Protesters in Istanbul are rallying in support of musician Fazil Say’s right to express himself. The leading Turkish pianist and composer is facing blasphemy charges after he posted comments on his Twitter account allegedly ridiculing Islam.
The case has caused an outcry over Turkey’s attitude to freedom of speech, with the star’s supporters criticising authorities for putting him on trial.
Actor Rutkay Aziz says it is a crime to accuse the musician. “He is one of our international icons. He should be free to bring his compositions and performances to the world.”
An atheist, and a critic of Turkey’s conservative leaders, Say denies that his Twitter comments are blasphemous.
He faces up to eighteen months in prison if convicted.