Turkish pianist Fazil Say charged over Islam 'insult'

 

An internationally known Turkish pianist and composer has been charged with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.

A court in Istanbul today approved charges 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 faces charges of inciting hatred and public enmity, and insulting "religious values".

Mr Say, who has served as a culture ambassador for the European Union, allegedly mocked Islamic beliefs about paradise.

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

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

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