Istanbul prosecutors have dismissed criminal charges against main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu in a case concerning her support for a fellow CHP official who allegedly photographed Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun's property in Istanbul's Üsküdar district in April.CHP Istanbul chair called to testify in case into taking pictures of presidential aide's illegal construction
Theproperty rented by Altun in the Kuzguncuk neighborhood was at thecenter of attention earlier this year after daily Cumhuriyet reportedon April 14 that the CHP-run Istanbul municipality demolished apergola and fireplace that were illegally constructed on thisland.
Afterthe release of the report, an investigation was launched into CHPÜsküdar district head Suat Özçağdaş over allegations that hetook photographs of Altun's house adjacent to the demolished illegalconstruction. Prosecutors accused him of violating the “privacy ofpersonal life.”
After Kaftancıoğlu defended Özçağdaş on Twitter on April 22, she was called to testify as part of the criminal complaint filed by Altun. She was accused of "praising a crime and a criminal," as well as "encouraging a crime."
The prosecutors said in their decision there was a lack of evidence that she had committed an offense. They referred to Kaftancıoğlu's testimony that she did not in an way “encourage” Özçağdaş in terms of taking the relevant photographs and the allegations were baseless.
The prosecutors also said that Kaftancıoğlu's Twitter statement defending her CHP colleague falls within the scope of the freedom of expression.Turkish presidential aide files lawsuit against CHP's Istanbul chair over illegal construction spat