Kaftancıoğlu reelected as opposition CHP’s Istanbul chief

The Istanbul chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Canan Kaftancıoğlu was reelected to her position at the party’s Istanbul provincial congress on Sunday.

The general political atmosphere of the future of the party was hopeful at the congress, although the mood did not last during the provincial presidential election, namely due to criticism by some party members who claimed that Kaftancıoğlu’s position was a "single candidate" race, and was therefore undemocratic, as Ahval contributor Murat Aksoy explained.

The CHP’s Istanbul chair was the only candidate to throw her name into the ring and was endorsed by both CHP President Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's initiative and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu.

Kaftancıoğlu became a rising star in the opposition after the March 31 local elections and is largely credited with pushing the CHP to victory in Istanbul, ending 25 years of Islamist rule in the city since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected as its mayor in 1994.

Kaftancıoğlu’s victory comes after a Turkish court in September sentenced the Istanbul chair to more than nine years in prison, accusing her of insulting Erdoğan and making terrorist propaganda on social media. Kılıçdaroğlu had said Kaftancıoğlu had been sentenced as "revenge" for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s losses in Istanbul and other important cities on March 31, including the capital city of Ankara.

She has not been incarcerated for the duration of the appeal process.