Erdoğan seeks revenge in court for Istanbul election defeat - DW

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seeking legal revenge against the Istanbul head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), who is charged with a series of crimes that include defamation, inciting public hatred and violence and spreading "terrorist propaganda," German broadcaster Deutsche Welle said on Sunday.

CHP Istanbul chairwoman Canan Kaftancıoğlu cost Erdoğan the city where he launched his political career when she successfully steered the Istanbul mayoral election campaign for a then relatively unknown candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu.

The 48-year-old doctor-turned-politician has since soared in popularity, DW said, but has become a target for the Turkish government. 

In September, the CHP Istanbul head was sentenced to nearly 10 years in jail for "terror propaganda and insults" against the Turkish state over tweets which date back several years.

CHP leaders maintain sentencing was an act of revenge for the Istanbul election and Kaftancıoğlu has appealed against the sentence.

Another legal battle the CHP figure is facing involves the Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun. 

Kaftancıoğlu faces up to 10 and a half years in jail if convicted of  "incitement to commit a crime" and "glorification of a crime," after criticising on social media a criminal complaint filed against fellow CHP member Suat Özcagdas, for photographing Altun’s house.

DW pointed to the case of jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, who spent four years behind bars without indictment before being charged, saying similarly arbitrary lawsuits can end up very badly for defendants.

Kaftancıoğlu, for her part, refuses to bow to the government and has dismissed the threats of jail while fighting the government with its own weapons, DW said.

Last week, the CHP official filed a criminal complaint against Erdoğan and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, demanding damages over their remarks linking her to terrorism.

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