Opposition CHP's Istanbul head sentenced to 9 years in prison over terror propaganda, defamation

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published 06.09.2019 16:23
Updated 06.09.2019 17:34
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a prominent opposition figure to nine years and eight months in prison over several crimes including insulting the president and spreading terrorist propaganda, a lawmaker from the main opposition party said.

Canan Kaftancıoğlu, the head of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul branch, was sentenced on charges of making propaganda of an armed terrorist organization, defamation of a public servant, the president, and the Turkish state, and inciting public hatred and violence.would not immediately go to jail pending the appeals process. Kaftancıoğlu denied all accusations, saying that she had not intended to insult the president or the Turkish state. The prosecutors originally sought up to 17 years for Kaftancıoğlu.

Eight people, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, acted as complainants. The enquiry was started due to tweets Kaftancıoğlu posted on social media between 2012 and 2017, as well as complaints, which were also stated in the accusation.

Posts concerning Sakine Cansız who was wanted with a red notice due to being one of the PKK founders, who died in France and responsible for the recruitment of women for the group, were categorized as terrorist propaganda. With tweets regarding the Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) July 15 coup attempt, on the other hand, she committed the crime of provoking hatred and hostility among people.

The CHP's Istanbul head has been a highly controversial figure in Turkish society over her debatable comments and actions. She previously expressed support for the PKK terrorist group's leader, who was assassinated in Paris in a likely internal feud in 2013. Two days after the murder, Kaftancıoğlu wrote on her Twitter account that "humanity is lost," citing one of the Cansız's statements on women.

She has even seen serious backlash from the CHP's own voter base, but kept her seat despite serious challenges. During the campaign period of the March 31 elections, she had announced that she would be resigning from her post in reaction to the choice of mayoral candidates; however, she later withdrew her resignation. The CHP was criticized for its unofficial alliance with the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the local elections.

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