Turkey: Court case against pianist adjourned until February

Turkish pianist Fazil Say appeared in court in Istanbul but the court adjourned his case until 18 February 2013.

Fazil Say is charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims because of some Twitter posts, some of which he didn’t write himself, but simply forwarded.

Fazil Say denied the charges in front of a courtroom packed with fellow artists concerned at increasing censorship of the arts in the country. Dozens of the pianist’s supporters had also gathered outside the courthouse in Istanbul with banners, one of which called on the ruling Islamist-based AK Party to “leave the artists alone”.

Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s minister in charge of relations with the EU, suggested the case against him should be dismissed, saying the court should regard his tweets as being within “his right to babble”.

Fazil Say has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the EU.

BBC News – 18 October 2012:
Turkey tries pianist Fazil Say for insulting Islam

Artsfreedom.org – 14 June 2012:
Turkey: Acclaimed pianist charged for blasphemy

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