Turkish mafia leader Sedat Peker has claimed that son of a former prime minister, a loyalist of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was part of a major drug trafficking ring involving Venezuela and Turkey.
Peker made the claims about Erkan Yıldırım, son of Binali Yıldırım, who is currently the deputy chairman of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in the latest video he posted on YouTube on Sunday. The video has so far been viewed by more than 10 million people.
According to Peker, Erkan Yıldırım traveled to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in January and February to establish a new drug trafficking route following a raid in Colombia last year when Colombian authorities seized 4.9 tons of cocaine headed for Turkey. Peker said measures implemented Colombian officials forced the Turkish drug network to find a new route via Venezuela.
Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups who was once a staunch supporter of Erdoğan, has since early May been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he posts on YouTube, each of which reaches over a million viewers on the first day of their release. The mafia boss, 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.
Peker’s claim about Erkan Yıldırım was immediately denied by his father, Binali, who told reporters later on Sunday that Peker was lying.
He confirmed that his son went to Venezuela, not this year but in December 2020, and brought test kits and face masks to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic.
However, statistics show the number of weekly coronavirus cases in the country on average was 350 in December 2020.
“This is absolutely a lie, slander. Associating us with drugs is an insult. We strongly deny this,” said Binali Yıldırım.
Yıldırım also said his son went to Venezuela on his own and not as part of an official visit.