Turkey: Thousands demonstrate against conviction of opposition leader

Turkey: Thousands demonstrate against conviction of opposition leader
© Belga

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday to protest against the conviction of prominent opposition leader Canan Kaftancioglu, Belga News Agency reports.

The protesters shouted slogans such as “rights, law, justice” as they demonstrated their solidarity with the female politician.

Canan Kaftancioglu, who heads the Istanbul section of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, CHP, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2019 after being convicted on various counts, including insulting the president and the Republic of Turkey.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal, Turkey’s highest court, upheld the conviction but reduced the prison term to just under five years. She will also be banned from political activity for five years.

The verdict is seen as part of a crackdown on critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of next year’s presidential elections. He has also recently raised objections against Sweden’s and Finland’s bids to join NATO and accused them of supporting terrorist organisations.

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