Radiohead condemns violence at party in Istanbul, as police crush protest

Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons on hundreds of protestors who rallied in Istanbul Saturday against the previous night's attack on a small record shop holding a listening party for the new Radiohead album.

Radiohead condemned the attack on the store that was hosting the event for the British band's new album, apparently by Islamic hardliners upset that it was taking place during Ramadan.

As Saturday's crackdown by riot squads persisted, protesters chanted slogans against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), calling the Islamic-rooted party "fascist" and "murderer."

Several people were detained during the demonstrations, which lasted for hours.

The record store attack took place late Friday in the liberal Cihangir neighbourhood, near Taksim Square, and was captured on video, as the listening party was being live streamed over the Internet.

Men carrying sticks are seen shouting, pushing people, overturning furniture and attempting to damage the store, angry about the music and that alcohol was being consumed.

"We hope that someday we will be able to look back on such acts of violent intolerance as things of the ancient past," the band said in a statement carried by Rolling Stone magazine.

"For now, we can only offer our fans in Istanbul our love and support," the statement continued.

The Velvet IndieGround record shop in Istanbul was among hundreds of stores around the world marking the release of Radiohead's new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. The 11-track album is the band's first since The King of Limbs in 2011.

Istanbul's annual gay pride march, set for later this month, was banned on Friday by the governor, who cited security threats. Hardline Islamist and far-right extremists had threatened the march. Last year, it was broken up by police.

The incidents come on top of growing concerns about visiting Turkey. Tourism numbers have dropped significantly in recent months, owing to concerns about terrorist attacks.

Last update: Sun, 19/06/2016 - 00:42
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