NewsA Turkish mobster leader claims to have ties to...

A Turkish mobster leader claims to have ties to Erdogan's party

The leader of the Turkish mafia, Sedat Peker, has published several videos in which he involves some deputies of the AKP, Erdogan’s party, within his criminal network, according to the Arab News medium. Peker was convicted in 2007 of running a criminal organization, theft and forgery, among other charges. The country’s justice sentenced him to 14 years in prison, but he was acquitted in 2014. Peker has also expressed his ultra-nationalist political ideas on several occasions. In early 2021 he was arrested again in North Macedonia with a false passport, and later deported to Kosovo. He is currently believed to be living in Dubai, according to media such as Arab News or BBC Turkey. The Turkish kingpin has accused former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar and his son, AKP deputy Tolga Agar, of being involved in the death of a journalist. 21-year-old Kazakh, Yedana Kaharman. As Arab News reports, Kaharman’s case was closed very early by order of local prosecutors. In his videos, Peker has also accused current Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu of corrupt conduct. The minister has responded to Peker’s statements urging him to return to his country to “submit to justice.” Soylu has also described him as “gangster scum” and accuses him of running away “like a rat.” Cemil Cicek, a former Minister of Justice and current member of the top board of the Turkish presidency, has asked to investigate Peker’s statements. Cicek has asked the Prosecutor’s Office “to do whatever is necessary.” The opposition parties have asked the Government for explanations for this new scandal in which Erdogan’s party is involved.Ozgur Ozel, a deputy for the opposition CHP party, has assured that Minister Soylu is the point of connection between the AKP, his ally, the far-right MHP formation, and the mafia. Ozel has also alluded to the links between Soylu and Peker, recalling when the government did not act on Peker’s illegal actions in the city of Rize. The criminal leader threatened dissident Turkish academics, claiming that he would make them cry with “his own blood.” Other political formations have also denounced Peker and pointed to the government’s indifference to his actions. Baris Atay of the Workers’ Party accused the kingpin of using street gangs to attack political dissidents. In response to these statements, Atay suffered a beating on the orders of Peker, and in 2021 the Turkish government approved a controversial amnesty law that freed 90,000 prisoners for non-political crimes, excluding journalists or political dissidents. This law released organized gang leaders, such as Alaattin Cakidi, a notorious mafia leader. Cakidi is linked to the far-right party MHP, an ally of the AKP. “Turkey should launch a nationwide campaign against the deep state and the generalized mafia structure that reaches the inner circles of the state,” Ayhan Sefer Ustun told Arab News. Ustun was head of the Parliamentary Commission for Human Rights and founder of the Future Party. The Turkish politician has also requested a “commission of inquiry” on Peker’s statements. Ustun alluded to the Susurluk scandal, likening it to the current controversy. This case happened in 1996 and revealed the political connection with the mafia in the province of Balikesir, thanks to the insistence of public opinion.It is not the first scandal to affect the AKP. Last April, opposition politicians accused the government of corruption after the disappearance of millions of dollars from the Turkish Central Bank. In March, a video also came to light of a deputy from Erdogan’s party snorting cocaine, later admitting that he was a consumer and a trafficker.

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