Turkey: Court acquits musician of blasphemy charges after four-year ordeal

An Istanbul court acquitted pianist Fazıl Say on 7 September 2016 of blasphemy charges after a four-year legal battle stemming from a 2012 post he re-tweeted consisting of lines written by 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam, reported Hurriyet Daily News on 7 September 2016.

The pianist went to trial in October 2012 after three people filed a criminal complaint against him. Blasphemy charges carry a potential 18-month prison sentence, but Say was later handed a suspended ten-month sentence in 2013 since he had no previous criminal record and was ordered to be monitored.

In late 2015 Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the sentence saying his social media posts should be regarded as freedom of expression and thought. The recent court decision upheld the appellate court’s decision, thus ending the pianist’s lengthy legal ordeal.

Photo: Artist’s Facebook page


» Hurriyet Daily News – 7 September 2016:
Turkish pianist Fazıl Say acquitted of blasphemy charges after four-year legal battle

» DNA India – 7 September 2016:
Turkey court acquits famed pianist Fazil Say of blasphemy charges

More from Freemuse

» 12 November 2015: Turkey: Blasphemy ruling reversed for pianist Say

» 14 February 2013: Turkey: Painist Fazıl Say in court for the second time

» 13 June 2012: Turkey: Acclaimed pianist charged for blasphemy

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