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InternationalWho is Janan Kaftanjioglu - the scandalous lady of the Turkish opposition

Who is Janan Kaftanjioglu – the scandalous lady of the Turkish opposition

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She rides a motorcycle, challenges her blind attachment to Ataturk, admits to the Armenian genocide and does not interfere in her husband’s diet, even if she eats pork. This is the district chairman of the People’s Republican Party (NRP) in Istanbul, Janan Kaftandjoglu, a controversial figure in the Turkish opposition.

It is believed that she played a significant role in the victory in Istanbul over the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the local elections in 2019, which took away the management of the metropolis for the first time in 25 years.

“Shadow Chief of Staff of Turkish Opposition”

Time magazine described her a year ago as a “shadow leader of the Turkish opposition” and even compared her to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The world-famous Turkish pianist and composer Fazal Sai recently mentioned her name in a post on social media. “I watched Hulk TV for 15 minutes. I thought the following: I think Janan Kaftandjoglu was the chairman of the NRP …”, the pianist wrote, triggering a storm of comments, mostly critical of his opinion.

The reason for Sai’s post was obviously his disappointment with the participation of the current leader of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, in a TV show. However, Sai’s followers’ comments were dominated by those in defense of Kilicdaroglu. Many reminded the pianist of Kaftanjjoglu’s views in the past, which were controversial in Turkish society.

Persecuted for social media posts

Like Sai himself, he has been a critic of Erdogan since the Gezi Park protests, which in 2013 received a ten-month suspended sentence for views on Twitter that “insult Turkey’s religious values”, and Janan Kaftanjoglu has been persecuted for her social media posts. media.

In June 2020, a Turkish court upheld Kaftanjjoglu’s sentence of nearly ten years in prison on a number of charges, including insulting the president. For now, however, she remains at large, awaiting a decision on an appeal to a higher court.

In addition to insulting the president, she has been accused of provoking hatred and enmity among the people and propaganda in favor of a terrorist organization.

The investigation against her began in January 2018, just two days after she was elected chairman of the Istanbul district party organization. Her accusatory comments on social media were published between 2012 and 2017. Although some go further than Sai, even mentioning her name as a potential rival to Erdogan, it appears that her conflicting public positions often contrary to her own party, they do not make her a suitable candidate.

Janan Kaftanjioglu even challenges some basic principles of Turkish society, including his blind attachment to the person and work of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

She has been criticized for avoiding calling Mustafa Kemal “Ataturk” – the “father of the Turks”, which he received from the Turkish parliament after the adoption in 1934 of a law on Turkish surnames.

Kaftanjioglu has also drawn criticism for her posts on illegal organizations such as the PKK and FETO, as well as her attitude towards the pro-Kurdish Democratic Party of Nations.

In a May 2013 post, she wrote: “Hassan Ojak is alive. Thousands of greetings from the commander,” referring to a prominent member of the Turkish Communist Party, the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, who was killed in 1995. Her posts about Sakineh Jansus, the founder of the PKK, who was killed in Paris in 2013 along with two other Kurdish activists, have been described as terrorist propaganda. Because of tweets about FETO, she was convicted of inciting hatred and hostility.

The Armenian Genocide

On April 24, 2012, Kaftanjyoglu posted on Twitter that he wrote: “Today in History: The Armenian Genocide Begins. We Honor Our Killed Armenian Citizens. At 7.15 pm on Taksim Square.”

In doing so, she touched on a sensitive topic for Turkish society, which categorically rejects the categorization of the killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War as genocide.

Turkish media did not miss a post by her husband, Ali Naki Kaftanjyoglu, who recently posted a photo on his Twitter account of a wooden board with a fork and gnawed bones, and the explanation: “Seven minutes ago there was a quarter of a pig on this plate.”

Following the post, Janan Kaftanjioglu herself was also accused of eating pork, and had to explain that “she is not confused about what her husband eats”.

Kaftanjjoglu was born on February 3, 1972, in the village of Chiftlik Sarca, Ordu County. She graduated from Istanbul Medical University and is a doctor by education. Together with her husband, whom they married in 2001, they have one daughter.

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