Top Turkish court demands pianist Say’s acquittal of blasphemy charges
Fazıl Say received a 10-month suspended prison sentence in April, on charges of 'insulting religious beliefs.'Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has demanded Nov. 28 that the controversial judgment against world renowned pianist and composer Fazıl Say be reversed and he should be acquitted.
Say received a suspended 10-month prison sentence in April, on charges of “insulting the religious beliefs held by a section of society,” for re-tweeting several lines that are attributed to medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyam.
The lines attributed to Khayyam read as follows: “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?”
Say was eventually sentenced in April, after a series of previous legal rulings, to 10 months in prison.
His sentence was suspended and the court had also ordered two-year supervised liberty.
After Say’s lawyers appealed the verdict at the Supreme Court of Appeals, the court demanded the artist’s acquittal. The letter of notification is non-binding, so the final decision will be made by the Penal Department No:9 of the Supreme Court.