Turkish court sentences anti-Erdogan leader to nine years

For tweets with 'offense to president', 'terrorist propaganda'

06 September, 17:52

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul Provincial Chairperson Canan Kaftancioglu (C) speaks to her supporters after the verdict hearing in Istanbul, Turkey Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul Provincial Chairperson Canan Kaftancioglu (C) speaks to her supporters after the verdict hearing in Istanbul, Turkey

    ISTANBUL - A Turkish court on Friday sentenced Canan Kaftancioglu, president of the Istanbul provincial branch of opposition CHP party and close advisor to Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, to nine years, eight months and 20 days in jail on five different charges including "terrorist propaganda", "offense to the president" Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and "offense to the Turkish Republic".

    The charges leading to Kaftancioglu's conviction were linked to 35 tweets she posted between 2012 and 2017.

    The court ruled that it didn't suspend the sentence due to Kaftancioglu's "behavior during the trial" and the fact that "she didn't show remorse".

    However, there is currently no warrant for her arrest.

    According to sources within CHP, based on Turkish law Kaftancioglu won't be held in jail because the first-instance convictions for the individual crimes are under five years.

    The case will now go to appeal, where a decision must be made "within six months".

    Kaftancioglu's trial began immediately after the opposition's second victory in Istanbul municipal elections, wresting power from pro-Erdogan forces after 25 years.

    Mayor Imamoglu attended the hearing on Friday in a show of solidarity.

    Kaftancioglu supporters from around the country, including CHP presidents from each of the 80 Turkish provinces, gathered in front of the courthouse in a show of support.

    CHP said the trial was revenge for "the devastating image damage" inflicted on Erdogan's power "by this woman politician".

    Kaftancioglu is considered one of the principal architects of the electoral victories in the province of Istanbul.

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