I criticised Berat Albayrak at interior minister’s request, says mob boss

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Convicted Turkish crime boss Sedat Peker on Tuesday shared another video, alleging that Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu would periodically call on him to criticize former Finance Minister and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak.

“When Süleyman Soylu asked me to stop criticizing Berat Albayrak, I stopped uploading videos about him,” the exiled mob boss said in a video he shared on his YouTube account.

Peker in his tell-all videos over the past few weeks has accused Soylu, among other government officials, of turning a blind eye to drug trafficking, dropping charges against several people with ties to the Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt, and helping the mob boss flee the country last year to evade arrest.

The latest video is a conversation between the mob boss and Reşat Hacıfazlıoğlu, Peker’s relative, who the mob boss says worked as a messenger between himself and the interior minister.

Soylu, during a live broadcast on Monday at HaberTürk admitted to “knowing’’ Hacıfazlıoğlu.

While voicing his grievances on Soylu, Peker tells Hacıfazlıoğlu that he would stop criticizing Albayrak, whenever the interior minister asked him to do so.

The exiled organized crime leader also announced that he would upload another video to reply to the statements made by Soylu during the HaberTürk interview.

The 49-year-old who is currently in Dubai maintains that it was Soylu who drove a wedge between Albayrak and Peker.

Peker accusations against a number of high ranking officials within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), including former interior minister and police chief Mehmet Ağar, have shocked Turkey. Since he began posting on May 2, Peker’s videos have attracted over 100 million views on social media.

A supporter of the AKP before fleeing Turkey last year, Peker has accused government officials of involvement in international drug trafficking, political assassinations in the 1990s, and attacks on newspapers, among other offenses.

Last summer, when he was self-exiled in the Balkans, Peker released several videos in which he criticized then Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

Pointing out the close relations between Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and his circle, former PM Binali Yıldırım’s son Erkan Yıldırım and Ağar, Peker claimed in his last video that Soylu’s relative Sadık Soylu managed the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization from his office in NextLevel business centre in Ankara, where closed investigations against Gülenist bureaucrats.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan released a statement on the allegations by Peker, who claimed that HDP co-chair’s husband, Savaş Buldan, and several other Kurdish businessmen were killed in a police operation organized by Ağar.

“Savaş Buldan and his friends were killed by state officials,’’ Buldan said.

“Those who committed the murder were placed on a trial for show only and acquitted. Now we are going back to the beginning, and we will take action for a retrial.’’

Ahval

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