Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 09:04 GMT

Turkey: Renowned pianist again gets suspended sentence for blasphemy

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 20 September 2013
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Turkey: Renowned pianist again gets suspended sentence for blasphemy, 20 September 2013, available at: [accessed 24 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

September 20, 2013

Turkish pianist Fazil SayTurkish pianist Fazil Say

An Istanbul court has again handed a 10-month suspended jail term to world-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say for blasphemy.

Say, who was not present at the hearing on September 20, was also placed on two years' probation.

In April, Say was handed the same sentence on charges of inciting religious hatred and insulting Islamic values for a series of tweets last year.

In one post on Twitter, he said that "buffoons, thieves, and jesters are Allahists."

The EU had expressed concern over Say's April sentence.

A higher Istanbul court overturned the conviction on "procedural flaws" and a retrial was ordered.

Say has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of pursuing a hidden Islamist agenda and says his case is politically motivated.

Say, 43, has played with orchestras in Berlin, New York, Tokyo, and Israel.

Based on reporting by AFP and Zaman

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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