Turkish mafia leader threatens newspaper boss, columnists, over report

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Notorious mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı threatened Karar daily boss Mehmet Aydın and six columnists in a written statement posted on his “official” Instagram account on Friday, the Diken news website reported.

Çakıcı targeted the Karar daily over their news story on his previous statement about the June 24 elections, titled “Insolent remarks to [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan,” calling on his “fans” to punish the journalists.

“I have always given notice to a person that I’m going to harm,” Çakıcı said in the statement, which was later deleted.

Çakıcı had praised Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and accused Erdoğan of being “less nationalist” in a previous statement made after the elections.

“Pray for Mr. Bahçeli and his colleagues as you pray for your parents. You can do whatever you want to me,” Çakıcı said to Erdoğan, who has been re-elected president.

In May, Bahçeli called for a general amnesty for notorious mafia leaders Çakıcı and Kürşat Yılmaz, who were part of the “Grey Wolves,” a term MHP members and supporters use to describe themselves.

However, Erdoğan has repeatedly rejected Bahçeli’s call.

Bahçeli also paid a visit to gang leader Çakıcı in a hospital on May 23.

Following Çakıcı’s threats, İstanbul police have increased security around the Karar daily’s building, while columnists have been assigned bodyguards.

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