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Turkey revokes security detail assigned to prominent opposition figure

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The Turkish government has revoked a protective detail it previously assigned to Canan Kaftancıoğlu, a prominent member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) who was recently sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and spreading terrorist propaganda, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Monday.

Kaftancıoğlu is currently free on bail pending appeal.

Kaftancıoğlu was notified of the decision on Saturday in a document handed to her by police officers. No justification was provided for the move.

In a handwritten note that she added under her acknowledgment of having been served the notification, Kaftancıoğlu underlined that she was not given any reason for the decision and that “the interior ministry bears responsibility for anything that might happen to me.”

She tweeted that she is not afraid and that the decision was trivial.

CHP deputy Gökan Zeybek submitted a written parliamentary question directed to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu inquiring if he was aware of the move and whether he assumes responsibility for any security problems she might encounter.

The head of the CHP’s İstanbul branch, Kaftancıoğlu is famous for her role in her party’s local election victory in İstanbul.

She stood trial for allegedly insulting President Erdoğan and spreading terrorist propaganda and was handed down a prison sentence of nine years, eight months in September, which she is appealing with a higher court.

She was elevated to “special protection” status by authorities after she and her family received death threats. She was also the target of attacks by Turkey’s pro-government media.

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