Turkish pianist controversy has many facets
Fazil Say is a world-renowned pianist. He has been in confrontation with the government for the last two years. The tension recently reached a new height when Say’s works were removed from the 2014-15 Presidential Symphonic Orchestra program. This was outright censorship of an artist’s work. As Fehim Tastekin observed in his Oct. 27 article, this was not the first spat between Say and the government. In one of his Twitter messages in 2012, Say criticized the government over corruption, citing a verse from the Persian poet Omar Khayyam. This was even before the December 2013 graft probe surfaced. Say was found guilty in 2013 for his Khayyam citation, on the grounds that he was “openly denigrating religious values.” He received a suspended 10-month jail sentence.
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