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Turkish court bans Erdogan rival from own party

The ruling appears to be a pattern of similar events befalling political rivals of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of the 2023 elections.
Burak Kara/Getty Images

Increasing legal barriers facing Turkey's opposition party officials and members reflect the government's efforts to sow discord among the country's main opposition-led coalition bloc ahead of the elections scheduled for June 2023, analysts argue.

On June 14, Turkey’s top appeals courts announced that CHP party leader Canan Kaftancioglu’s political party membership was ended. Kaftancioglu, head of the Istanbul branch of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), is known for her ability to organize and expand the party’s grassroots. She is seen as the leading player behind the CHP landmark victory in the 2018 local elections. Kaftancioglu was tried on charges of offending the president and the state over tweets posted some eight years ago. A Turkish court sentenced her in May to four years and 11 months' jail time along with a political ban. She avoided prison time as her sentence was less than five years.

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