ISTANBUL: Hundreds gathered at Istanbul’s main court on Friday to support an opposition politician who faces 17 years in prison for a series of tweets criticising the government.
Canan Kaftancioglu, who heads the secular Republican Peoples Party’s (CHP) Istanbul branch, is accused of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish state in tweets posted between 2012 and 2017.
She played a key role in the victory of the newly elected Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu this week — the first time the CHP has run the city in 25 years.
Imamoglu told reporters the case against Kaftancioglu was one of “political interference”.
“It is an attempt to restrict rights and freedoms. I will always stand by her,” he said.
Supporters outside the court chanted “Down with fascism” and held signs reading “We are thirsty for justice”.
Kaftancioglu’s tweets include a condemnation of Erdogan and criticism of the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during the mass “Gezi Park” protests of 2013.