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Istanbul head of opposition party on trial for insulting president

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Kaftancioglu, the Istanbul chief of Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was charged with many other offences.

She is widely viewed as one of the architects of the recent mayoral election victory in Istanbul of Ekrem Imamoglu.

The indictment cites 35 social media posts between 2012 and 2017. The prosecution is seeking a sentence of up to 17 years in prison, the CHP said.

Aside from insulting the president, she is also accused of insulting the Republic of Turkey, provoking hatred and hostility among the people and spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.

Kaftancioglu tweeted “Even though this trial has no judicial aspect and it was opened with entirely political motives, I will exercise my legal rights to the end, because I believe in democracy and justice.

Istanbul Mayor Imamoglu took office on Thursday, four days after a decisive victory in an election rerun that had been demanded by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The CHP said that Erdogan’s AKP  “wants to punish Kaftancioglu due to the election result.’’

The investigation against her dates back to January 2018, starting just two days after she was picked as the party’s Istanbul head, according to CHP lawmaker Sezgin Tanrikulu.

No action had been taken in the investigation until May 2019, just before the Istanbul mayoral rerun.

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