Today an Istanbul court sentenced the main opposition CHP (Republican People's Party) Istanbul head Canan Kaftancioglu to 9 years and 8 months in prison on charges of “terrorist propaganda” and for “insulting the Turkish President and Turkey” on social media posts from 7 years ago.
In addition, Turkey’s Minister of Interior threatened to replace Istanbul mayor Imamoglu, saying a statement will follow on Sunday.
S&D vice president Kati Piri, formerly the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on Turkey, said:
"The price to pay for winning the elections in Istanbul is apparently 9 years in prison. Everyone knows that Canan Kaftancioglu is being punished for having run a successful campaign and securing the ballot boxes. The Turkish government is using the judiciary to punish its political opponents.
“The S&D Group strongly condemns the politically motivated sentence of our colleague Kaftancioglu.
“Since the elections, the government has been replacing elected mayors with any credible reasons, delivering a slap in the face of Turkey’s voters. If the threats against Istanbul’s mayor become a reality, this will have very serious consequences for EU-Turkey relations.
“The S&D Group stands behind you Canan Kaftancioglu! We will remain in solidarity with all those in Turkey who believe in the values of a liberal democracy and will continue to fight for the release of all political prisoners.”