Oct. 18 - The trial of internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist Fazil Say for insulting Muslim religious values begins, stirring debate about freedom of expression. Simon Hanna reports.
Supporters of internationally acclaimed Turkish pianist Fazil Say gather outside the Istanbul court where his trial began on Thursday. The 42-year-old is charged with insulting Muslim religious values on twitter. Say quoted a well known poem by 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam that ridiculed the hypocrisy of those claiming to be pious. Defiant demonstrators here brought a banner with the words of the poem written on it. One lawyer at the protest said the trial threatens Turkish freedom. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) GERMAN LAWMAKER OF TURKISH ORIGIN SEVIL DAGDELEN: "We believe that this case is mostly against freedom of expression. Therefore, I am here to stand in solidarity." Say has performed with orchestras in New York, Berlin, Israel, France and Tokyo, and served as a cultural ambassador to the European Union. His hearing was adjourned until February 2013 - if convicted the internationally renowned pianist could face 18 months in prison.