Turkish musician Fazıl Say receives secularism prize in France

Nov 3, 2015

Photo Credit: DHA

Turkish classical pianist-composer Fazıl Say became one of two recipients of France’s 2015 Prix de la laïcité (secularism prize) on Monday when he received the Comité Laïcité République’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 committee’s national prize went to Samuel Mayol for his action in favor of neutrality in higher education against the rise of sectarianism.

“Secularism is a concept that is synonymous with the republic founded by the courageous leader Atatürk, in my home country,” Say said in his acceptance speech, adding: “To us, secularism stood as a superior justice [system] that enabled equality and freedom … to all people.”

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