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Neo-nationalist leader claims Erdoğan real target of gangster’s bombshell claims

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Doğu Perinçek, a neo-nationalist ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and leader of the Homeland Party (VP), has argued that the real target of Sedat Peker, a notorious mafia boss who has been accusing Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and other government officials of criminal acts in a series of YouTube posts, is Turkey and Erdoğan.

“The real target is not Süleyman Soylu, but Turkey and Erdoğan, through him,” Perinçek said on Wednesday during a program on Ulusal TV.

“Who is Soylu but an interior minister? Then why does the US keep targeting him? Because he cracks down on ‘forces’ affiliated with the US and dismisses them [from official positions in Turkish government],” the VP leader claimed.

Perinçek went on to imply that Washington has links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984, and “FETÖ,” a derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the faith-based Gülen movement as a terrorist organization, a claim strongly denied by the movement.

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, the latest of which reached over 13 million viewers since Sunday. Having fled to Dubai, the mobster has been making shocking revelations about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating officials from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

He has claimed that it was connections to his family that had helped Soylu rise through the ranks of the right-wing True Path Party (DYP) before he joined the ruling AKP in 2012 at the invitation of Erdoğan. He also claimed that Soylu helped him avoid police prosecution by notifying him that an investigation was being prepared against him, before he fled Turkey in early 2020. The mob boss further said Soylu previously told people that he and Erdoğan “liked” Peker.

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