The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s Istanbul chair Bayram Şenocak issued a thinly veiled threat against the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)’s Istanbul chief Canan Kaftancıoğlu.
“The CHP provincial chair is looking for adventures appropriate for her genes. She should know that the Bosphorus [water] is cool this season and deep in the summer,” Şenocak wrote on Twitter on April 30.
Şenocak’s comments came after Kaftancıoğlu criticized the AKP during a program aired on Halk TV on April 30 and said that the AKP will no longer be the political party in power in the upcoming period as a result of “an early election or in another way.”
“There is this reality that the ruling power’s fears, drifts and its doing things with the reasoning of one person – and not based on wisdom, but on rage and greed – is not taking them anywhere good at all. In the upcoming period, I see a change of the ruling power with an early election or in another way, even a system change. People got awakened in this country,” Kaftancıoğlu said.
Pro-government media outlets as well as social media account users have interpreted Kaftancıoğlu’s phrase of “in another way” as “calling for a coup” and started to send the CHP official threat messages.
“’If not with an election, in some way.’ Our people had poured those who had attempted this from the 15 July Martyrs Bridge to the Bosphorus. The CHP provincial chair, for whose system apparently democracy is too much, is looking for adventures appropriate for her genes. She should know that the Bosphorus [water] is cool this season and deep in the summer,” Şenocak tweeted, making a reference to the deadly confrontation between putchstist soldiers and civilians on the night of the July 2016 coup attempt on the Istanbul’s July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge, previously named the Bosphorus Bridge.
Kaftancıoğlu been credited as the person behind the CHP’s municipal election victory in Istanbul last year. The CHP’s victory ended the 25 year-rule of the AKP and its predecessor Welfare (“Refah”) Party in the megacity.
In September of 2019, Kaftancıoğlu was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison for old tweets that allegedly spread terrorist propaganda. The CHP has said the conviction is politically motivated and is a “revenge” for the AKP’s loss in Istanbul as the trial began shortly after Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu’s re-run win.
Kaftancıoğlu appealed the conviction and has not been imprisoned during this appeal process.