Majority think mafia organizations are protected in Turkey: poll

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An overwhelming majority of Turks think crime organizations in the country are protected, according to the results of a recent survey.

A total of 61.1 percent of respondents of the survey, conducted by the Ankara-based Metropoll about the relationship between the government and crime organizations in Turkey, said they think mafia organizations are protected. Among these participants, 44.7 percent were ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters while 50.3 percent were supporters of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

According to 57 percent of respondents, including 40 percent of AKP voters and 49.7 percent of MHP voters, there has been an increase in the number of crime organizations in the country as well as crimes committed by them in recent years. This figure rises further among opposition party supporters, as 75.2 percent of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters, 76.6 percent of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) supporters and 85.9 percent of İYİ (Good) Party voters think there has been an increase in the number of mafia groups and crimes committed in Turkey over the past years. However, 27.9 percent of voters think the opposite.

When asked whether they think the AKP and its election ally the MHP are waging an effective fight against crime organizations, 46.5 percent of respondents including 23.6 percent of AKP voters and 41.4 percent of MHP voters said, “No,” while 34.4 percent replied in the affirmative.

Metropoll’s survey was conducted at a time when revelations of mob boss Sedat Peker made in videos posted on YouTube are attracting huge attention from the people of Turkey.

Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia 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, each of which reaches over a million viewers on the first day of their release. The crime 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.

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