- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2013

An internationally known pianist was convicted by a Turkish court of mocking and denigrating Islam for comments he posted on Twitter, and was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence.

The Associated Press reported that Fazil Say, 43, a resident of Turkey, has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony and other international ensembles.

In one tweet, Mr. Say joked about a call to prayer that then lasted for 22 seconds. He wrote: ‘Why such haste? Have you got a mistress waiting or a rake [drink] on the table?”

He also tweeted a joke about heaven being a tavern or brothel, because of Islam promises of wine and virgins in the afterlife.

Mr. Say called the verdict “a sad one for Turkey” and closed his Twitter account, AP said. His attorney said he may appeal. Mr. Say’s five-year suspended sentence means he has to serve behind bars only if he commits another offense during that period.

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