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Fazil Say – Paganini Variations

Fazil Say – Paganini Variations

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Fazil Say – Paganini Variations

Fazıl Say (1970-) is a Turkish pianist and composer who was born in Ankara.

According to the NY Times, on Monday, April 15, 2013 a court in Istanbul handed down a suspended 10-month jail term for Fazıl Say, after he was convicted of insulting Islam and offending Muslims in postings on Twitter. Mr. Say, 42, who has performed with major orchestras around the world in places including New York, Berlin and Tokyo, said during earlier hearings that the accusations against him went “against universal human rights and laws.” The sentence was suspended for five years, meaning that the pianist will not be sent to prison unless he is convicted of re-offending within that period.

Mr. Say, who denied the charges, is known for his critical stance against the AKP government’s social and cultural policies. He has said publicly that he is an atheist — a rare statement in a country where the bulk of the population of 74 million identify themselves as Muslims. “Would it be for the government to decide whether a person believes in God or not?”

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