Fazıl Say

Prosecutor Drops Charges Against Pianist Fazıl Say

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

An İstanbul prosecutor has dropped the charges against pianist Fazıl Say, who was accused of “influencing the judiciary” and of an “attempt to affect a fair trial.”

Ali Emre Bukağılı previously sued Say on charges of insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter and the 19th İstanbul Criminal Court of Peace sentenced him to a 10-month suspended prison sentence.

The İstanbul 29th Court of First Instance, however, later ordered the lower court to retry Say.

In April, Say posted controversial tweets questioning whether heaven in Islamic belief is like a brothel or pub, because the Quran says there are rivers of wine and houris (very beautiful women) in heaven for those who commit good deeds while they are on Earth.

An İstanbul prosecutor’s office previously found that Say’s April statements ran contrary to the first and third points of Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). These points concern the offenses of “fomenting hatred and enmity among the public” and “insulting religious values.”

Bukağılı again filed a complaint against Say recently, accusing him of “influencing the judiciary.”

İstanbul Public Prosecutor Hüseyin Arslan dropped the charges against Say, arguing that the pianist has no power to commit such crimes.

 

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