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‘Narco-structure’ linked with bureaucracy, politics being built in Turkey: mob boss

A photograph taken on May 26, 2021 in İstanbul shows on a mobile phone Sedat Peker speaking on his YouTube channel. Millions of Turks have been glued to their screens, watching a mobster tell wild stories about international drug smuggling, murders and the murky ties between politicians and the mafia. Except the mob boss starring in the videos is real and his claims have set off a political tsunami that has unsettled Turkish President's government, leaving his popular Interior Minister particularly exposed. Ozan KOSE / AFP

Notorious Turkish mob boss Sedat Peker has claimed that attempts were underway in Turkey to create a “narco-structure” intertwined with bureaucracy and politics, local media reported on Friday, citing tweets from a journalist.

Once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Peker has since early May been making shocking revelations about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating state officials and their family members.

The mafia boss has since June been making his sensational claims on Twitter instead of YouTube since officials of the UAE, where he currently resides, told him not to release any more YouTube videos defaming politicians in another country.

Peker’s latest revelations were posted on Friday on the Twitter account of journalist Erk Acarer since UAE officials hadn’t allowed him to post tweets regarding Turkish politicians and bureaucrats’ alleged involvement in drug trafficking.

“They are trying to create a ‘narco-structure’ intertwined with bureaucracy and politics in Turkey,” Acarer quoted the mob boss as saying in a tweet.

Through the tweets posted on Acarer’s account, Peker stated that Recep Köroğlu, a friend of Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s son Engin Soylu, was caught with 20 kilos of cocaine, tried and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

“However, while this person’s case was before the Supreme Court of Appeals, he was released by the court in a way that is very rare in the legal system [of Turkey],” Peker added.

The mafia boss further claimed that after his release, Köroğlu was once again detained as part of an operation involving some 30 kilos of cocaine, but this time he was released from police custody without even appearing before a court.

Peker, who also shared a photo of Minister Soylu and Köroğlu together as evidence of their acquaintance, implied that Soylu intervened to have Köroğlu released twice and ensured that the cases against him went nowhere.

“What I’m talking about is too absurd to happen even in the movies, but unfortunately, such things can be done very easily in our country now. Our people are hungry, they are the victims [of a deteriorating economy]. The only ones who are [financially] comfortable [in Turkey] are those who take bribes and sell drugs and women,” Peker claimed.

Soylu has so far been Peker’s main target, primarily because he ordered a police raid on the gangster’s house in April when his wife and three children were home alone and because he called Peker “a dirty mafia leader” in a tweet.

The mafia leader had previously claimed that it was connections to his family that had helped Soylu rise through the ranks of the right-wing True Path Party (DYP) before he joined the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2012 at the invitation of then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He also claimed that Soylu helped him avoid police prosecution by notifying him that an investigation was being prepared against him, before he fled Turkey in early 2020. The mob boss further said Soylu previously told people that he and Erdoğan “liked” Peker.

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