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Breaking: Turkey jails pianist for ‘insulting Muslim values’

A Turkish court this morning convicted Fazil Say of blasphemy and handed down a 10-month suspended jail sentence. The case arose from a message he retweeted. Fazil was accused of suggesting that a muezzin’s call to prayer was cut short so that he could get back to his bottle and his girlfriend.


More here... and here in Turkish.

The verdict will provoke outrage in those parts of the world where free speech is valued and will serve to aggravate Turkey’s isolation. It puts paid, for the foreseeable future, to any progress in Turkey’s chances of joining the European Union.

There will be peaceful protests, of that we can be sure.

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  1. José Bergher says:

    ”Muslim values”? What values?

  2. José Bergher says:

    My question was simple. I just wanted to know what those values are. Perhaps free speech? Full rights for women? Tolerance of other religions?

  3. Bob Burns says:


    Shades of the Inquisition. Only 700 years too late!

  4. ted stoffer says:

    As you mentioned Inquisition, Islam is a bit more than 600 years younger that Christianity. That puts them exactly at the Inquisition time. So one could say Christianity and Islam therefore have the same development of values. One hopes the Islam Inquisition does not last as long as the Christians did. One may hope that all people reject organised religion to find their own means to a deeper connection to themselves and society.

  5. A very cool showing from Eastman Graduate Aysedeniz Gokcin!!!

  6. Wish I could offer my peaceful protest by playing the piano on the “trailer truck.” My motto in this situation, as you know, is “Music Heals.”

  7. pamela mia paul says:

    This is appalling. I hope that pressure from the international community of artists and musicians will help to get this outstanding artist out of jail and back on the concert stage where he belongs.

  8. Can nobody write a factually accurate headline anymore? Say was not jailed. He was in Germany when the verdict was handed down, AND the verdict is a suspended sentence. (None of which is said in defense of the Turkish authorities. I laugh at the pathetic sensitivity of religious conservatives. If your God is all-powerful, why do you feel the need to defend him from jokes?)

  9. We just need ONE religion so nobody will fight. Christianity worked good for a long time before isam. Lets keep that one.

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