Erdoğan advisor files criminal complaint against opposition’s Istanbul chair

One of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s top aides filed a criminal complaint against the main opposition party’s Istanbul provincial chairwoman, Canan Kaftancıoğlu, for allegedly “praising and encouraging crime” in an ongoing spat over illegal construction, BirGün said on Thursday.

Kaftancıoğlu shared an image of a legal complaint filed by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) against Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on April 13, after the local CHP municipality reported that illegal construction had been carried out on a property he had rented in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.

But Altun, a former academic who has risen to become one of Erdoğan’s top advisers, has hit back with a criminal complaint of his own against Kaftancıoğlu for posting a statement defending her colleague, CHP Üsküdar district head Suat Özçağdaş, BirGün reported.

Özçağdaş had been charged with “violating the privacy of personal life” by taking photographs of Altun’s property in Üsküdar’s Kuzguncuk neighbourhood, where the CHP said neighbours had complained that construction work was ongoing despite the coronavirus pandemic.

A municipal team knocked down landscaping work and a new pergola and fireplace that was under construction on the property after the local municipality received complaints.

The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation on Kaftancıoğlu following Altun’s complaint, BirGün said. The prosecutor was also slated to launch an investigation into media outlets that covered the reports on illegal construction on Altun’s property, news site Duvar reported earlier in April.