Main opposition Istanbul chairwoman’s party membership revoked

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of Turkey’s top appeals court has revoked the party membership the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Istanbul chairwoman, NTV news outlet reported on Tuesday.

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals prosecutor is based on a top court’s ruling to uphold Canan Kaftancıoğlu’s conviction last month on charges of insulting the president and the state, it said, which place “restrictions on her administrative role in the party.”

Last month, CHP’s Kaftancıoğlu was sentenced to four years and 11 months in prison, with a political ban being imposed against the party’s Istanbul chairwoman.

The 50-year-old outspoken rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was convicted of insulting the Turkish state and president, terrorist propaganda, and inciting hatred and propaganda, over tweets she posted eight years ago.

Kaftancıoğlu has been targeted in numerous lawsuits after her key role in the CHP’s victory in the 2019 local elections when the secular centre-left party won both Istanbul and Ankara after more than two decades of conservative mayors.

The CHP Istanbul chairwoman is expected to carry out her duties in a def-facto fashion, with the role’s signing to be assigned to someone else following a central committee meeting of the party, NTV said.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu last month said the party did not recognise the political ban imposed on Kaftancıoğlu and she would continue to serve as the Istanbul head of the party, HaberTürk network reported.

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