Fazil Say is a world-renowned Turkish pianist and composer. But he’s also a potential theopolitical enemy who is fleeing his homeland after sharing his theology — or lack thereof — on Twitter. Russia Today (RT) claims that he’s been forced to leave (or that he, at the least, feels compelled to exit) Turkey following the admission that he’s an atheist on the popular social media platform.

Famed Pianist Fazil Say Flees Turkey After Atheist Drama

RT’s version of the story claims that Say, 42, said he was forced from his native country in an effort to avoid jail after he was accused of “insulting religious values.” The offense is apparently worth of up to a year in jail under the Turkish legal system. While the nation is secular in nature, RT notes that there are still very strident laws governing the offense of religions. The Telegraph seems to confirm this account:

Fazil Say, a Turkish composer and pianist, has said that he is going to leave his native country and move to Japan after he was placed under investigation by the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office for “insulting religious values” and offending Islamic belief. His (alleged) crime? Tweeting that he is an atheist: “I am an atheist and proud to have said it loud and clear.” He also gently mocked the call to prayer (“The muezzin has recited the evenin azan in 22 seconds. What’s the rush? Lover? Raki binge?”) and reportedly said that since you get promised drinks and beautiful women for doing good deeds, Heaven sounds a bit like a pub or a brothel.

Here’s an example of Say’s performance work:

As a result of his proclaimed atheism, AKP party leader Samil Tayyar apparently labeled Say a “son of a whore,” which showcases just how extreme opposition to non-belief is in the Middle Eastern country. In an interview with the Huffiyet Daily, a Turkish news source, Say is quoted as saying:

“When I said that I was an atheist, everyone insulted me and the legal authorities jumped on everything that I wrote on Twitter. I am perhaps the first person anywhere in the world to be the object of a judicial inquiry for declaring that they are an atheist.”

Say will be reportedly moving to Japan to avoid legal ramifications for his atheist comments and because he is disillusioned by the state of conservative Islam in the country.