World-famous Turkish pianist Fazil Say has appeared in court in Istanbul charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims.
Rejecting an acquittal call, the court adjourned the case until 18 February.
Prosecutors brought the charges against Mr Say in June. He faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison although correspondents say any sentence is likely to be suspended.
The indictment against him cites some of his tweets from April, including one where he says: “I am not sure if you have also realised it, but if there’s a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it’s always an Islamist.”
Dozens of the pianist’s supporters gathered outside the courthouse with banners, one of which called on the ruling Islamist-based AK Party to “leave the artists alone”.
Mr Say has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the EU.
Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s minister in charge of relations with the EU, suggested the case against him should be dismissed, saying the court should regard his tweets as being within “his right to babble”.
However, Mr Bagis also criticised the pianist for “insulting people’s faith and values”.
Source: The BBC.
For NATO and the European Union, the radicalization of Turkey is a challenge. After the Islamic cue against the former secular republic, Ankara has become a possible fifth column in Europe.
The first law of Sharia, is that an insult against the “prophet” Muhammad is punishable. The court case against pianist Fazil Say is just an other example that freedom of expression and human rights in treated like thin air by the authorities in Turkey.
30 years ago: The Islamic republic would have been banished from NATO. The European Union would have blocked any possibility of Turkey joining the union.
Unfortunately today, the Islamic cancer is spreading into Europe, and poison the minds of many Europeans. Many of the leaders in the EU secretly support Muhammad and his criminal followers.
Written by Ivar