A Turkish crime boss who has been making scandalous allegations about the relationship between state actors and the mafia has claimed that former Turkish interior minister and police chief Mehmet Ağar is planning an attack on a cemevi, an Alevi house of worship, local media reported on Monday.
Sedat Peker, head of one of Turkey’s most powerful crime groups who was once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Monday claimed that a group taking orders from Ağar, whom he alleges to be the head of the “deep state” in Turkey, would stage an attack on a cemevi to create chaos in the country.
The deep state was said to be a group of anti-democratic coalitions within the Turkish political system, including high-level figures from the Turkish military, security agencies, judiciary and mafia.
“The reason for my constant talk about Alevis is to make a plan by ‘deep Mehmet’s men’ to stage an attack … to foment chaos in the country come to nothing,” Peker tweeted, referring to the eighth installment of his video series on YouTube that started in early May.
The mobster alleged that the planned attack on a cemevi would be bigger than the 1995 attack that took place in İstanbul’s predominantly Alevi Gazi neighborhood, where Halil Kaya –- a 61-year-old Alevi religious leader, or dede – was killed and 25 people were injured after three cafés and a pastry shop were attacked simultaneously by people armed with automatic weapons.
The riots that followed the provocative attack and spread to other parts of İstanbul and Ankara in the following days and resulted in the death of 22 people, while more than 155 people were injured and scores were detained by police, who used excessive force on the protestors, according to Turkish reports.
Alevis, who are estimated to account for 16.5 percent of Turkey’s total population of 83 million, are the second-largest Islamic sect in Turkey, with Sunni Hanafi Islam being the largest.
Peker previously claimed that Ağar was involved in the 1993 murder of prominent investigative journalist Uğur Mumcu, who wrote for the Cumhuriyet daily. The mob boss also alleged that Ağar extorted Bodrum Yalıkavak Marina, a billion-dollar luxury marina, from Turkish-Azeri shipping magnate Mübariz Mansimov Gurbanoğlu, who was suddenly arrested in March 2020 on terrorism-related charges.
Peker explained that the marina’s ownership was transferred to individuals close to Ağar due to pressure by the police and the mafia during the eight months Gurbanoğlu spent behind bars.