Watch what you Say; Turk­ish pi­anist charged

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

ANKARA, Turkey — A Turk­ish court has for­mally charged an in­ter­na­tion­ally known Turk­ish pi­anist and com­poser with in­sult­ing Is­lamic re­li­gious val­ues in com­ments he made on Twit­ter.

The court in Istanbul voted Fri­day to ap­prove an in­dict­ment against Fazil Say, who has played pi­ano with the New York Phil­har­monic, Ber­lin Sym­phony Or­ches­tra, Is­rael Phil­har­monic, Na­tional Or­ches­tra of France and Tokyo Sym­phony.

The 42-year-old Say faces charges of in­cit­ing ha­tred and public en­mity, and in­sult­ing “re­li­gious val­ues.” Say, who has served as a cul­ture am­bas­sador for the Euro­pean Union, al­legedly mocked Is­lamic be­liefs about par­adise.

Mel­tem Akyol, a lawyer for Say, says the pi­anist has de­nied the charges. She says the open­ing trial will be held on Oct. 18.

Say could face a max­i­mum 1 ½ years in prison if he is con­victed.

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