75 percent of Turkey’s voters believe mafia boss’s allegations: survey

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Seventy-five percent of eligible voters in Turkey believe the scandalous allegations made by a mob boss about the relationship of some government actors with the mafia and their involvement in criminal activities, according to a public survey.

The results of the survey, conducted by the Eurasia Research Center, were revealed by the president of the company, Kemal Özkiraz, during a TV program.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 2,480 people across 27 provinces between May 23 and 28. The respondents were grouped into “Public Alliance” voters and opposition voters. Public Alliance refers to an election alliance between the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

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 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, drug trafficking and murders implicating state officials.

When asked if they believe the allegations Peker makes in his videos, 22.5 percent of the Public Alliance voters said they believe “all his claims,” compared to 78.2 percent among opposition voters. In addition, 23.7 percent of the Public Alliance voters said they believe “most of the allegations” made by Peker, while 8.6 percent among opposition voters said they did.

Özkiraz drew the conclusion from these figures that 75 percent of voters in Turkey believe Peker’s allegations.

To another question asking whether government officials who are mentioned as having been involved in criminal activities in Peker’s videos should resign, 70.9 percent of the opposition voters said “Yes,” while only 25.6 percent of Public Alliance voters agreed.

When asked whether they know people who changed their minds about voting for the Public Alliance or Erdoğan following Peker’s allegations, 19.6 percent of Public Alliance voters said “Yes,” compared to 23.9 percent among opposition voters.

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