Artists gather to give support to Fazıl Say
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A group of artists, actors and actresses artists gatheredat Taksim in support of pianist and composer Fazıl Say, who is due to appear in court on Oct. 19.A group of artists, actors and actresses gathered in front of the Nazım Hikmet Arts and Culture Center in support of pianist and composer Fazıl Say, who is due to appear in court on Oct. 19.
Say faces 18 months in prison for “insulting religious values” on Twitter. “Wherever there is a stupid person or a thief, there 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 defended himself today, describing Turkey as the “biggest inspiration” for his well-known works.
“I spent my musical life trying to understand the culture, history and spirit of this country,” Say said in a statement. “My compositions are being played around the world by many musicians, reaching all kinds of people. Taking that into account, I wouldn’t be entirely wrong if I say I contributed to the global recognition of Anatolian culture.”
Incorrect interpretation of his words caused others to perceive him as opposing his country, Say said.
“It makes this difficult process even more unbearable to be insulted and attacked, instead of everyone being there for each other,” Say said, adding that he did not intend to insult any person or any institution.
“That would have contradicted an artist’s approach and sensitivity,” Say said.
“I always respected freedom of thought and speech,” he said. “This is a right for everyone. My expectation is that individuals and institutions pay some attention to my music before they judge me to understand how I feel about the values of my society.”
In a written statement, artists supporting Say said their protest is against such court cases forced upon artists.
Güvenç Dağüstün, Gülsin Onay, Tarık Akan, Rutkay Aziz, Tilbe Saran, Burhan Şeşen, Gökhan Şeşen, Bekir Küçükay, Sarper Özsan, Genco Erkal, Tülay Günal, Gülsen Tuncer, Levent Ülgen, Derya Türkan, Erdal Erzincan, Emin İgüs ve Eylem Pelit, Hülya Tunçağ, Murat Beşer, Cahit Berkay, Nejat Yavaşoğulları, Ufuk Karakoç, Neşet Ruacan, Müge Hendekli, Orhan Aydın, Metin Coşkun, Mehmet Güleryüz and Yüksel Aymaz attended the protest.