Fazıl Say should pay for his deeds, Turkish deputy PM says
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. AA photoTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said the renowned Turkish pianist Fazıl Say, who was charged with a 10-month prison sentence for insulting Islam, must pay the account of his deeds.
During an award ceremony held by the Media Ethics Council, Arınç harshly responded to the criticisms made to Fazıl Say’s charge, adding that even former chiefs of General Staff are currently being charged in Turkey. “If you insult others’ beliefs, it requires a penal sanction; and if this law [about the penal sanction of this deed] has been valid for years, it does not make any sense to say more,” Arınç said.
“Nobody has the privilege of committing an offense in Turkey. In a country where many generals, military officers and retired soldiers are tried, and where former chiefs of General Staff have come to the point of defending themselves in the face of the charges made against them, what is Fazıl Say’s privilege to prevent his charge or trial? If a deed poses an offense, one should pay its account and apologize to believers,” Arınç said.
Say had been the focus of a legal battle since he retweeted several lines that are attributed to poet Omar Khayyam in April 2012. “You say its rivers will flow in wine. Is the Garden of Eden a drinking house? You say you will give two houris to each Muslim. Is the Garden of Eden a whorehouse?”
He had also retweeted a comment from one of his followers that read, “I don’t know whether you have noticed or not but wherever there is a stupid person or a thief, they are believers in God. Is this a paradox?”