From suspected drug trafficking to assassinations to the transfer of weapons to Islamic militants, Sedat Peker, the mafia boss in Turkey, has become a YouTube phenomenon with his videos threatening the power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Peker, 49, who once openly supported Erdogan’s party, has released nearly 90-minute-long videos from his base in Dubai, laying out strong accusations against politicians in Turkey, mostly those in Erdogan’s party.
Weekly videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 75 million times, sparking unrest, raising concerns over the Turkish state’s corruption and putting officials under protection.
The videos have also exposed alleged divisions between rival factions within the ruling party and added to Erdogan’s problems, which also have to deal with Covid-19 problems and the economic crisis.
Dressed in a vest or shirt showing a medallion, Peker mocks his opponents from behind a neatly arranged table, rosary and books, promising to knock them down with just a “tripod and a camera.” .
His initial videos targeted former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar and his son, Tolga, a lawmaker of the ruling party, whom he accused of raping a Kazakh student and later covering up her murder as a suicide. .
Mehmet Agar, Peker points out, appropriated a luxury navy that could have been used in drug trafficking operations.
Subsequent videos brought charges against business people and media figures close to the government, as well as the son of former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, claiming he was involved in drug smuggling from Venezuela.
But the target of Peker’s strongest and most ridiculous attacks is Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, whom he accuses of abuse of power and corruption while accusing him of aiming to become Turkey’s president.
Peker justifies everything by saying that Soylu betrayed him despite the help of the crime leader to defeat a rival faction within the ruling party.
Everyone involved has denied Peker’s allegations.
In an explosive allegation of international proportions, the mafia chief said a former Erdogan security adviser accused of leading a paramilitary force had sent weapons to al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria.
Erdogan ignored Peker’s videos for weeks, but broke his silence on May 26, when he dismissed previous claims by the mafia leader as a conspiracy against Turkey.
“We will ruin these games, these plots. No one should doubt that we will ruin this improper operation. “We are pursuing members of criminal gangs around the world for them to flee. We will not leave these criminals alone until we bring them back to our country and bring them to justice,” Erdogan said.
Peker responded to Erdogan that week and suggested the Turkish strongman could be at the center of future videos. He later said he would speak to Erdogan after his meeting with US President Joe Biden on June 14 so as not to “weaken his hand”.
Opposition parties, meanwhile, have been accused of seeking the resignation of implicated figures and launching parliamentary and judicial investigations. Recall that, the Turkish authorities have issued a new order for the arrest of Peker.