Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have rejected a parliamentary motion to investigate the controversial activities of a paramilitary group established by a former aide to the Turkish president.
The SADAT International Defense Consultancy, established by Adnan Tanrıverdi, a former aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, came to public attention this week after a crime boss claimed SADAT sent weapons to the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Syria in 2015.
The claim was made by mob boss Sedat Peker, who since early May has been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he posts on YouTube, with each watched by millions of people immediately after their release. Peker has been making allegations about the shady relations between state actors and the mafia.
Prompted by Peker’s claims, deputy group chairpersons of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Meral Danış Bektaş and Saruhan Oluç submitted a motion to parliament seeking an investigation into the activities of SADAT and whether it really sent weapons to al-Nusra.
However, the HDP’s motion was rejected by AKP and MHP deputies.
In his latest video released on Sunday, Peker said trucks arranged by SADAT were added to trucks operating under his name to be sent to the Turkmens in Syria’s Bayırbucak region but that he later realized they were being sent to al-Nusra jihadists and were loaded with weapons.
“We knew they were carrying weapons, we’re not children…. A group within SADAT organized this,” said Peker.
SADAT was founded in 2012 by 23 retired military officers to provide consultancy and training in the field of defense. According to the organization’s founding documents, its mission is to make the Islamic world self-sufficient in terms of military power. Retired general Tanrıverdi said SADAT was set up at the request of officials from Erdoğan’s government.
SADAT, meanwhile, released a statement on Sunday denying Peker’s claim that the group sent weapons to al-Nusra in Syria. The group said it has no links to any terrorist groups, claiming that Peker actually confessed to his own crime of sending weapons to radical groups in his statements.