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Turkish pianist finally cleared of insulting ‘Islamic values’

Turkish pianist finally cleared of insulting ‘Islamic values’

Back in 2012 we reported on the plight of internationally famous pianist, Fazil Say, who was arrested in Turkey for using the Internet to  insult ‘Islamic values’.

Well, after a four-year judicial battle, Say has finally been exonerated by the Supreme Court of Appeals, which ruled by a majority vote that his Twitter posts should be regarded as freedom of thought and expression and that he should not be punished.

In a post on his Instagram account, Say thanked and congratulated his lawyer Meltem Akyol.

He had received a suspended 10-month prison sentence in April 2013 for retweeting lines written by the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam. Three people filed a criminal complaint to the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office, accusing him of blasphemy.

An Istanbul court later accepted Say’s appeal to cancel his sentence, paving way for a retrial.

In the September 2013 retrial, an Istanbul court sentenced Say to 10 months in prison but again suspended the sentence as the pianist had no previous criminal record.

He then appealed this verdict at the Supreme Court of Appeals, which ordered that the sentence against Say be reversed and that he be acquitted.

Among the lines attributed to Khayyam that Say retweeted was:

You say its rivers will flow in wine. Is the Garden of Eden a drinking house?

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

13 responses to “Turkish pianist finally cleared of insulting ‘Islamic values’”

  1. Brummie says:

    Blasphemy – a victimless “crime”.

  2. Newspaniard says:

    If I were him, I’d be out of there as quickly as I could pack.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Islamic values – do they mean slavery? Because slavery is an Islamic value. Who are slaves, how to punish slaves, how to reward slsves, all of this can be found in Islam. “Do not enslave anyone” cannot be found in Islam. Slavery is a value of the religion of ‘submission.’ A religion most worthy of insults.

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/says_about/slavery.html

  4. Newspaniard says:

    Just checked, I should have written “If I were he…” Apologies.

  5. Drat says:

    Islamic values … Violence, repression, submission, divisiveness, dishonesty, subversion, mysogeny, totalitarianism, coercion, subjugation, intolerance, hatred, suspicion, deception, brutality, medieval, retarded, uneducated, ruthless …. These are Islamic values.

  6. Omar Khayyam is a brilliant poet, one of the best. His Ruba’iyat are available complete from Penguin books.

  7. Broga says:

    Islamic values are a system of mind control. No one knows what they are and the controllers keep their subjects off balance by deciding, with no criteria, what the values are. Thus, anyone can be punished anytime. This keeps the believers striving for values that they cannot understand but fallaciously think these values exist.

  8. Paul says:

    Have to echo Miss Florubunda on that.

    Conference of The Birds is truly wonderful.

    Odd how these Turks behave about this as much of the Sufi poetry was written in what is now Turkey

  9. Cali Ron says:

    Drat: Agree with your statement, but please don’t use “retarded”, it’s misused in this instance and insulting to those who suffer from what is now commonly referred to as an”intellectual disability”.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Cali Ron: I think that’s been mentioned here before, which is probably why we use the terms “learning disability” or, as you say (probably more a US term?), “intellectual disability” now. It was pointed out that “idiot” and “moron” are technical terms really, though they have fallen out of use for obvious reasons. I believe “cretin” is still in current use, and, of course, means “Christian”, rather appropriately, but it’s not really right to bandy it about as an insult. It’s difficult sometimes, though, to know which terms one CAN use without causing offence to unintended victims!

  11. Broga says:

    A friend of mine, some years ago, was criticised when he asked for black coffee. When asked what the critic (white as it happened and oozing self righteousness) thought he should say she said, “Coffee without milk.”

    He decided to continue asking for black coffee.

  12. The Left believe that by manipulating language they can manipulate thought. In this they are, of course, correct.

  13. Brian Jordan says:

    Miss Floribunda Rose,
    You mustn’t say “Left”. You must say “Not Right”.