Turkish Pianist Fazil Say Charged with Insulting Islam

Friday, June 01, 2012 - 09:46 AM

A Turkish court has formally charged an internationally known Turkish pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.

The court in Istanbul voted Friday to approve an indictment against Fazil Say, who has played piano with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, National Orchestra of France, and Tokyo Symphony.

The 42-year-old Say faces charges of inciting hatred and public enmity, and insulting "religious values." Say, who has served as a culture ambassador for the European Union, allegedly mocked Islamic beliefs about paradise.

Meltem Akyol, a lawyer for Say, says the pianist has denied the charges. She says the opening trial will be held on Oct. 18.

Say could face a maximum one-and-a-half years in prison if he is convicted.


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Comments [3]


I'm not a fan of drone warfare, but maybe the U.S. should aim a drone or two at Turkey/Anatolia when it has a break from attacks in Pakistan. And certainly stop supporting such an ignorant government as Turkey as we do.

Jun. 08 2012 08:58 AM
Eugene Pagano from Oyster Bay

Maybe there should be a protest program or concert with performances of Mr. Say's compositions, or a radio program of his recordings.

Jun. 05 2012 08:12 PM
Scott Rose from Manhattan

We must vigorously protest this, and help him to escape a country with such a ridiculous law, and so harsh a penalty.

Jun. 01 2012 10:42 PM

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