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Turkey seizes İstanbul villa of mob boss who revealed murky gov’t, mafia relations

Mob boss Sedat Peker

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 mafia leader Sedat Peker’s villa in İstanbul’s Beykoz district has been transferred to the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Thursday, citing Peker’s lawyer.

Cumhuriyet quoted the lawyer as saying that Peker’s house in İstanbul, which he previously referred to as his “only property,” was transferred to the directorate although the mob boss had formerly applied for a tax amnesty under Law No. 7143 and made the necessary payment to benefit from it.

Law No. 7143 on the Restructuring of Certain Taxes and Other Receivables and Amendments to Certain Laws, also known as the tax amnesty law, entered into force in May 2018.

“My client … benefited from the tax amnesty and made the [required] payment. However, they [the authorities] played such a trick that while the houses on either side benefited from the amnesty, they included the house belonging to Peker within the national parks’ area. My client has been paying taxes on this house for 25 years,” the lawyer said, adding that they will take legal action against the development.

Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups and once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, left Turkey following the publication of a report related to arms trafficking to Syria that was allegedly carried out under the guise of humanitarian aid.

The mob boss, who lives in exile in the UAE, sent shockwaves across the country in the summer of 2021 through scandalous revelations he made on social media about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating former and current state officials and their family members.

Peker, who was silent for a long time out of concerns for his safety, has recently become active on social media again, making shocking claims about some pro-government figures.

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