13 bar associations call for probe into mob boss’s claims implicating gov’t officials

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Thirteen bar associations have jointly urged Turkish authorities to investigate recent allegations by Sedat Peker, a crime boss who has been shaking the country with bombshell revelations for the past month about shady relations between the mafia and Turkish state actors, local media reported on Friday.

The Adıyaman, Ağrı, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak and Van bar associations on Friday released a statement titled “We ask the judiciary to take action,” urging public prosecutors to launch legal proceedings against the figures Peker has accused of murder, rape, corruption and drug trafficking among other crimes.

They underlined that it was the prosecutors’ duty to launch investigations into such “serious” allegations by Peker, the majority of which include information such as the time and place of criminal acts as well as the names of the figures involved.

“Any situation to the contrary would point to the denial of the judiciary’s existence, which cannot be accepted in a democratic state of law,” they argued.

Sedat Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful crime groups who was once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has since early May been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he posts on YouTube, with each watched by millions of people immediately after their release.

The accusations made by Peker, who fled to Dubai, involves close allies of Erdoğan, including a former prime minister, top officials and their relatives. None of his allegations has been proven, and those involved have proclaimed their innocence.

However, the political scandal sparked by the videos comes at an inopportune time for Erdoğan, who is losing ground in opinion polls because of a depreciating currency and high inflation.

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