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Renowned Pianist Again Gets Suspended Sentence For Blasphemy

Turkish pianist Fazil Say
An Istanbul court has again handed a 10-month suspended jail term to world-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say for blasphemy.

Say, who was not present at the hearing on September 20, was also placed on two years' probation.

In April, Say was handed the same sentence on charges of inciting religious hatred and insulting Islamic values for a series of tweets last year.

In one post on Twitter, he said that "buffoons, thieves, and jesters are Allahists."

The EU had expressed concern over Say's April sentence.

A higher Istanbul court overturned the conviction on "procedural flaws" and a retrial was ordered.

Say has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of pursuing a hidden Islamist agenda and says his case is politically motivated.

Say, 43, has played with orchestras in Berlin, New York, Tokyo, and Israel.

Based on reporting by AFP and Zaman