Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of demonstrators protesting an attack the previous night targeting an event for Radiohead fans.

Skirmishes between police and demonstrators broke out Saturday near a record store that hosted the Radiohead event Friday night that ended in violence.

On Friday, a mob of men carrying sticks and bottles attacked Radiohead fans who had gathered at the Velvet Indieground store to listen to Radiohead’s new album, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” according to Turkish media reports.

Rayka Simoni told the private Dogan news agency that people were drinking beer and chatting when about 20 men began to throw glass bottles at them.

Assailants were angered by participants drinking alcohol during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Radiohead issued a statement offering their “love and support” to Istanbul fans.  “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 added.

The record shop was locked Saturday morning and posters advertising the streaming event were ripped off nearby walls.

In the mid eighties, I remember touring with the band “Petra”and encountering a few protesters at a couple of the venues of well meaning churches that were convinced that rock ‘n’ roll was of the devil.  But the picketers were only a minor inconvenience and they soon disappeared as the churches matured.

Now working overseas was, and still is, a totally different story, it can be a matter of life and death, not just a few picketers.   As a tour manager, I was not only aware of the mundane things of a tour like catering, flights, accommodations, etc, but at the top of my list for tours overseas was the times of the year and customs of different counties.  One thing I soon became aware of was touring the month of the Muslim Ramadan which begins the evening of Sunday, June 5, and ends in the evening of Tuesday, July 5.

There is total unanimity amongst Muslim leaders that music encourages bad behavior, skimpy clothing, drinking, & Western values, it is totally prohibited. This means that by consensus of the leaders the vast majority of modern popular music is banned.

Petra’s hit “God gave rock ‘n’ roll to you” probably would not have went over very well in the Mideast during the month of Ramadan  🙂

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