Pianist on trial in Turkey for insulting Islam
A leading Turkish pianist and composer appeared in court yesterday accused of offending Muslims and insulting Islam in comments he made on Twitter.
Fazil Say, who has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others, is on trial for sending tweets including one that joked about a call to prayer that lasted 22 seconds. Mr Say tweeted: "Why such haste? Have you got a mistress waiting or a raki on the table?" Raki is a traditional alcoholic drink. Islam forbids alcohol and many Islamists consider the remarks unacceptable.
In June Mr Say was charged with inciting hatred and public enmity, and with insulting "religious values". He faces up to 18 months in prison. Mr Say denies the charges.
The trial was adjourned until 18 February and the musician was granted the right not to appear at subsequent court hearings due to his concert schedules.
The prosecution has caused anger among intellectuals in Turkey and escalated concerns over freedom of expression in the country. Hundreds of his fans, supporters and human rights activists went to the courthouse in Istanbul in a show of solidarity, holding up signs that read "Fazil Say is not alone" and "Free Art, Free World".
Have shock jocks gone too far?
Former Google exec says he has 100,000 emails showing how 'immoral' company avoids paying UK tax
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
British man confesses to slitting two children's throats in Lyon flat
'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the EU - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: This is a senior appointment with huge potent...
£28000 - £31500 per annum + benefits: Randstad Education Newcastle: Permanent ...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...