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Turkey seeks extradition of crime boss from UAE

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Turkey has asked the United Arab Emirates to extradite a convicted crime boss who fled prosecution and accused the allies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of serious misdemeanors, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the state-run Anadolu news agency on Wednesday.

The justice ministry has asked the UAE to “temporarily arrest Sedat Peker for his eventual extradition to Turkey,” Anadolu reported.

Anadolu also reported that Interpol had issued a Red Notice for the mafia boss, but Peker’s name does not appear on the publicly available list of persons sought on Red Notices on the Interpol website.

Peker’s accusations against Erdoğan’s allies — including a former prime minister, top officials and their relatives — ranged from corruption and drug trafficking to rape and assassinations.

In June Peker said he had been warned by UAE authorities about the “high security risk” of his videos filled with bombshell accusations, particularly against Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

Peker subsequently stopped sharing the content.

The UAE authorities “told me that there’s something called an international security protocol. I can’t share videos due to the high security risk,” Peker said on Twitter on June 18, adding that he was not allowed to use the social media platform.

Peker has not been posting videos on YouTube since July 3 and has not been tweeting since Nov. 24 out of security concerns.

The mafia boss also said that UAE officials warned him of possible assassination attempts against him.

Ties between Turkey and the oil-rich Emirates have warmed recently following tensions over regional disputes such as the Libyan civil war as well as gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Relations were particularly tense after Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in 2017 cut all links with Qatar, a close ally of Turkey.

Erdoğan visited the UAE this month for the first time in nearly a decade for talks with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s de facto ruler.

The two oversaw the signing of 13 cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding, including a letter of intent on cooperation in the defense industry.

In the meantime, a short video showing Peker with his wife and three children in a playground along with an army of security guards was shared by Peker’s wife, Özge, on her Instagram account on Tuesday.

 

The video is believed to be have been shot in Dubai. The last time Peker was seen in a video was on Dec. 17, when his wife shared a video on social media.

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