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LOCAL > Turkish pianist Fazıl Say sentenced to 10 months in prison for blasphemy in retrial

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

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The 19th Istanbul Peace Court sentenced Say to 10 months in prison but since Turkish pianist Fazıl Say has no criminal record, the court suspended the sentence and ordered supervised liberty. DHA photo

The 19th Istanbul Peace Court sentenced Say to 10 months in prison but since Turkish pianist Fazıl Say has no criminal record, the court suspended the sentence and ordered supervised liberty. DHA photo

World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazıl Say, who was sentenced to 10 months in prison for blasphemy in April, was again sentenced to 10 months by an Istanbul court today in a retrial. 

Say had received a suspended 10-month prison sentence on charges of “insulting religious beliefs held by a section of the society,” for re-tweeting several lines, which are attributed to poet Omar Khayyam.

Say’s lawyers had demanded his suspension be canceled. His demand had been accepted by the court, and the court had paved the way for Say to be re-tried.

The 19th Istanbul Peace Court sentenced Say to 10 months in prison but since Say has no criminal record, the court suspended the sentence and ordered supervised liberty. 

If Say does not commit another crime within two years, the case will be dropped. 

The pianist will be able to appeal the verdict at the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Say was convicted after retweeted the several lines attributed to poet Omar Khayyam: “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?”

September/20/2013

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Misses Ataturk

10/16/2013 6:45:46 PM

I agree constantinos kio, the man is a genius and extremely intelligent too

constantinos kio

10/10/2013 11:48:17 AM

this Man is a GIFT for humanity ,

isik pamir

10/10/2013 8:23:52 AM

once upon a time mr.Erdogan has been convicted by reciting poem, now what is He thinking of Say's conviction ??

Suhail Shafi

10/10/2013 3:46:14 AM

Very very wrong !

Joshua Alvarez

9/30/2013 7:37:34 PM

This is a DISGRACE.

Brit in Turkey

9/23/2013 4:22:06 PM

Anyone who thinks what happened in over-pious Greece is normal of the western world should go and see the rock musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" which will be playing in the UK in October. You may see then the tolerance of Christian society toward it's religion. Zareh Sahakian: Beautiful summary of the subject.

Thracian Anatolian

9/22/2013 11:16:35 PM

Sahakian. Mr. Say was convicted for (I quote directly from newspapers) "publicly insulting the religious values of a part of the population". I get your point on insulting Muslims and not Islam. But I am guessing that perhaps it was considered that his tweet suggested the existence of a causal relationship between the religious preference and several unpleasant epithets.("Whenever you find such and such, they are such") One would have to read the complete court decision to find out more.

Zareh Sahakian

9/22/2013 7:20:16 PM

Compare Say's case with the real blasphemy of racism of Canan Aritman (of CHP) a few years ago accusing President Gül of having Armenian blood and insisting on DNA test, to which the President of Turkey responds by suing Aritman for DEFEMATION to CLEAR his name of this terrible accusation. Fazil's tweets highlights exactly this kind of "muslim" transgressions that go unnoticed. Aren't we all the creation of the Almighty, if we oh so believe in God? Examples are many in this Absurdistan!

Zareh Sahakian

9/22/2013 7:04:09 PM

Coninued... Take the Catholic Church for its (many) digressions as an example. When people talk about the Catholic Church having turned into a haven for pedophiles and rapists we are not criticizing Christianity. Articles and editorial are plentiful about this issue, they are not shut down and the writers are not jailed or murdered. Fazil Say may not think much about devout Muslims committing daily sins, you cannot jump from that and deduce that he does not think much about the Nabi. Its absurd.

Zareh Sahakian

9/22/2013 6:52:40 PM

Anatolian, Sultan Davut. I think we are mixing insulting Islam with insulting Muslims. When a play in Greece is deemed blasphemous because the target is Jesus Christ it is like the Danish cartoons targeting the Prophet Muhammad. But poking fun at Muslims (mortals who happen to belong to Islam) even insulting them for their digressions, is fair game. Have you taken a moment to ask yourselves why Fazil Say tweeted those words? Continued...
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