Thousands of people gathered in Istanbul today to protest the sentencing of opposition politician Janan Kaftantzioglu for insulting the president and the state.
Protesters in the central Maltepe district chanted and held Turkish flags and banners of the opposition.
Kaftantzioglou, who was sentenced to almost five years in prison, is the leader of the People’s Republican Party (CHP) in Istanbul and one of the strongest voices of the opposition. In 2019, he played a central role in the municipal elections in the city, which were won twice by CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, ending the 25-year rule of the party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the city.
Last week, Turkey’s Supreme Court upheld Kaftantzioglu’s conviction but reduced her sentence to 4 years, 11 months and 20 days.
Under Turkish law, prison sentences of less than five years are suspended and two sources told Reuters that Kaftantzioglou would not be sent to prison.