World-renowned Turkish pianist Say to receive Beethoven Award in Germany

World-renowned Turkish pianist Say to receive Beethoven Award in Germany

World-renowned Turkish pianist Say to receive Beethoven Award in Germany

DHA photo

World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazıl Say is expected to receive the Beethoven Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious awards given by the Bonn-based Beethoven Academy, on Dec. 17. 

Say said he had invited Turkish Culture Minister Nabi Avcı and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to the event, underlining that he wanted to reflect “peace and brotherhood” among them amid the “hard times we are going through.”

Noting that both he and the academy did not want politics to hinder the arts at the event, Say said he invited the statesmen in a bid to underline the solidarity among them during the “hard times” that “Turkey is experiencing.” 

Say reiterated that that no particular state or government would be discussed at the event and that “the sole subject is the arts and humanity.” 

“In days like these, in which terror claims lives in our country, I thought engaging in such a solidarity and brotherhood would be good for all of us. I have not received any response from these offices yet,” said Say. 

Meanwhile, Say noted that Turkish journalist Can Dündar, the former editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet who has become embroiled in a series of lengthy legal cases and probes over a 2015 story, decided not to prepare a speech on behalf of Say.

Dündar was going to prepare a speech for Say regarding his art. In his post, however, Say said Dündar announced that he decided not to prepare the text out of “concern that his participation would surpass the artistic aspect of this award due to the political debate it may create in Turkey and among Turks in Germany.” 

“Even if Can does not form a single political sentence, his presence there on that day would unfortunately bother some,” said Say, adding that he favored the reconciliation in such situations. 

Dündar is currently the subject of an arrest warrant as part of a probe that was launched into Cumhuriyet and which has resulted in the arrest of 10 newspaper employees or administrators on terror charges. 

The journalist became a bête noir for the government by printing a story about how Turkey’s intelligence agency was allegedly sending weapons to Syria.

Dündar was sentenced to five years in jail for a story on the arms transfer on the same day that he survived an assassination attempt outside an Istanbul courthouse. 

Dündar left the country during the appeals process and is reportedly residing in Germany, although Turkish authorities have prevented his wife, Dilek Dündar, from coming to visit him without providing any official reason.