Man jailed in Turkey over jokey tweets about religion
||30th May 2014 |
A Turkish court handed a 15-month jail term to a teacher over Twitter posts deemed religiously offensive, local media reported.
The court in the city of Mus ruled that the man, identified as Ertan P., supposedly insulted Islamic values with his
Twitter handle @allah, and a series of tweets he posted. Pretending to tweet as God, he wrote:
In my present state of mind, I would not have created the little finger of human beings.
(heaven) is very safe because there is no police.
Turkey initiates mass blasphemy prosecution of posters on social network website
Prosecutors have charged Sedat Kapanoglu and 40 account holders with the blasphemy on the religious values of a society fraction due to their entries on Ekssiso zlu k, a popular social media website in Turkey.
Those charged face
prison sentences from 6 up to 12 months.
Turkish blasphemy laws are framed with:
The purpose of protecting the sentiments of those who believe in God, religion, prophets, holy writings and sects. Individuals
may certainly express their opinions and criticize certain aspects. However, they must do this while not hurting other people's religious sentiments. Therefore, nobody has the right to damage the respect of others towards their sacred concepts.
Turkish blogger jailed for a year for blasphemy
|23rd May 2013
An Istanbul court has sentenced Turkish-Armenian writer Sevan Nisanyan to 58 weeks in prison for an alleged insult to the religious character Muhammad in a blog post. The charges were insulting the religious beliefs held by a section of the society.
Nisanyan was charged with blasphemy after writing a blog post titled:
[We] need to fight hate speech. Making fun of an Arab leader who claimed he contacted Allah hundreds of years ago and received political,
financial and sexual benefits is not hate speech,
On May 22, the day of the sentencing, Nisanyan bravely retweeted his blog post, writing:
Let's share the article that was sentenced to 13-and-a-half
months at the Istanbul 10th Criminal Court for insulting religious bla-bla.
Turkish pianist given a suspended jail sentence for tweets that supposedly denigrate islam
April 2013 |
See article from
The conviction of a renowned Turkish pianist for denigrating Islam on Twitter sends a chilling message to social media users in the country, Amnesty International said.
Fazil Say, who has played in some of the world's leading
orchestras, was given a 10-month suspended sentence for posting tweets mocking religious individuals and Islamic conceptions of heaven in April 2012.
Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International's expert on Turkey said:
The conviction of Fazil Say is a flagrant violation of his freedom of expression, made possible by one of Turkey's most draconian laws.
This case sends a chilling warning to anyone using Twitter or other social
media in Turkey. Namely, that if you express an opinion the authorities don't like, you could be next.
An example re-tweet from the 9 cited in charges was:
I am not sure if you have noticed, but
where there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, they are all Islamists. Is this a paradox?
27th April 2013. See
article from bloomberg.com
A Turkish court has canceled the conviction of Fazil Say, ordering a retrial. The court ruled that Say, who was given a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison on April 15 by a lower court, was not fully informed of his rights regarding the
verdict and there were procedural errors. The decision was taken in response to an appeal by Say's lawyer Meltem Akyol.
Update: Re-sentenced to 10 months jail, hopefully suspended
21st September 2013. See
article from commentarymagazine.com
World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say, who was sentenced to 10 months in prison for blasphemy in April, was again sentenced to 10 months by an Istanbul court in a retrial. Say had received a suspended 10-month prison sentence on charges of insulting religious beliefs held by a section of the society,
for re-tweeting several lines, which are attributed to poet Omar Khayyam... Say was convicted after tweeting the following lines:
You say its rivers will flow in wine. Is the Garden of Eden a drinking house?
You say you will give two houris to each Muslim. Is the Garden of Eden a whorehouse?
7th December 2016.
An Istanbul court acquitted pianist Fazil Say on 7
September 2016 of blasphemy charges after a four-year legal battle stemming from a 2012 post he re-tweeted consisting of lines written by 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam.
The pianist went to trial in October 2012 after three people filed a
criminal complaint against him. Blasphemy charges carry a potential 18-month prison sentence, but Say was later handed a suspended ten-month sentence in 2013 since he had no previous criminal record and was ordered to be monitored.
In late 2015
Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the sentence saying his social media posts should be regarded as freedom of expression and thought. The recent court decision upheld the appellate court's decision, thus ending the pianist's lengthy legal
Turkish TV censor fines TV channel for airing an episode of the Simpsons featuring God and the Devil
December 2012 |
See article from
Turkey's TV censor has fined a television channel for insulting religious values after it aired an episode of The Simpsons that shows the religious character God taking orders from the Devil.
Radio and television censor RTUK said it was
fining private broadcaster CNBC-e 52,951-lira ( £ 18,600) over the episode featuring the devil asking God to make him a coffee.
