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Investigation launched into mafia boss’s brother over killing of Cypriot journalist

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Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into Atilla Peker, brother of mafia boss Sedat Peker, due to his alleged role in the killing of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adalı in 1996.

Atilla Peker was detained in the western province of Muğla on Sunday after Sedat Peker said in his latest video on YouTube on Sunday that he sent him on a failed mission to kill Adalı on the orders of former Turkish minister Mehmet Ağar.

The investigation into Atillla Peker, launched by the Fethiye Public Prosecutor’s Office in Muğla, came hours after Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in televised remarks on Monday evening that he had ordered an investigation into Atilla Peker due to his alleged role in Adalı’s murder.

Sedat Peker, however, said his brother was unable to carry out the murder, although Adalı was shot dead shortly afterwards in July 1996. He said Korkut Eken, a former Turkish military officer and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) agent, told him later that “another team” had carried out the murder of the journalist.

Peker tweeted on Tuesday that his brother was released from detention on judicial probation but that his statements on the assassination of Adalı did not go into the official record.

Following his brother’s detention on Sunday, Peker asked why only his brother was taken into custody and not Eken and Ağar.

“Why didn’t you detain Korkut Eken and Mehmet Ağar and instead only my brother?” Peker said on Twitter.

Adalı, who worked for the left-wing Yeni Düzen newspaper in Nicosia and wrote on corruption allegations about Turkish authorities, was shot dead in front of his home. His killers have never been identified.

Adalı’s wife İlkay Adalı appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) after the investigation in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) failed to solve the case. On March 31, 2005 the rights court ruled that Ankara had not carried out an extensive and credible investigation into the murder and had to pay 96,000 euros in damages.

Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups who was once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has since early May been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he posts on YouTube, each of which reaches over a million viewers on the first day of their release. The mafia boss, who lives in Dubai and is the subject of an outstanding warrant in Turkey, has been making shocking revelations about state-mafia relations and drug trafficking and murders implicating state officials.

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