CHP Istanbul provincial chair Kaftancıoğlu indicted over tweets
Istanbul prosecutors have prepared an indictment accusing the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul provincial chairwoman of insulting the president and terrorist propaganda on Twitter, local media reported on May 23.
The indictment accused Canan Kaftancıoğlu of insulting the Turkish government, the president and public servants, inciting hatred and enmity, and distributing propaganda for a terrorist organization, mostly on the basis of tweets posted between 2012 and 2017.
The indictment, prepared after an investigation that lasted more than a year, seeks a jail sentence of between 33 months and 11 years.
The indictment quotes Kaftancıoğlu as saying in a statement to the prosecutor’s office that her tweets were within the legal bounds of freedom of expression and criticism.
In one tweet considered terrorist propaganda in the indictment, Kaftancıoğlu quoted a senior member of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
In another, cited as insulting the state, she referred to the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a tear gas cartridge during Gezi Park protests in Istanbul in 2013.
Kaftancıoğlu was prominent in campaigning for her party’s candidates in the March 31 local elections in Turkey’s largest city.
On May 23, she issued a statement regarding the indictment, saying: “There could be those who can think that they silence [me] with the stick they show through the law. My only is agenda is work for Istanbul’s 16 million residents without stopping, without giving a break and getting tired.”
She also said the relevant investigation had been launched as of January 2018 and she had given her testimony regarding the case on Dec. 12, 2018 to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.