28 June 2019 10:13

CHP’s İstanbul branch chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu faces 17 years in prison, trial delayed

CHP Istanbul Provincial Chair Dr. Canan Kaftancıoğlu appeared before the judges today in a trial brought for certain social media posts she made six years ago.

Photograph: Evrensel

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CHP Istanbul Provincial Chair Dr. Canan Kaftancıoğlu appeared before the judges today for certain social media posts she made six years ago. Kaftancıoğlu's trial started at Serious Crime Court No 37 on charges of defaming the president, publicly belittling the state of the Republic of Turkey and inciting the people to hatred and enmity, with her imprisonment for up to seventeen years sought. Kaftancıoğlu's trial delayed to July 18.

Social media posts Kaftancıoğlu made about events that spurred social opposition such as Berkin Elvan’s death, the Gezi events and the corruption operation against AKP ministers have come before the judiciary following the 31 March election victory.

One of Kaftancıoğlu’s lawyers, Ergün Özer, said the tweets had been in Canan Kaftancıoğlu’s account for nearly six years. Lawyer Özer stated that both the framing of the indictment and the prosecutor’s investigation process were in breach of procedure and the law.

The investigation into her social media posts was launched in January 2018, when Kaftancıoğlu was elected CHP İstanbul branch chairperson.

Her lawyer also claimed that some of the tweets cited as evidence were not even written by the CHP official.

According to Kaftancıoğlu, the government has been trying to make her into an enemy in order to continue its polarized rhetoric against the opposition, adding that if the opposition had not won the İstanbul election, there would be no trial.

The pro-government media targeted Kaftancıoğlu several times after the March 31 local elections in which the CHP’s Ekrem İmamoğlu won the mayoral office by some 13,000 votes in İstanbul.

Turkey’s election authority canceled the election results and in a repeat election, İmamoğlu won again, this time by an 806,000-vote margin.  (EVRENSEL DAILY)