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Court throws out Erdoğan lawsuit against opposition politician

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An İstanbul court has rejected a lawsuit filed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against a main opposition party politician who once referred to Erdoğan as “occupying” the presidency,” the ANKA news agency reported.

Erdoğan in May 2021 filed a lawsuit seeking TL 500,000 ($37,000) in non-pecuniary damages against Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul provincial chairman Canan Kaftancıoğlu on accusations that she violated Erdoğan’s personal rights.

Kaftancıoğlu made the remark that angered Erdoğan after he accused her of being a terrorist following her January visit to Boğaziçi University students, who were staging demonstrations in protest of Erdoğan’s appointment of a partisan rector to the university.

Erdoğan said the people involved in the protests weren’t students, but terrorists.

“Students are not involved in this. There are terrorists behind it. The CHP İstanbul provincial chairperson, who has nothing to do with the students, is there. She is a DHKP/C militant,” said Erdoğan.

DHKP/C is an acronym for the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front, a militant Marxist group considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Kaftancıoğlu at the time described Erdoğan’s accusation as “nonsense” and said she would file a complaint against the “occupier” of the presidency on charges of insulting her and attempting to influence an ongoing judicial process.

The İstanbul branch of the CHP announced on Thursday that the court had thrown out Erdoğan’s lawsuit against Kaftancıoğlu.

In April, however, Kaftancığlu was ordered by a court to pay damages in the amount of TL 56,000 ($4,100) to Erdoğan for insulting him on social media.

Regarded as one of the architects of the CHP’s municipal election victory in İstanbul in 2019, which ended Erdoğan’s long-running rule in the city and dealt a significant blow to his ruling party, Kaftancıoğlu was also sentenced to nine years in prison for allegedly insulting Erdoğan and spreading terrorist propaganda in the same year. She is free pending appeal.

Along with Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chair Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı and opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener, Kaftancıoğlu was in February 2021 listed by French daily Le Monde as one of the three most powerful women in Turkey — opponents of the “Islamo-conservative” Erdoğan who pose a challenge to his “patriarchal model.”

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