Another Twitter post, this one written by Mr. Say, joked about a muezzin’s rapid delivery of the call to prayer, asking if he wanted to get away quickly for a drink. The messages are no longer available online. The pianist, who has frequently criticized the pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party government over its cultural and social policies, publicly defines himself as an atheist — a controversial admission in Turkey, which is overwhelmingly Muslim.
In his text message from Slovenia, Mr. Say said he was only one of 165 people who shared the Twitter post on the vision of Islamic paradise.
“I just thought it was a funny allegory and retweeted the message,” he said. “It is unbelievable that it was made into a court case.”
He continued, “This case, which goes against universal human rights and laws, is saddening not only when judged on its own merit but also for Turkey’s image.”
Many intellectuals and writers have faced similar charges in recent years, including Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel laureate, who last year was fined $3,700 for saying in a Swiss newspaper that Turks “have killed 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians.”
The European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join, and other international organizations have criticized such actions as violations of free speech.
Mr. Say, who has served as a European Union culture ambassador, has a busy international career, with frequent engagements in Europe and to a lesser extent in Asia and the United States. He has performed with major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.