07 September 2019 13:19

CHP Istanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu imprisoned for 9 years, 8 months and 20 days

CHP Istanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu has been sentenced to a total of nine years, eight months and twenty days’ imprisonment on five separate counts. Reacting to the judgement, Kaftancıoğlu said, “We will not be afraid.”

Photograph: Hakan Kaya/DHA

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The court bench has announced its judgment in the trial instituted against CHP Istanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu with her social media posts cited as grounds. Handing down a prison sentence of nine years, eight months and twenty days to Kaftancıoğlu on five separate counts, the court bench did not order detention. Saying in reaction to the judgment, “We will not be afraid,” Kaftancıoğlu will object to the judgment at the appeal court.

Making her final defence at the trial instituted against her with her social media posts cited as grounds, Republican Peoples Party (CHP) Istanbul Provincial Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu said, “If twenty-seven years, not seventeen, are given, I will continue to speak the truth.” Announcing its judgment, the court bench sentenced Kaftancıoğlu to a total of nine years, eight months and twenty days imprisonment, consisting of one and a half years for the offence of “terrorist organization propaganda,” one year, six months and twenty days for the offence of “publicly defaming a public servant,” two years and four months for the offence of “publicly defaming the President,” one year and eight months for the offence of “publicly besmirching the state of the Republic of Turkey,” and two years and eight months for the offence of “inciting popular hatred and enmity.” Not ordering detention, the court made no reduction, either, on account of the lampoon that it read out to Kaftancıoğlu.

KAFTANCIOĞLU: THEY THINK WE’LL BE AFRAID

Making a statement in front of the judicial complex following the judgment, Kaftancıoğlu said, “They think we’ll be afraid as they ramp up the oppression and hand down punishments.  They think those whose rights have been usurped through trustees will be afraid and silent. We won’t be afraid until the palace tutelage ends. We won’t refrain from struggling in unison. For just such reasons, this trial is a trial to punish a chair who set out to give Istanbul back to the people. But I repeat that he has lost and we have won.”

POEM SHE READ PRIOR TO THE HEARING APPENDED TO THE FILE

Owing to the small size of the Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 37 courtroom, the hearing was heard at the Serious Crime Court No 27 courtroom. Consuls of various countries, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, members of parliament and many people monitored the hearing.

Starting out with an identity check, the court bench also appended to the case file the poem Kaftancıoğlu posted on her social media account and read in the statement she made in front of the judicial complex at the previous hearing. The poem Kaftancıoğlu read was Nâzım Hikmet’s lampoon against Peyami Safa. The lampoon reads as follows:

You are not even

a full stop in this fight,

you are a small, twisted comma,

a miserable conduit!

Can I vent my ire at you?

You, too, know that I am not wont to swear at a postal courier,

a slave to orders;

to beat his lacky

in anger at his master!

ERDOĞAN'S LAWYER: WE SEEK THE HARSHEST PUNISHMENT

Then, speaking with reference to the recommendation on the merits, President Erdoğan’s lawyer, Ferah Yıldız, saying they agreed with the recommendation, said, “We seek no allowance being made for good behaviour at the hearing and the harshest punishment against the defendant.”

“I CRITICISED HIS AKP IDENTITY”

Subsequently addressing the court and mounting a defence against the recommendation, Kaftancıoğlu said that the spelling mistakes in the indictment had made their way in the same form into the recommendation. Noting that she had spoken of her dreams at the last hearing and would this time speak of the truth, Kaftancıoğlu said, “First of all, I did not defame the President and will not subsequently do so. Nobody can go as far as defaming this office that Mustafa Kemal occupied. My political criticisms directed at the AKP General Chair are being thrust within the ambit of defamation of the President. The political criticism I made was about his AKP identity with the presidency kept separate.”

“THE WORLD GETS MORE BEAUTIFUL AND PEOPLE BECOME FREE”

Stating that she had not publicly defamed any public servant and would not do so and adding that she had not incited popular hatred and enmity, either, she said this was the truth.

Kaftancıoğlu said, “I did not support a terrorist organization. In my previous defence, I said, ‘May God give whoever supports a terrorist organization their just deserts.’ However, we witnessed that this was not mentioned in the recommendation.” Saying, “The world gets more beautiful and people become free,” Kaftancıoğlu said, “Even if I am in the dock, I will continue to speak in full openness about the shortcomings I see. More than me, you have the responsibility to bring out the truth.”

“THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE. I WILL STILL SPEAK THE TRUTH.”

With reference to pronouncements she made on a television programme, Kaftancıoğlu commented, “The truth is out there. The footage of that TV programme is for checking and referring to what I said and what I didn’t say. Taking a sentence and decontextualizing it and saying it was said like this even if it wasn’t and seeking punishment is distressing for our people.”

Saying, “Perceiving what I said as encouragement and incitement drives people to hatred,” Kaftancıoğlu noted, “Defamation of the President has been detached from the truth by the prosecution sometimes by decontextualization and sometimes by perceiving what I have said to be a crime. If a sentence of twenty-seven years, not seventeen, is given, I will still speak the truth. You, too, seek out the truth. You will feel liberated on drawing close to it. This truth will liberate us all. The most basic truth of which you are sure is to defend independently freedom and living.”

EXPANSION OF THE SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION REQUESTED

Addressing the court following Kaftancıoğlu’s defence, the lawyers, repeating their application for an expansion of the scope of the investigation, also requested an investigation of the conditions and context of the period in which the tweets Kaftancıoğlu posted were made.

JUDGMENT ANNOUNCED FOLLOWING RECESS

Announcing its judgment following the recess, the court bench sentenced Kaftancıoğlu to a total of nine years, eight months and twenty days imprisonment, consisting of one and a half years for the offence of “terrorist organization propaganda,” one year, six months and twenty days for the offence of “publicly defaming a public servant,” two years and four months for the offence of “publicly defaming the President,” one year and eight months for the offence of “publicly besmirching the state of the Republic of Turkey,” and two years and eight months for the offence of “inciting popular hatred and enmity.” Not ordering detention, the court made no good behaviour reduction, either, on account of the lampoon it read out to Kaftancıoğlu. Kaftancıoğlu will object to the judgment at the appeal court. (EVRENSEL DAILY)

(Translated by Tim DRAYTON)