PES denounces Canan Kaftancıoğlu’s prison sentence for her political tweets

24/06/2020

Canan Kaftancıoğlu

Canan Kaftancıoğlu

The Party of European Socialists regrets the decision of the Turkish Court of Appeals to sentence Canan Kaftancıoğlu, from our Turkish associate party CHP, to ten years in prison for expressing her legitimate opinions on Twitter. The PES calls for the immediate repeal of the sentence.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Canan Kaftancıoğlu didn’t do anything wrong. All she did was express her political opinions freely on social media, like anyone should be able to do and like everyone in politics must do. She has the right to defend political opinions as an individual and on behalf of her voters, who gave CHP a clear majority in Istanbul in the last local elections. Her political positions are legitimate and they have been expressed peacefully. They do not constitute any incitement to violence. She is being convicted for a crime of opinion.”

Stanishev added:

“By criminalising free speech and political dissent, the Turkish justice system is betraying its purpose, merely becoming a tool of the president. No justice system exists to protect the powerful, but the powerless. Our political family will stand with Canan, and with our associate parties CHP and HDP, against any violation of their individual and political rights. We will endlessly support their political fight for a free, democratic Turkey.”

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has been won by the main opposition - CHP - twice at local elections in 2019. After the first electoral victory, the AKP government pushed the electoral commission to hold a rerun of the election, only for CHP to win for a second time. Since then, further political obstacles have been put in the way of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, but public support for CHP and its local authorities is on rise across Turkey, despite the immense political pressure by the Erdoğan government.