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In Turkey world-renowned pianist Fazil Say has been handed a suspended 10-month jail sentence on charges of insulting Islam. The court found the 43-year-old guilty of “insulting religious values of a part of the population”.
The pianist was not in court for the sentencing but he denied the charges and claimed they were politically motivated.
Prosecutors had brought the case against Say last June after he had posted a series of comments on the social networking site Twitter.
Pointing to the prosecution of several artists and intellectuals for voicing their views critics have accused the governing AK party of undermining Turkey’s secular values and pandering to Islamists.
Say, who has played with the New York Philharmonic and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, has also served as a cultural ambassador for the EU.