Turkey: prison sentence for politician Kaftancıoğlu
Turkey's Court of Cassation has upheld a prison sentence of almost five years and a de facto ban on political activity for opposition politician Canan Kaftancıoğlu. The head of the Istanbul branch of the main opposition Republican People's party (CHP) was accused among other things of insulting the president in several tweets sent between 2012 and 2017. What is the strategy behind the sentence?
Ankara wants to fuel tensions
This sentence was also ordered by the Erdoğan government, Cumhuriyet is sure:
“The cauldron is boiling. While we're talking about bans on demonstrations and the sentences in the Gezi Park trial, Kaftancıoğlu's prison sentence of four years and eleven months was upheld and she has also been banned from politics. Obviously, more is to come. The decision to send the provincial leader of the largest opposition party to prison for a social media post from years ago deliberately fuels tensions. The government is preparing to lead the country into the 2023 elections under a de facto state of emergency. In the process, it is also ruining the economy.”
Bans on politicians can backfire
It's no coincidence that Kaftancıoğlu is the main target, says T24:
“She is considered one of the architects of the victory [of the opposition in the 2019 local elections] in Istanbul. And now she's being 'punished' for it. But aside from the election victory she is an important figure in other ways: she stands for all those who have been sidelined, not only with her words, but with her deeds. And that is why she has become a target. ... Erdoğan says of himself that he came to power fighting the headlines after he was jailed [in 1999] for reading out a poem, and that people said of him that he couldn't even become the leader of a village. Does he really think that Kaftancıoğlu will not be able to stay in politics now simply because of her tweets?”