Thousands in Turkey protest against opposition politician's sentence
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu speaks to his supporters during a rally in Istanbul. Tolga Ildun/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu speaks to his supporters during a rally in Istanbul. Tolga Ildun/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Thousands of protestors demonstrated in Istanbul on Saturday against a prison sentence imposed on a leading opposition politician.

Protestors in the city's Maltepe district chanted "Rights, law, justice" in Turkish, in a show of support and solidarity for Canan Kaftancıoğlu, a member of the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP).

Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeal recently upheld a nearly five-year sentence on Kaftancıoğlu, who was found guilty of insulting the president and the Turkish state, based on her Twitter posts from 2012 to 2017.

Kaftancıoğlu was also banned from participating in politics for five years.

Critics see her conviction as part of a crackdown on opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of next year's presidential elections.

Kaftancıoğlu is the head of the CHP in Istanbul and also held the role during the 2019 local elections, when a CHP victory in the city ended 25 years of rule by Erdogan's party and its predecessors, in a major political upset.

Supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu listen to his speech during a rally in Istanbul. Tolga Ildun/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa