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Mob boss sentenced to prison for insulting, threatening Turkey’s main opposition leader

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An Ankara court has sentenced notorious Turkish mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı to one year, eight months in prison on charges of insulting and threatening a public official in remarks targeting main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, local media reported on Monday.

The sentence handed down by the Ankara 19th Criminal Court of First Instance was announced on Twitter by Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawyer, Celal Çelik, on Monday.

“We had said we would ensure that Alaattin Çakıcı, who had threatened and insulted our chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was punished. We kept our promise,” Çelik said.

The CHP leader had received a threat from Çakıcı in November after slamming the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government for releasing him from prison.

When criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s promise of reforms to fix the problems in Turkey’s economy and judiciary, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “Does this mean you’ll stop releasing mafia leaders and drug traffickers from prison while putting ‘thought criminals’ behind bars?” referring to Çakıcı’s release in April 2020.

Çakıcı, known for his ties to Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and election ally of the AKP government, had been convicted of establishing and leading a criminal organization, ordering a murder, instigating assault and insulting President Erdoğan.

Following Bahçeli’s call for a general amnesty, specifically citing Çakıcı, the mob boss was released on April 16 as part of an amnesty drafted by the government to free a third of Turkey’s prison population to ease overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 68-year-old mob boss told Kılıçdaroğlu to “watch his step” in a handwritten statement that included threats of violence released on Twitter in November.

“Look, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, traitors may incite you by [utilizing] the psychology of the masses. But they won’t be by your side when you are in trouble. That’s why I’m telling you to watch your step,’’ Çakıcı said in the four-page message.

Kılıçdaroğlu subsequently filed a complaint against Çakıcı with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

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