Interior minister under fire for sexist remarks in row with mafia boss

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has sparked outrage when he used sexist language about the wife of a mafia boss amid scandalous accusations directed at him by the gangster.

Sedat Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups, has for the last several weeks been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he releases on YouTube. The videos reach over a million viewers in the first day of their release. Peker, who lives in Dubai and is the subject of an outstanding warrant in Turkey, has been making shocking revelations about state-mafia relations and drug trafficking and murders implicating state officials. Soylu is currently the number one target of Peker, who was outraged by Soylu’s recent referral to him as a “dirty mafia boss.”

Soylu appeared on the state-run TRT on Wednesday evening to counter allegations directed at him by Peker. He said he was faced with an international conspiracy against him while denying allegations about the details of a police raid on Peker’s house in İstanbul on April 9.

Peker said his house was raided by dozens of male police officers while only his wife and three little children were at home, saying they were frightened and that the police officers attempted to search drawers containing his wife’s underwear.

“The Turkish police know very well what to do. Just show me what they did to his wife. Shameless and helpless man who takes refuge behind his wife’s underwear,” said Soylu.

Then a video was played showing the police raid on Peker’s house during which female police officers were also present. However, Peker insisted that the female police officers were sent later following his wife’s protest of the situation.

“This person calls himself a man. This is a person who destroys the prestige of the seat he occupies,” tweeted Canan Kaftancıoğlu, a politician from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

“What kind of sexist talk is this?” Eren Keskin tweeted, expressing outrage over Soylu’s remarks.

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