The reality of Canan Kaftancıoğlu
A female political figure. Short haired, rides a motorbike in stylish jeans. She led the CHP women's branch in Istanbul then became the party's provincial chairwoman during the local elections, helping the campaign of Ekrem İmamoğlu. So she is involved in politics from an opposition party. Suddenly the Western media, even serious publications like “Time Magazine” take her as Erdoğan's opponent. So many misconceptions to clear here.
Contrary to popular belief in the Western media, Canan Kaftancıoğlu did not run for any position in local or general elections. She was not the person people were voting for, many, if anything, voted despite her existence. She is only leading a woman's branch in CHP party, Istanbul. Therefore, she is not a rival for Erdoğan or even anyone in her own party. Canan Kaftancıoğlu's name is not even mentioned by her own party as the presidential candidate for the upcoming general elections. Just because she is portrayed as the biker rebel woman, and deemed cool, the Time Magazine want to portray her to be a rival. Because even though this is a falsehood, this story would sell magazines.
Canan Kaftancıoğlu is also not “something unfamiliar and fresh in Turkish politics; a secular woman” like the Time Magazine described. Long before a woman even ran for presidential elections for the US (and lost), Tansu Çiller, a secular blonde woman was elected as the Prime Minister in Turkey in 1993. Contrary to the image portrayed by the media, Turkey has been quite ahead of its time when it comes to female empowerment.
On another note, it is certain that both Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Ak Party would love to see Canan Kaftancıoğlu to run in the presidential elections leading the CHP because she would get the lowest votes any CHP candidate got ever since the beginning of the Turkish republic. Here's why.
Canan Kaftancıoğlu opposes some of the main breaking points of the Turkish society. One of them is acknowledging Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as the founder of the republic and she even goes to such extreme lengths as avoiding to mention his name, which created a colossal nationwide controversy also caused a rift within CHP. Kaftancıoğlu was harshly criticized for not acknowledging Atatürk by renown members of CHP like Muharrem İnce and Esra Seba Oğul, who recently left the party. Time Magazine and others who heroize Canan Kaftancıoğlu for being the beacon of secularism in Turkey, keep forgetting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the person who established secularism in this land. So they are brushing this fact under the rug.
On another note, disregarding Atatürk is not the only fact about Canan Kaftancıoğlu's dirty record being brushed under the rug. Because she is being tried for her various social media sharings, she suddenly hides behind “lack of freedom of speech”. She is famous for her bold and controversial – to say the least – tweets praising countless terrorist organizations. One of them is TKP-ML, a designated Maoist-Lenninist terrorist organization. Kaftancıoğlu tweeted about one of its top members saying “thousand salutes to the general...” acknowledging a terrorist as a general while failing to acknowledge the founder father of Turkey, Atatürk. She goes on to tweet about Sakine Cansız, one of the leading members of terrorist PKK, giving examples of her speeches and calling Cansız a revolutionary. Therefore, if she is imprisoned to support terrorist organizations, unlike Time Magazine's view, she will not go out of the prison as a hero but rather as a person who served time for terror propaganda and disrespecting 60.000 lives lost to war on Leninist terror in Turkey and their extended families. This may not seem much for a European or an American audience but let's assume you are supporting AQ or ISIS in the US as a politician or FARC in Columbia then cry for your freedom of speech. It doesn't make you Jeanne D'arc it makes you a terrorist no matter how much you dislike Erdoğan.
Kaftancıoğlu's dark record doesn't just end here. Very recently, she received public criticism for trying to cover up rape cases in her party and in her close circle. 12 women were raped by CHP members and one perpetrator in Maltepe was one of her best friends. He lack of interest and silence in the face of the matter brought her widespread criticism also from the women supporting her party. She turned out to be not so much the feminist leader of the secular women.
Therefore, Canan Kaftancıoğlu is not some poor secular woman pushed around in a man's world, but a true propagandist of terror organizations. Her work for the city of Istanbul is also being supported by the Ak Party co-chair, Osman Nuri Kabaktepe. Very recently, she received a very public call for coffee with Kabaktepe, to which she returned with great interest. Unfortunately, nowadays western journalism does not go beyond a cool photo and a supportive interview and simply disregarding facts is becoming the norm depending on which story pleases the crowd.