Turkish pianist sentenced for Twitter posts

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Istanbul: A court here handed down a suspended 10-month jail term Monday for Fazil Say, an internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist and composer convicted of insulting Islam and offending Muslims in postings on Twitter.


Mr Say, 42, who has performed with major orchestras around the world in places including New York, Berlin and Tokyo, said during earlier hearings that the accusations against him went "against universal human rights and laws." The sentence was suspended for five years, meaning that the pianist will not be sent to prison unless he is convicted of re-offending within that period.

In recent years, many intellectuals, writers and artists have been prosecuted for statements about Islam and Turkish identity, both of which the pro-Islamic government seeks to shield from criticism. Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, however, have rarely figured in previous trials, although Turks are active users of the sites.

The messages cited in the indictment were Mr Say's remarks referring to a poem by a famous 11th-century Persian poet, Omar Khayyam, which poked fun at an Islamic vision of the afterlife.

Written By: Sebnem Arsu
continue to source article at theage.com.au

18 COMMENTS

  1. This is a very good reason for making sure an Islamist like Erdogan is keeping Turkey out of the EU.
    The secular Turks were friends with Israel ; but the bigoted bums who are now in power are not.
    It’s time for a bit of honesty in the Western world to condemn Islam as an evil religion/political movement.
    And to launch satirical denigratory humorous programs thereto!

    • In reply to #7 by hellosnackbar:

      This is a very good reason for making sure an Islamist like Erdogan is keeping Turkey out of the EU.
      The secular Turks were friends with Israel ; but the bigoted bums who are now in power are not.
      It’s time for a bit of honesty in the Western world to condemn Islam as an evil religion/political movement.
      And to launch satirical denigratory humorous programs thereto!

      Ha! Ha ha ha! I am a secular Turk but no friend with Israel, no Sir. I think those “Islamists” are far better friends with Israel than you might think. Trade between the two countries is booming and the common stance against Syria and Iran is growing stronger and stronger. Erdogan’s comments on the Palestinian issue is smoke and mirrors.

      So please do not try to abuse the deteriorating state of free speech and democracy in Turkey for your own bigoted world views. “Being friends with Israel” is not some kind of standard one should live up to.

  2. “…since he had been sentenced, ‘although I’ve committed no crime”.

    That’s Islam for you, always one moronic step ahead.

    Omar Khayyam:

    “I sent my soul through the invisible,

    some letter of that afterlife to spell:

    and by and by my soul returned to me,

    and answered, “I myself am Heav’n and Hell”.

    I remember Hitch reciting this poem – should he, and now I, be charged and sentenced?

    • In reply to #10 by kbala:

      To Europeans, Please do not let these iron age peasants become part of the EU! Please!

      Thrice times aye to that say I!

      A new word has been coined: Endarkenment. That’s what the enlightened world is in for if we aren’t very careful indeed, and oppose these backward ideas and conduct as strongly as possible.

      No one should be in any doubt that the leaders of this religion mean business.

      I have no evidence to back up what I now say, but I think that they know that they inhabit the world’s backwoods doldrums, are themselves incapable advancement due to the mind numbing doctrines they espouse, are trapped by and inflict on their children, thereby continuously poisoning successive of their generations, and are therefore intent on dragging the developed world back and down to their primitive level.

      That’s my rant for the day.

      S G

  3. ‘Offending Muslims’?

    Get in line! We all get offended all the time. Denial of scientific facts offends me. Religion as a whole offends me, most bits of Islamic doctrine in particular. Men who treat women like servants offend me. People who wear brightly coloured shoelaces offend me. Half of the world’s countries offend me.

    People disagree. Deal with it.

  4. Here is another case from Turkey! Turkish-Armenian intellectual Sevan Nisanyan is sentenced to 13.5 months in prison for blasphemy, in spite of the highly secular constitution. Because of the Islamist government, the judges are now more willing to bend the laws in this direction. Following is a link to his account of the events and his historical court statement. Could you please help spread it, as international pressure sometimes really works for Turkey, as with the case of Ragip Zarakolu.

    http://nisanyan1.blogspot.com/2013/05/turkish-court-defends-muhammed-againsy.html

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