Canan Kaftancioglu is a rising political star in Turkey. The recognition scores of this 48-year-old doctor-turned-politician from the Black Sea area are among the many highest within the nation.
She had at all times stood out within the social democratic Republican People’s Party (CHP) together with her left-wing views, and firstly of 2018 she was elected Istanbul’s provincial president.
But Kaftancioglu actual breakthrough got here an excellent 12 months later after she masterminded one of the profitable election campaigns in Turkish historical past. This was the marketing campaign of Ekrem Imamoglu, a comparatively unknown native, in Istanbul’s mayoral elections of March 2019. Few folks anticipated this newcomer to win towards the ruling AKP’s candidate, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
But the CHP’s concentrate on reconciliation fairly than polarization in an emotional election went down effectively with the voters. The get together’s resolution to sentence nepotism, mismanagement, and the misspending of public funds turned out to be an excellent technique throughout an financial disaster, as many citizens grew sick of pomp and vanity on the a part of sure politicians. However, after Imamoglu solely received by a small margin, the AKP refused to concede and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly put strain on the election board to name for a re-run. To little avail: The subsequent time spherical, the CHP received by a a lot clearer margin.
Losing town, Turkey’s financial and social middle with a inhabitants of 16 million, was the president’s greatest electoral defeat to this point. And Kaftancioglu’s greatest victory.
But she is now below rising authorized strain. In September 2019, she was sentenced to nearly 10 years in jail after being charged with a collection of crimes, together with defamation, inciting public hatred and violence, spreading “terrorist propaganda,” in addition to insulting the president and the Turkish state.
According to her supporters, the proof towards her got here out of skinny air, largely comprising a collection of tweets she had posted between 2012 and 2017. CHP leaders mentioned that her sentencing was an act of revenge for the election debacle in Istanbul. Kaftancioglu denied all of the accusations and has appealed towards the sentence. She can't be jailed pending the appeals course of.
Now the Anatolian Public Prosecutor’s Office has filed a grievance towards one other member of the CHP, Suat Özcagdas, for photographing the home of Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish president’s communications director, within the Istanbul district of Üsküdar. If discovered responsible, he faces 5 years in jail for “violation of privacy.” Özcagdas took the photograph as a part of efforts to doc unauthorized development on public land.
10-year sentence for a tweet
Kaftancioglu demonstrated her assist for Özcagdas on social media. “They will soon drown in their immorality and lies,” she tweeted, “Özcagdas was only doing his duty. He carried out an inspection and followed party instructions because the construction is illegal. He will do it again. Those who have something to hide are creating panic. Keep calm guys.”
This rekindled the state prosecutor’s ire and he or she has now been accused of “incitement to commit a crime” and “glorification of a crime.” She faces as much as 10 and a half years in jail if convicted.
It isn't unusual for Erdogan’s authorities and its allies to resort to authorized means to exert strain on opponents. Recently, President Erdogan sued CHP chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu for the equal of €110,000 ($130,000) for “groundless allegations and accusations” after the latter referred to him as a “so-called president.”
Such arbitrary lawsuits can find yourself very badly for defendants, as proven by the case of Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, who spent 4 years in jail with out indictment earlier than being charged. State prosecutors have now as soon as once more charged him with new offenses and requested a life sentence. He is accused of a number of counts of homicide in addition to “destroying the unity of the state and the entirety of the country” together with the so-called Kobane protests of October 2014, during which official figures say 37 folks died. These large-scale protests have been organized to assist Kurds within the Syrian metropolis of Kobane after it was besieged by the so-called Islamic State, which Kurdish activists accused the Turkish authorities of supporting.
For her half, Kaftancioglu refuses to present in and has dismissed the threats of jail. She has additionally taken to preventing the federal government with its personal weapons. She just lately sued the president and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu for defamation after they branded her a “terrorist.” Erdogan had accused her of being a militant for a banned radical left group when she supported protests towards the nomination of Istanbul’s Bogazici University’s new rector, an in depth ally of the ruling AKP appointed by presidential decree.
Kaftancioglu has mentioned that the president ought to present fast proof of what she calls “ridiculous allegations,” and has implied that he most likely has not gotten over the defeat within the Istanbul mayoral elections.