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said.
“This was an extremely ugly attack. Fasting [during Ramadan] means tolerance. Unfortunately, this is the mentality of ISIL and a scene that does not fit Turkey,” Kurtulmuş told private broadcaster NTV on June 21.
A group of 20 assailants carrying sticks and bottles attacked a record store in central Istanbul on June 17, beating up store owners and Radiohead fans who were at a listening party of the band’s new album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.”
One of the fans was injured after being hit with a bottle, as the footage was live-streamed on Periscope. The band also condemned the attack in a statement.
Police detained three suspects over the assault but all were released a day after.
The attack also drew condemnation from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said both sides were wrong in the incident.
The Korean owner of the music store shared a statement on his Facebook page, vowing not to shut down his store and thanking those have supported him since the incident.
Owner Seogu Lee’s Velvet Indieground record store opened last year in the Firuzağa neighborhood of Beyoğlu but was attacked for holding a party with loud music and alcohol during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
“Thank you for all the support, solidarity and love. I’m really grateful to all of you,” he said.
“As much as I appreciate all those messages, I’m feeling terribly sorry for what happened to my guests who may need more love and support. That night’s horror and shock saddens not only me but also fans present on that unfortunate night, people who believe [in the] power of music and people who have a faith in love,” he added.
“But we cannot be defeated by this kind of stupidity. I can’t find any other term to describe this behavior. Nothing can justify this brutality. Luckily our hopes and dreams are much bigger and powerful. And all those warm messages from you prove that my belief wasn’t betrayed. This much love will make me touched and cry for thousands [of] years,” Lee said.
“Since last night I have been able to check several articles. This made me decide to clarify several things before [it is] too late. Nothing [has been] decided. Nothing [has been] said. All I’ve mentioned is the validity of [the] rent contract that you’ve heard about from the lawyer, Eren, who has helped me through this. I don’t have any plan to close the store and no one has asked me to do [that] yet,” he added.
“Please visit my ‘lonely and loony’ store, only if you can feel the same loneliness, sadness... We’ll be able to talk and share our feelings,” his statement also said.