RIGHTS > Arabesque music is treason, says Turkish pianist


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Turkish pianist Fazıl Say, DHA photo

Turkish pianist Fazıl Say, DHA photo

Enjoying the popular music genre Arabesque is tantamount to treason, according to world-renowned Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say, who is currently facing 1.5 years in prison for sending atheist tweets.

"Not liking that disgusting thing called Arabesque is patriotism, while liking it is treason. Thoughts vary here. We're talking about something without quality. We're talking about bad harmony, bad melody and music that hasn’t been able to progress anywhere,” he told private channel CNNTürk last night.

Say also denounced the trial against him. "The lawsuit opened against me is ridiculous and tragic. The whole world is laughing at Turkey. I shared the message that resulted in my trial on Twitter because I found it funny. I've also shared reactions against it as I respect them. But they don't respect me back,” he said.

“They want me to believe in God by being punished with 1.5 years in prison. If I believed I were guilty, I would head to prison myself," he said.

Say is accused of “insulting religious values” on Twitter. “Wherever there is a stupid person or a thief, they are believers in God. Is this a paradox?” he said on one occasion. On another, he tweeted: “After tonight everyone in the country will be an atheist.”

Say also criticized the government. "Is it the government that decides whether a person believes in God or not? It is weird that [the government] is standing behind those who have sued me,” he said. “I don't fear the Justice and Development Party [AKP]. They want to put me in prison, but it’s not that easy; I have millions behind me. But if they still want to, they should come and throw me [in prison].”


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Rosalind Polat

11/14/2012 8:44:41 PM

Stella Maris I am Jewish by birth but aetheist by choice Just sad to see human beings constantly at war over religion when they basically believe in the same thing and to put somebody in prison for making comments like Mr. Say is ridiculous. Maybe it is somewhat insulting and I believe people are entitled to believe what they want but shouldnt be so sensitive

Roxy R

11/14/2012 8:14:46 PM

This guy is really a serious case. Let's forget why they want to jail him... it's a pity that such a talent has to draw on these poor statements to catch attention. I really don't understand why is he saying those things, one thing is saying your opinion, but other completely different thing is hate speech. I really like his unique style on piano, but truly hate his personality.

Diren Sesel

11/14/2012 7:19:03 PM

One of the world greatest pianist is held down by the islamic republic of Turkey.

Brit in Turkey

11/14/2012 7:17:56 PM

I wonder what he thinks of 70's hard rock?

Turk Uzan

11/14/2012 5:04:29 PM

Although I agree ...I don't think it's the right thing to say .. why make such extreme statements .. Same goes for the Islam part ,, in my opinion he should have the right to say whatever he wants .. but even if you're not being persecuted why make such an extreme statement? Same for the Music .. Arabesque is mostly dead.. it was big in the 70's, why make such a big deal out of it .. I'll take Turkish classical, art, and folk music next to jazz, and a dozen other types of music

american american

11/14/2012 4:25:46 PM

for those who believe: where are us atheists heading after death? i find that idea very insulting myself. so yes you have the freedom to believe and disbelieve and you have the freedom to voice your ideas (even if they are insulting). you just don't have the freedom to incite violence.

mistique holland

11/14/2012 2:16:42 PM

He is an Atheist but finds it necessary to insult people who do believe in God/Allah. We all have the right to believe or not to believe and he finds it unnecessary to impose religion on people but he has no problem to impose a kind of music on people???From what planet is this guy coming from???Freedom for all wether it's religion, books, music, life style etc...

stella maris

11/14/2012 11:51:34 AM

@ Rosalind I am sorry, but there are a lots of people who do not believe in God at all (atheists), or at least confess that empirical facts do not show any signs of him and so they would not judge (agnostics) positively for one side. Say belongs to the first group, so your (admitted nice and indulgent) defend of a common "God" for all does not fit on him. With your abolishing imposture of ANY religion I agree and also with the fact, that all 3 monotheistic religions are founded on Torah.

Rosalind Polat

11/14/2012 11:23:03 AM

Good for you No one has the right to impose relgion on anyone and who has the right to say that one religion is better than another All religions are based on the Torah and there is only one God who must be looking down and wondering how all this hatred came about Something went wrong when designing the human being.
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