Turkish politician Canan Kaftancioglu's conviction sparks massive protests
- Thousands assembled for a rally in Istanbul on Saturday
- Protests erupted due to the conviction of Canan Kaftancioglu
- Kaftancioglu is an opposition politician
Thousands of protestors assembled for a rally in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday after the conviction of CHP politician Canan Kaftancioglu.
The 50-year-old was banned from political activities and sentenced to almost five years of imprisonment for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish state, and "spreading terror propaganda" in her posts on Twitter, according to BBC.
Protestors gathered in the central district of Maltepe for a rally organized by the CHP and chanted songs while waving flags of the country and the party.
“Let no one despair, the rule of the bandits is ending,” CHP leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu addressed the crowd, according to a report by news outlet American Chronicles.
"It’s a protest not only against the injustice toward Kaftancioglu. There are others incarcerated for political reasons," Torun said, adding that the gathering "marks the start of our march toward a democratic republic that ends the one-person government of Erdogan."
Kaftancioglu, who has faced a prison sentence of almost five years, is the president of the Republican People's Party's (CHP) branch in Istanbul.
Back in 2019, she played a key role in the city's municipal elections in which the CHP won the mayoralty, dethroning President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party and its Islamist predecessors who had been holding office for more than two decades.
Turkey's judicial independence has gained the spotlight in the past few years, mostly because of the repression of state bodies and the judiciary after the 2016 coup and a shift to an executive presidency in 2021.
In a ruling shared publicly earlier this month, the nation's apex court upheld three convictions, however, lowered the jail term to four years, 11 months and 20 days.
Under the country's law, jail sentences of under five years are suspended. Furthermore, two legal professionals told Reuters that Kaftancioglu would not be incarcerated.