Far-right mobster Sedat Peker’s videos making detailed allegations of ties between the mafia and the Turkish political establishment continue to shake President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
His latest videos have raised Turkish involvement in US-led wars in the Middle East and North Africa and the AKP’s resulting conflicts with its NATO imperialist “allies.” With nearly 80 million views, Peker’s videos focus on conflicts within the Turkish state apparatus and Erdoğan’s closest circle.
Peker, who has not directly targeted Erdoğan but only his associates, recently stated he will address Erdoğan directly in his next video: “Our President, brother Tayyip, called me an international conspiracy without saying my name. When did we meet, when did we face, I will explain this in the next video. You are our big brother. We will say our goodbyes.”
He said he would issue this video after Erdoğan’s June 14 meeting with US President Joe Biden, pointing to the international nature of the campaign he is waging.
Amid a deepening economic crisis and growing social anger exacerbated by the homicidal response to the pandemic, Peker’s allegations are undermining Erdoğan and the AKP. Their impact finally forced Erdoğan, who has been silent for weeks, to issue a statement defending Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. Erdoğan described Peker’s accusations as part of an international conspiracy to overthrow his government.
Speaking at the end of May, Erdoğan declared: “We have stood with our Interior Minister [Soylu] in his fight with criminal and terrorist groups; we are and will be standing with him.” He said: “These are organized by international organizations under various names,” and added, “We bring these criminals to our country and hand them over to the court.”
After opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Tuesday that “The third partner of the People’s Alliance [between AKP and its far-right ally, Nationalist Movement Party, MHP] is the mafia,” Erdoğan attacked the opposition parties, claiming that they are relying upon Peker’s “slanders.”
In a May 25 TV appearance, Soylu said: “I am not the subject, the target is Turkey. Their allegations and slanders are completely empty, but they are targeting the state.” He linked this alleged operation to conflicts between Ankara’s interests and US wars in the Middle East.
He said: “Today, there is an attempt to establish a state in northern Syria. US bases in Syria increased from 6 to 14 in 2020 and 2021. There is also an economic attack against Turkey. [They want to see] Turkey fall into the position of countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. 17-25 December [ corruption scandal ], 6-7 October [ Kobane protests in Turkey], and [the NATO-backed coup attempt on] 15 July [in 2016] … In all these, Turkey is subjected to an operation.”
Peker released a video last Saturday on a Facetime conversation with Serdar Ekşi, the husband of Erdoğan’s niece, discussing arms deliveries to Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias in Syria. During a friendly video call, Ekşi said he met with “Pelikanists” and asked Peker not to make any further statements on this group. The “Pelikanists” are described as a faction within the AKP, including Erdoğan’s son-in-law and former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.
In his eighth video, Peker discussed alleged Turkish arms deliveries to Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda branch in Syria backed by the NATO powers and Gulf monarchies.