Turkey’s supreme court of appeals upholds jail for opposition figure: Party

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Turkey’s supreme court of appeals on Thursday upheld a prison sentence for the head of the Istanbul branch of the country’s main opposition party, a party official told AFP.

Canan Kaftancioglu, 50, of the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), faced nearly 10 years in jail on a range of charges including “terrorist propaganda” and insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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The charges related mostly to tweets Kaftancioglu posted between 2012 and 2017.

The top court on Thursday approved her conviction on three counts with a prison term of four years, 11 months and 20 days.

It was not immediately clear if the ruling means Kaftancioglu will be jailed right away.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu called on his lawmakers to head to the party’s Istanbul headquarters.

“All lawmakers of our party, immediately set off for our Istanbul provincial headquarters,” he tweeted right after the ruling.

Kaftancioglu, a doctor by profession, played a key role in the shock victory of the CHP’s Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu in 2019 – the first time Erdogan’s party had lost power in Turkey’s biggest city for 25 years.

The latest ruling comes on the heels of a life sentence handed by an Istanbul court to another Erdogan critic and activist Osman Kavala last month.

A leading figure in Turkey’s civil society, the 64-year-old Kavala was accused of financing protests against Erdogan’s government in 2013.

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