- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 18, 2016

Radiohead fans were assaulted by a mob Friday in Istanbul while attending a listening party held to celebrate the release of the band’s first album in five years.

Around 20 men armed with pipes and sticks reportedly stormed the Velvet Indieground record store in the Turkish city Friday evening as customers heard tracks off the band’s new album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.”

Eyewitnesses said the group of assailants was comprised of radical Islamists who were upset that attendees were drinking alcohol and listening to music in the midst of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

“If you dare to drink here one more time we will come burn you,” one of the assailants shouted during the attack, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

One of the attendees, Karl Ertunc, said upwards of two-dozen men entered the record store at around 10 p.m. Friday, and “all of a sudden started beating of the guests.”



“Then the thugs entered the store kicking and punching the guests and destroying the records and the equipment. There was at least one ambulance, but no police,” Mr. Ertunc recalled on Facebook after.

“This was a shameful and heartbreaking event, an act of brutal barbarism in the centre of Istanbul, for not only the fans of Radiohead but also for the entire population of Istanbul,” Mr. Ertunc wrote.

Video footage captured from a live Periscope stream broadcast while the listening party unfolded documented the ambush and showed attendees taking cover.

“They were determined to kill us,” said a Reddit user who claimed to be at the event as the attack unfolded. “We were beaten by more than 20 men with pipes in their hands, beer bottles were broken on our heads. I don’t even know how we made it out.”

An image of another purported attendee drenched in blood was widely shared on social media shortly after the attack.

“Here’s one of your fans [who] got beaten by the fascists,” a Twitter user captioned the photograph in a tweet directed to the rock band.

Radiohead has since responded by issuing a statement condemning the attack as an act of “violent intolerance.”

“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. “For now, we can only offer our fans in Istanbul our love and support.”

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