Elected a decade ago with the strongest majority seen in years, prime minister
Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK party have overseen a period of unprecedented prosperity in Turkey. But concerns are growing about authoritarianism and critics of the government say it is trying to impose Islamic values by stealth.
Famed Turkish pianist on trial for a Twitter insult
See article from
World-famous Turkish pianist Fazil Say has appeared in court in Istanbul charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims.
The indictment against him cites some of his tweets from April, including one where he says:
I am not sure if you have also realised it, but if there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it's always an Islamist.
Dozens of the pianist's supporters gathered outside the
courthouse with banners, one of which called on the ruling Islamist-based AK Party to leave the artists alone .Say has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the
Egemen Bagis, Turkey's minister in charge of relations with the EU, suggested the case against him should be dismissed, saying the court should regard his tweets as being within his right to babble ...BUT... Bagis also criticised
the pianist for insulting people's faith and values .
Update: Court Report
23rd November 2012. See
article from gatestoneinstitute.org
appeared in an Istanbul court on October 18 and was charged with hate speech and insulting religion for Twitter messages mocking the conduct and beliefs of Islamic fundamentalists.
In one tweet, he commented on a muezzin, who calls Muslims to
prayer, for his hurried style. Apparently reflecting his distaste for the spread of fundamentalism in Turkey, Say tweeted a complaint about a call to prayer that lasted only 22 seconds, and added, Why such haste? Do you have a mistress or a glass of
raki [Turkish liquor] waiting?
In another message, he quoted the classical Persian poet Omar Khayyam, who asked if heaven should be considered a tavern or whorehouse, since it is described in the Koran as a place where wine is served by
A third tweet by Say remarked, I am not sure if you have also realized it, but if there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it is always an Islamist.
The Turkish prosecutors in the case argued that Say's
tweets threatened public order. Say's case was adjourned until next February.
About 100 people demonstrated against his indictment in front of the court in Istanbul, and members of the German Bundestag from across the political spectrum
expressed their concern at the repressive attitude of the Erdogan regime. Many prominent Turkish personalities, including Egemen Bagis, Erdogan's cabinet minister for relations with the European Union, have also called for the case to be dismissed.
Noted pianist may be charged with mocking religion on Twitter
27th May 2012. See article from
A Turkish prosecutor has proposed charging an internationally known Turkish pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.
An Istanbul court will decide whether to accept the proposed indictment
against Fazil Say, who has played piano with the New York Philharmonic, Berliner Symphoniker, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, and Tokyo Symphony.
The prosecutor accuses the pianist of supposedly inciting hatred and public
enmity, and insulting religious values. The charges result from some supposed mocking of Islamic beliefs about paradise.
Update: Set for trial
2nd June 2012. See
article from foxnews.com
Turkish court has now formally charged an internationally known pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.
The court in Istanbul voted to approve an indictment against Fazil Say. He will now face
charges of inciting hatred and public enmity, and insulting religious values.
Meltem Akyol, a lawyer for Say, said the pianist has denied the charges. The trial will be held on Oct. 18, she said.
Akyol said Say's supposedly insulting
tweets and retweets on social media cannot be considered as public remarks because only people who follow him can see them.
In one tweet cited in the indictment, Say said:
What if there is raki (traditional
anisette drink) in paradise but not in hell, while there is Chivas Regal (scotch) in hell and not in paradise? What will happen then? This is the most important question!!
Islam forbids alcohol and many Islamists might consider such
remarks unacceptable. In one of the pianist's retweets, one excerpt questioned whether paradise was a brothel? according to the indictment.
|2nd January |
Turkey to prosecute man for denying that the universe was created by a god
article from todayszaman.com
A Turkish court has accepted an indictment filed against a man who allegedly insulted Islamic values online.
The lawsuit was filed against AMS. over his remarks allegedly insulting Islamic beliefs on Eksi Sozluk (Sour Times) , a website on
which contributors share their comments on various issues and incidents in Turkey.
Prosecutor Altinok, who says the suspect went beyond the limits of freedom of speech by ridiculing Muslim prayer rituals and the Islamic belief that the universe
was created by God, seeks up to one-and-a-half years in jail for AMS.
AMS said in his testimony that he did not intend to commit a crime nor to target a group or individual with his comments.
|1st December |
Supposedly blasphemous cartoon becomes the focus of a diplomatic fracas at Euro-Turkey talks
One could write entire books attacking religion ranging, from simple insult, to well reasoned argument, but these would seem as nothing compared to the effect of a simple cartoon. Why do cartoons carry so much weight when it comes to
See article from
A gathering of Turkish and European parliamentarians in Brussels turned eventful when a far-right Dutch deputy lambasted Islam and Turkey and then attempted to present a supposedly blasphemous cartoon as a 'gift' to a Turkish minister.
