Turkish musician FazIl Say receives secularism prize in France

Turkish classical pianist-composer Fazil Say became one of two recipients of Franceand’s 2015 Prix de la laandiumlcitandeacute (secularism prize) on Monday when he received the Comitandeacute Laandiumlcitandeacute Randeacutepubliqueand’s (CLR) international prize during a ceremony at the Paris City Hall, where French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo were among guests.
The French Committee of Secularism honored Say for his commitment to the promotion of freedom of conscience and secularism in Turkey, the prize committee said in a news release on Monday.
The committeeand’s national prize went to Samuel Mayol for his action in favor of neutrality in higher education against the rise of sectarianism.
and”Secularism is a concept that is synonymous with the republic founded by the courageous leader Atatandurk, in my home country,and” Say said in his acceptance speech, adding: and”To us, secularism stood as a superior justice [system] that enabled equality and freedom andhellip to all people.and”
and”But andhellip the legal system is not functioning in my country anymore, and secularism is about to disappear,and” Say added. and”Turkey is going through the most difficult period in its history.and”
Following his speech, the prolific musician, who is also an outspoken critic of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, performed his piano piece and”Kara Toprakand” (Black Earth), inspired by Aiik Veyseland’s piece of the same name.
Say dedicated the piece to all victims of terrorism, including the victims of this yearand’s Charlie Hebdo attack and the more than 100 people who were killed by a suicide bomb earlier this month in the Turkish capital.