Erdoğan to attend concert of renowned Turkish pianist Fazıl Say

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Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say PHOTO: Arif Hudaverdi Yaman / Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will go to a concert to be given by world-famous Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Friday, the Habertürk daily reported on Thursday.

Say recently invited Erdoğan to his concert, titled “Trojan Sonata,” after Erdoğan called him to offer his condolences over the death of Say’s mother.

In response Erdoğan said he could attend the concert and would go to the Ankara Congresium on Friday evening to hear Say play, according to Habertürk.

Until recently Say was disliked by government circles due to his critical stance against Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

In 2013 a Turkish court convicted Say of blasphemy and inciting hatred over a series of comments he made on Twitter in 2012.

The musician was given a suspended 10-month sentence.

In one message he retweeted a verse from a poem by Omar Khayyám in which the 11th-century Persian poet attacks pious hypocrisy: “You say rivers of wine flow in heaven, is heaven a tavern to you? You say two huris [companions] await each believer there, is heaven a brothel to you?” In other tweets, he made fun of a muezzin (a caller to prayer) and certain religious practices.

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