Turkey’s opposition elects first woman provincial head in Istanbul

Members of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Saturday elected a woman for the first time to the province head of the party’s Istanbul branch, Turkish newspaper Birgün reported.

Canan Kaftancıoğlu, a 46-year-old medical doctor and human rights activist, won the popular vote to run CHP’s campaign in the Turkey’s largest province in the run up to the 2019 local and general elections.

Her opponent was 56-year-old Cemal Canpolat, who led the CHP branch in Istanbul since 2015.

Born in the northeastern province of Ordu, Kaftancıoğlu graduated from Istanbul University’s medicine faculty, Birgün said. After working at emergency rooms and studying forensic medicine, she wrote a thesis on evidences of torture, using case files of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey.