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.
The property rented by Altun in the Kuzguncuk neighborhood was at the center of attention earlier this year after daily Cumhuriyet reported on April 14 that the CHP-run Istanbul municipality demolished a pergola and fireplace that were illegally constructed on this land.
After the release of the report, an investigation was launched into CHP Üsküdar district head Suat Özçağdaş over allegations that he took photographs of Altun’s house adjacent to the demolished illegal construction. Prosecutors accused him of violating the “privacy of personal 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.