Notorious Turkish mafia boss Sedat Peker’s lawyer has said Peker is ready to reveal the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s “dirty laundry” before elections in May provided that the Turkish opposition convinces the UAE to lift his digital isolation, local media reported on Thursday.
Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups and once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, left Turkey in early 2020 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, sent shockwaves across the country in the summer of 2021 through scandalous revelations on social media about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating former and current state officials and their family members.
Peker, who was silent for a long time out of concern for his safety and has been forbidden from broadcasting exposés on the internet, recently became active again on social media, making shocking claims about pro-government figures. He went silent again after saying in early August that he was saving some of his crucial revelations about political figures in Turkey and would make them two months before Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections in 2023 so that the electorate would still remember them when they cast their votes.
In an interview with the Diken news website on Thursday, Peker’s lawyer, Ersan Barkın, said the mob boss was “ready to keep his promise” but thinks Turkish opposition parties should get the UAE to end his digital isolation so that he can make the revelations.
Barkın said Peker believes the opposition parties, which give the impression that they could be in power in Turkey after the May elections, would change his legal status if they create a consensus to that end.
The lawyer added that the UAE would definitely take into consideration such a call from the Turkish opposition since it was a government that “really complies with legal standards.”
When asked whether Peker would still risk everything and make the revelations about the AKP government if the opposition fails to take action, the lawyer said he wouldn’t since what Peker was experiencing today was similar to a house arrest and that he would be arrested half an hour later if he did.
Regarding the possibility that he doesn’t make the revelations himself but shares his information with others that could, Barkın said Peker had tried this before with journalists and saw that it didn’t have as much of an effect as it would if he were the one doing it.
Barkın was also asked whether Peker’s possible revelations would affect the results of the elections in May.
He said Peker’s influence on voters can be observed in the results of many surveys that show that the time when the AKP’s alliance with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lost power corresponds to the period when Peker’s videos were published in 2021 and the period when it regained some strength coincides with the times when his revelations decreased.
Journalist Seyhan Avşar said in December, citing people in Peker’s close circle, that he would release the videos he had promised “even if he dies.”
Turkish media reported earlier in December that Peker told people in his close circle that Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s visit to the UAE around that time was for the purpose of requesting his extradition.
Peker previously 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.