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Turkey pianist Islam insult Fazil Say trial

The trial of pianist Fazil Say, who has played with the New York Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic orchestras has begun in Turkey. Proceedings relate to comments he made on the social media network Twitter such as a joke about an Islamic call to prayer that lasted only 22 seconds which ran: `why such haste? Have you got a mistress waiting or a raki on the table?' Mr Say previously served as a Turkey's cultural ambassador to the European Union. His lawyers argue that even if Mr Say's comments mocked Islam, something which he denies, Twitter is not a public place and thus public incitement laws should not apply. Mr Say could face a maximum of 18 months in prison if he is convicted. The European Union previously criticized Turkey for restricting freedom of speech after the prosecution of Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk.
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