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Turkey: Huge rally for ‘opposition’s’ Canan Kaftancioglu

ens of thousands of people have rallied in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul in support of the leading opposition figure, Canan Kaftancioglu.

Kaftancioglu, who heads the secular Republican People’s Party’s CHP Istanbul branch, smiled and waved to the cheering crowds.

She has received a criminal conviction for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish state.

The 50-year-old now faces a suspended prison sentence.

Some of the charges relate to messages published on Twitter 10 years ago.

Canan Kaftancioglu has said the charges against her are politically motivated

During Saturday’s rally protesters unfolded a giant poster of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk the founder of the modern secular Turkish state
Kaftancioglu has repeatedly said the charges are politically motivated.

She was involved in the CHP’s triumph in Istanbul’s mayoral election in 2019, defeating President Erdogan’s governing AK party.

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President Erdogan has faced accusations from the West and human rights groups for his crackdown on the judiciary and other state bodies after a failed coup in 2016.

In 2019, Kaftancioglu was sentenced to nine years, eight months, and 20 days in prison.

After an appeal, the term was reduced to just under five years.

Under Turkish law, sentences under five years are usually suspended.

Kaftancioglu was accused of insulting President Erdogan and the Turkish state in the posts, as well as spreading terrorist propaganda.

The charges related to the 2013 anti-government protests and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

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