Top Turkish prosecutor demands eight-year jail sentence for CHP's Istanbul chair Kaftancıoğlu

The Court of Cassation’s chief public prosecutor has demanded that Canan Kaftancıoğlu, head of the main opposition CHP's Istanbul branch, be sentenced to eight years and two months in prison over her old tweets.

CHP's Istanbul provincial chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu is seen in this file photo.

Duvar English

The chief public prosecutor's office of the Court of Cassation has filed its opinion with regards to the conviction of Canan Kaftancıoğlu, the Istanbul head of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), by lower courts, demanding that she be sentenced to eight years and two months in prison, daily Sözcü reported on March 23.

In September 2019, the Istanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court sentenced Kaftancıoğlu to prison because of tweets she posted between 2012 and 2017. The court found the CHP politician guilty on five different charges.

Kaftancıoğlu received a one year and six months term for “making terrorism propaganda,” a one year and six months term for “insulting a public official,” two years and four months term for “insulting the President,” a one year and eight months term for “insulting the Turkish Republic” and two years and eight months term for “instigating people into hatred and animosity,” the total of which amounted to nine years and eight months in prison.

In June 2020, the Istanbul Regional Courts of Justice upheld Kaftancıoğlu's prison sentence. The politician this time took her case to the Court of Cassation, which is the highest court for civil and criminal cases in the country.

The Court of Cassation’s chief public prosecutor has prepared an opinion on the case and forwarded it to the court's 16th Chamber.

The prosecutor asked for less jail time for the “insulting the President” charge and also demanded that the sentence handed down for the “making terrorism propaganda” charge be reversed.

The prosecutor approved the jail terms for the remaining three charges, which leads to a prison sentence of eight years and two months in total.

The CHP said that Kaftancıoğlu's conviction is politically motivated and is a “revenge” for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s loss in Istanbul mayoral election race as the trial began shortly after Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu’s re-run win.

Kaftancıoğlu has been credited as the person behind İmamoğlu's election success. The CHP’s victory ended the 25 year-rule of the AKP and its predecessor Welfare (“Refah”) Party in the megacity.