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May 13 2019

Cancer patient praised by Turkey’s Erdoğan stabbed after declaring support for opposition

A woman praised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for starting her own government-supported business while battling cancer was stabbed after declaring her support for the secular main opposition candidate in the rerun of the election for Istanbul mayor, independent news site T24 reported.

Göknur Damat, a cancer patient who started her own small business with a government incentive programme, was stabbed in Istanbul on Sunday, after being targeted on Twitter for sharing a donation slip and message in support of Ekrem İmamoğlu, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul mayoral candidate.

İmamoğlu narrowly won the March 31 election, but the country’s electoral authority last week ordered the polls to be held again on June 23 after Erdoğan’s ruling Islamist party lodged an objection to the result alleging irregularities.

Damat received death threats in response to her tweet and was accused of using Erdoğan’s ruling party for her own gains.

İmamoğlu visited Damat in hospital on Monday, sharing photos on Twitter.

The culture of lynching was a common problem, he said, and called for police to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and find the person responsible.

Last week, a journalist working for the opposition Yeniçağ newspaper was hospitalised after being attacked outside his home. The attack followed a television appearance in which he criticised the government.