Top prosecutor revokes party membership of leading Turkish opposition figure

Canan Kaftancıoğlu

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has revoked the party membership of a senior official of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkish Minute reported.

The prosecutor’s decision on Canan Kaftancıoğlu, who leads the CHP in İstanbul, was in line with a political ban imposed on her after she was convicted on three counts including insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other public officials.

After a sentence of four years, 11 months and 20 days handed down to Kaftancıoğlu was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals on May 12, the politician was jailed on May 31 and was released on probation on the same day.

Kaftancıoğlu, a doctor by profession, played a key role in the surprise victory of the CHP’s Istanbul mayoral candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu in 2019 — the first time in 25 years that Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had lost power in Turkey’s biggest city.

The sentence given to Kaftancıoğlu also prohibits her from running in next year’s elections.

CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu previously said: “We don’t recognize the political ban [imposed on Kaftancıoğlu]. We don’t listen to the court. Canan Kaftancıoğlu is the head of our İstanbul organization. Period.”

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