A recent court order banning access to a YouTube account broadcasting shocking allegations about Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was based on a request by former finance minister Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, local media reported on Monday.
The İstanbul Anatolian 3rd Criminal Court of Peace on April 19 blocked access to the “Delilerin Delisi” (the craziest of the crazy) YouTube channel of Muhammed Yakut, a Kurdish businessman from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır who has been making revelations about AKP figures’ alleged links to shady businesses, black money and mafia schemes as well as the murky background of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Turkish media reports said, citing Free Web Turkey, a platform monitoring and fighting online censorship in Turkey, that the recent ban on Yakut’s channel was based on a request by Albayrak.
İktidara yakın isimler hakkında iddialarda bulunan Muhammed Yakut'un “Delilerin Delisi” isimli YouTube kanalı, kanaldaki altı video ve bazı tweet’ler Berat Albayrak’ın talebi üzerine İstanbul Anadolu 3. Sulh Ceza Hakimliğinin 19 Nisan tarihli kararıyla erişime engellendi. pic.twitter.com/khquVaPnin
— Free Web Turkey (@FreeWebTurkey) April 23, 2023
Albayrak’s request came after Yakut documented with evidence in a video that a group of individuals including Albayrak and Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan failed to pay $38 million of the price for a company they had acquired for $55 million, according to local media reports. Yakut claims that the previous owners have sued the group for non-payment of the purchase price.
Yakut also recently claimed that the “deep state” had been responsible for the death of prominent Turkish politician Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, founding chairman of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), who was killed with five of his entourage when a helicopter carrying them crashed in southern Turkey in 2009.
The deep state was alleged to be a group of anti-democratic coalitions within the Turkish political system, including high-level figures from the Turkish military, security agencies, judiciary and mafia.
Although little is known at present about Yakut, who is currently abroad, some people liken him to mob boss Sedat Peker, who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates. Peker vowed to expose the government’s dirty laundry two months before May 14 parliamentary and presidential elections; however, he has been unable to make good on his promise because he has been forbidden from broadcasting exposés on the internet.
Yakut previously said that the coup attempt in 2016 was staged and that President Erdoğan and members of his government all knew about it in advance.
He said Erdoğan and the AKP government as well as then-chief of general staff and current defense minister Hulusi Akar were responsible for the death of 251 people on the night of the coup.
People challenging the AKP narrative on the failed coup or investigating its background are frequently targeted through judicial action or bans.
According to the AKP, it was staged by the faith-based Gülen movement, a claim strongly denied by the movement.
Many believe the abortive putsch was a false flag aimed at entrenching the authoritarian rule of President Erdoğan by rooting out dissidents and eliminating powerful actors such as the military in his desire for absolute power.