CHP official under investigation over controversy surrounding Erdoğan aide

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Canan Kaftancıoğlu

İstanbul prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into Canan Kaftancıoğlu, a prominent member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), upon complaints by the lawyers of Fahrettin Altun, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s communications director, the T24 news website reported on Thursday.

İstanbul prosecutors started investigating Kaftancıoğlu for allegedly “promoting crime and criminals” over a tweet she posted in support of Suat Özçağdaş, a fellow member of the CHP İstanbul provincial organization who was already under investigation for allegedly photographing Altun’s house.

“No one can touch the CHP district head for protecting public assets and safeguarding the public interest,” Kaftancıoğlu tweeted on Tuesday. “The state authority is there to protect the public’s rights, and you will learn this whether you like it or not! You will also learn that those engaging in illegal construction in disregard of the law are called city bandits!”

Özçağdaş reportedly photographed Altun’s house after a public controversy erupted over about Altun’s illegal construction on land adjacent to his own that he leased from a public authority.

The construction was demolished by the CHP-held İstanbul Municipality. CHP members on the city council have also filed criminal complaints about Altun.

Kaftancıoğlu is regarded as one of the architects of the CHP’s municipal election victory in İstanbul last year, which ended Erdoğan’s long-running rule in the city and dealt a significant blow to his ruling party.

Last September she was sentenced to nine years in prison for allegedly insulting Erdoğan and spreading terrorist propaganda. She is free pending appeal.

She was elevated to “special protection” status by authorities after she and her family received death threats. However, the government withdrew a protective detail it had assigned to Kaftancıoğlu after she was sentenced on insult charges.

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