Gülenists, Adnan Oktar campaigned against me: Turkish pianist Fazıl Say
The world-famous Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say has claimed that members of the Gülen network – which authorities refer to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) – in the Turkish Foreign Ministry tried to prevent his concerts from taking place abroad along with a smear campaign against him by the followers of the controversial Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar.
“About six years ago, we witnessed some of the employees working at the Turkish Foreign Ministry trying to prevent my concerts in the world in an obsessive way… Years have passed and now it is 2018. And we have started reading in newspapers that some of the ministry officials who did these evils have been dismissed from theirs posts on charges of being members of FETÖ [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization],” Say said in a message posted on his Instagram on July 27.
Say said Turkish Foreign Ministry employees, including ambassadors and consuls, had followed his concerts from 1990s to 2010 with “interest and respect” abroad, but everything had started to change about six years ago.
“First of all, my concert in Qatar got cancelled because of this, and there was pressure on concert organizers in various European countries for them not to invite me. And, of course, this [demand] was not reciprocated in countries in the world apart from Qatar. This situation had saddened me and broken my heart; all in all I was trying to do my best as a Turk with my arts,” Say said.
The pianist added that in recent months, Turkish ambassadors abroad had started to go to his concerts. “And I am extending my hand in full friendship to my senior Foreign Ministry friends, who are representing my country. Let this bad period end, and let’s open a new and clean page,” he said.
Say also commented on reports recently surfaced which revealed that one of Oktar’s followers had filed a criminal complaint against Say back in 2012 over a tweet which led to the latter’s conviction over “insulting religious values.”
Referring to the years that he was on trial regarding the “blasphemy case” as “very difficult,” Say said: “Those years, which were very difficult and sad for me, will probably not be given back to me, but we want to look at the future with hope.”
In 2012, Say tweeted several lines attributed to the 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam, which three people filed criminal complaints to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office accusing the world-famous pianist of blasphemy.
Say in 2013 was convicted over “insulting Islamic values,” but after the case was taken to an appeals court, the pianist was cleared off the charges in a ruling on September 2016.
Recent reports have brought to light that one of the three people who notified the authorities about Say’s tweet back in 2012 and demanded an investigation over the case was one of Oktar’s followers, named Ali Emre Bukağılı, who was among dozens of people arrested in a recent operation against the cult.
One of the complainants against Oktar’s cult said in her testimony that she was sexually abused by Bukağılı. Another complainant said that Bukağılı was appointed by Oktar to recruit women to the group.