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Prosecutor seeks 14 years for mob boss due to allegations about interior minister

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A Turkish prosecutor has filed an indictment that seeks a 14-year, seven-month sentence for notorious mob boss Sedat Peker due to his scandalous allegations about Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, a Turkish journalist has said.

Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups and once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, left Turkey following the publication of a report related to arms trafficking to Syria that was allegedly carried out under the guise of humanitarian aid.

The mob boss, who lives in exile in the UAE and sent shockwaves across the country in the summer of 2021 through scandalous revelations he made on social media about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating former and current state officials and their family members, has recently become active on social media again, continuing to make similar claims after being silent for a long time out of concerns for his safety.

Journalist İsmail Saymaz on Friday said in his column on the Halk TV news website that a 57-page indictment drafted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office 14 months after Peker started making revelations in May 2021 was based on Soylu’s accusations that the mafia leader had insulted, threatened and slandered him in 231 tweets and nine YouTube videos.

Saymaz said that although the minister had filed a complaint against Peker on May 17, 2021, the petition was initially rejected by the Beykoz Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and the İstanbul Anadolu Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and was finally accepted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which drafted an indictment based on it 14 months later.

The Ankara 11th Criminal Court of First Instance on July 28 accepted the indictment, which seeks 14 years, seven months in prison for Peker on charges of the consecutive commission of the crimes of “insult,” “issuing threats” and “slander,” the journalist said, adding that the first hearing of the trial would be held on Jan. 17.

Soylu and his shadowy relations with the mafia have been a hot topic in the Turkish media ever since the mob boss started making scandalous claims regarding the minister, who became Peker’s main target primarily because he ordered a police raid on the gangster’s house in April 2021 when his wife and three children were home alone and because he called Peker “a dirty mafia leader” in a tweet.

The mafia leader has formerly claimed that it was connections to his family that had helped Soylu rise through the ranks of the right-wing True Path Party (DYP) before he joined the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2012 at the invitation of then-prime minister and current president Erdoğan. He also claimed that Soylu helped him avoid police prosecution by notifying him that an investigation was being prepared against him, before he fled Turkey in early 2020. The mob boss further said Soylu previously told people that he and Erdoğan “liked” Peker.

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