By sentencing CHP chairperson in Istanbul, Erdogan seeks revenge for the election he lost


Canan Kaftancıoğlu

Canan Kaftancıoğlu

The PES condemns the latest moves of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is obviously using the judicial system in Turkey to take revenge over the opposition in the country.

Yesterday, a Turkish court sentenced Canan Kaftancıoğlu, chairperson for the Istanbul province of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to nine years, eight months and 20 days in prison for posts on social media she has made 7 years ago. Like many other opposition leaders in Turkey, Ms. Kaftancıoğlu was accused of "insult to President Erdoğan", "insult to Republic of Turkey" and “terrorist propaganda”.

The PES finds the actions of Erdogan and his government unacceptable. We support the leader of our associate member party CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who said that the sentence is a "revenge" for the devastating loss the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered during the last local elections in Turkey. At these elections, Erdogan's AKP lost in Istanbul, in the capital Ankara and in many major cities.

The PES strongly condemns all attempts of Erdoğan and his government to use the judicial system to oppress his political opponents. That is crystal clear in the case of Canan Kaftancıoğlu, who was sentenced for sharing on social media her criticism to the government.

The European Socialists, Democrat and Labour parties stand firmly by their colleagues from the CHP and all opposition parties in Turkey in the name of the rule of law and democracy in the country.