Madlener, a Dutch politician from the Party for Freedom (PVV), first caused tensions when he said at a meeting of the European Union-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee that Turkey did not belong to Europe because it has a backward Islamic ideology
that does not fit with European values. Islam and freedoms cannot coexist, Madlener said before accusing Turkey of restricting freedom of the press and Internet and criticizing increasing violence against women and homosexuals.
even caricaturists were being put on trial and walked towards Turkish State Minister Egemen Bağış, one of the panelists at the meeting, saying he wanted to present him an illustration by a Turkish cartoonist as a 'gift'.
cartoon, published in Turkish humor magazine Penguen , landed cartoonist Bahadır Baruter in court, with a state prosecutor charging him in September with insulting religious values and demanding a one-year jail sentence. The cartoon
proved controversial as the phrases there is no Allah and religion is a lie were hidden in the background.
When Madlener attempted to present a framed copy of the cartoon to Bağış, Turkish lawmaker Akif
Demirkıran, who was chairing the meeting, received the cartoon as Bağış was heard shouting, Don't take it! Bağış, who is also Turkey's chief negotiator for EU talks, then told Madlener: I have enough cartoons
at home. Put it in your appropriate place. The EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle attempted to calm down Bağış, who was visibly rattled.
Members of the European Union-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee protested
Madlener by clapping
|29th September |
Turkish cartoonist on trial for a cartoon with hidden comment denying the existence of Allah
See also Turkey: Cartoonist Faces Trial for
Asserting that “Religion Is a Lie” from eurasianet.org
A Turkish cartoonist will be put on trial for a caricature he drew in which he renounced god, daily Haberturkreported .
The Istanbul chief public prosecutor's office charged cartoonist Bahadir Baruter with insulting the religious values
adopted by a part of the population and requested his imprisonment for up to one year.
Baruter's caricature depicted an imam and believers praying in a mosque. One of the characters is talking to God on his cellphone and asking to be pardoned from
the last part of the prayer because he has errands to run.
Within the circled wall decorations of the mosque, Baruter hid the words, There is no Allah, religion is a lie.
The cartoon was published in the weekly Penguen humor
Turkish Religous Affairs and Foundation Members' Union and some citizens filed complaints against Baruter.
|27th June |
Turkish author acquitted of blasphemy in his novel The Daughters of Islam
on article from guardian.co.uk
An Istanbul court has acquitted the Turkish novelist Nedim Gürsel of inciting religious hatred with the publication of his novel The Daughters of Islam .
The judgment cited errors in the original complaint, and concluded that there
had been no criminal intent in the publication of the novel.
The decision brings to an end a process that has lasted for more than a year, after a private citizen accused the novel of denigrating religious values under article 216 of the Turkish
penal code, a complaint supported in a rare intervention by the Turkish directorate of religious affairs.
Speaking by phone from his home in France the author said he was happy and even relieved to be acquitted of a charge which carries a
maximum sentence of three years in jail.
He had been worried when the directorate intervened, he continued, particularly because the evidence they submitted reproduced the errors in the original complaint, confusing the phrase Allah's servants
in the book with the phrase Allah's lovers, and citing a description of Allah's daughters lying completely naked that did not appear in the novel.
This means that the directorate wanted to condemn me without even having read the
book, he said.
An appeal may be lodged against the decision within seven days, but Gürsel considered it unlikely that a higher court would reverse the decision, since a police report concluded that the publication of the book had not
disturbed the peace, a vital part of any prosecution for blasphemy under article 216.
The author pronounced himself satisfied with the verdict, but sad that the trial had degraded the image of Turkey in the eyes of democratic countries. The
offence of blasphemy shouldn't even exist in a secular republic, which is what Turkey considers itself to be.
|28th May |
Creationist accuses Turkish author of religious hatred
7th May 2009. Based on article
The trial of a novelist accused of inciting religious hatred in his last novel The daughters of Allah opened and adjourned in Istanbul yesterday. Nedim Grsel, who lives in Paris and is being tried in absentia, faces between one and three
years in jail if convicted.
The court heard testimony from the plaintiff Ali Emre Bukagili, a follower of Adnan Oktar who is known for his belief in creationism and rejection of the Darwinian theory of evolution. He said he was offended by the
book because it was insulting to the Prophet and the Koran. Freedom of expression has limits.
The public prosecutor has recommended acquitting the author on the grounds that an imminent and clear public order danger as required by
the law has not been established. The novel was published in 2008. The case was adjourned to May 26.
Update: Adjourned Again
28th May 2009, See
article from nytimes.com
A Turkish author on trial
after being charged with inciting religious hatred in a novel based on the birth of Islam said that his book was fiction, but the result of extensive research and consultation with religious leaders, and therefore could not be called blasphemous.
An Istanbul court on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the author, Nedim Gursel, until June 25.