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Nationalist opposition leader claims Turkish police chiefs own prostitution-linked hotels

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Meral Akşener, leader of the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party, has claimed that some Turkish police chiefs own hotels where prostitution is forced on orphaned girls, local media reported on Monday.

Akşener made the claim during her party’s consultation meeting in İstanbul on Nov. 18.

“As a former interior minister, I am closely monitoring [the issue.] … Because we stand against these things, because we do not turn a blind eye to them, they are waging psychological warfare on the İYİ Party. … Who will be the stronger one? We will all see it together,” she said.

Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç responded to Akşener’s allegations on Monday, stating that they are extremely serious and emphasizing the need for them to be reported to the judicial authorities without delay.

On the same day, İYİ spokesperson Kürşad Zorlu announced in a statement to the press that the party chair had shared the relevant information and details with Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, conveying the party’s appreciation to the minister for his determination to resolve the matter.

Following Akşener’s statement, lawyer Dilek Ekmekçi criticized her on Nov. 19, claiming that she has been single-handedly combating this criminal organization for three years, contending with numerous criminal complaints and death threats.

Ekmekçi herself is an orphan who was a victim. She became a lawyer to expose the network, which she claims is run by high-ranking bureaucrats and has existed since at least the 1980s.

Ekmekçi said Akşener should first explain why she allowed Yüksel Arslan to stand for election as an MP on the İYİ ticket despite allegations that he had been helping people from this alleged criminal organization.

Following the developments, a thread shared by the lawmaker on X, formerly known as Twitter, in September 2020 came to the agenda again.

Ekmekçi had claimed that girls in orphanages were blackmailed with videos after being sexually abused and forced into sex work. She said the criminal organization also uses these forced sex workers to blackmail politicians and state officials.

The names of various police chiefs, public officials and executives of nationalist associations were mentioned in Ekmekçi’s tweets, which included the criminal complaints filed against the alleged organization.

Among those mentioned by the lawyer as suspects are former police chief and intelligence officer Koray Ö.; his brother Mevlüt Ö.; and Ali H., former president of the Ottoman Hearths – a radical youth group that supports President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – in Beypazarı and the central districts of Ankara, as well as a former local executive of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Beypazarı and Serkan T., a former executive member of the AKP Mamak district organization in Ankara.

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