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Main opposition party politician faces investigation on Erdoğan insult allegations

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Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into Canan Kaftancıoğlu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on allegations of publicly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Demirören News Agency (DHA) reported on Monday.

The investigation by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was opened after Erdoğan’s lawyers filed a complaint against Kaftancıoğlu, head of the İstanbul branch of the CHP, accusing her of violating the president’s personal rights with “grave insults” and “damaging” his honor and dignity in recent public remarks.

“With our democratic norms, we will rid this country of a dictator,” Kaftancıoğlu said last week during a party event in İstanbul, in reference to Erdoğan and hinting at the elections scheduled for June 2023.

In 2019 Kaftancıoğlu, 50, was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison on a range of charges including “terrorist propaganda” and insulting Erdoğan, which are mostly related to her tweets posted between 2012 and 2017.

Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Kaftancıoğlu, who had been free pending appeal, on three counts that carried a prison term of four years, 11 months and 20 days in May. She was also banned from politics in a move seen by many observers as intended to sideline her before the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2023.

Kaftancıoğlu, a doctor by profession, played a key role in the surprise victory of the CHP’s Istanbul mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoğlu in the 2019 local elections — the first time Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had lost power in Turkey’s biggest city in 25 years.

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