Canan Kaftancıoğlu was elected as the Istanbul provincial chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) early on Jan. 14, becoming the first woman to be elected to the post.
Kaftancıoğlu beat incumbent provincial chair Cemal Canpolat with 325 votes to 328 in the congress held at the Bostancı Performance Center on the city’s Anatolian side.
Speaking after the election, Kaftancıoğlu, who is also a CHP Party Assembly member, thanked her supporters and outgoing chair Canpolat.
“We will do what we say, and we will not say things that we will not do,” she told the party members.
“We will leave this congress shoulder to shoulder. I’m much thankful for your belief and trust in me.”
Canpolat, for his part, said the main opposition party needed unity.
“I hope that [Kaftancıoğlu] will help the party meet the masses, and we will give our support and contribution until the very end,” he said.
Kaftancıoğlu, who was born in 1972 in the Black Sea province of Ordu, graduated from Istanbul University’s medical school in 1995.
She completed her specialty training in the field of forensics medicine, with a thesis on torture.
Kaftancıoğlu has been a member of various non-governmental organizations since her university years and is among the founders of Collective Memory Platform.
Her father-in-law Ümit Kaftancıoğlu, a TV producer, writer and columnist of daily Cumhuriyet, was killed on April 11, 1980 in a gun attack in front of his house by suspected ultra-nationalists.