Sedat Peker, a mob moss on the run from the Turkish mafia and political leaders, has the country on the edge of its seat with every accusation he makes about his former ‘partners’ at the top of political and economic power in Turkey.
Speaking from Dubai on his YouTube channel, each of his videos gets millions of views. In his eighth video, Peker painted a detailed picture of the alleged co-operation between Turkish officials and al-Nusra. He claimed that Turkey sent weapons to al-Nusra in Syria through SADAT, a controversial company formed by Erdoğan’s former adviser, often dubbed “Erdoğan’s parallel army”.
Investigative journalist Fehim Taştekin told MA that SADAT only plays a “small part” of Turkey’s illegal businesses of trading arms and people to Syria.
“The SADAT company he mentioned is only a part of this process. For instance, in 2014, when Turkey’s MIT [National Intelligence Agency] trucks were caught, we saw how large the real extent of this process is”, he said.
Can Dündar, the exiled Turkish journalist and the former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily was on trial over the newspaper’s May 2015 coverage of allegations that Turkey sent weapons to insurgents in Syria on trucks operated by the MIT. The journalist was given a prison sentence of 27 years and 6 months at the final hearing of his retrial in the ‘MIT trucks case’.
Taştekin’s conclusions are that Sedat Peker’s allegations reflect the truth, but only “a small part of the whole picture”.
“What Sedat Peker reveals now is only a small revelation of his role. But this is only a small part of Turkey’s role in the Syrian war. In order to see the whole picture, we should go back further,” he said. According to Taştekin, Turkey has been weaponising jihadist mercenaries in Syria for a considerable time.
“Since the summer of 2011, there has been a process of weaponising. We know that weapons and militans were transferred through illegal ways,” he said.
He noted the tone of Peker when he talks about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Peker sees Erdoğan as his “last ticket back to the country”, according to Taştekin.
“He talks as if all these things happened out of Erdoğan’s control, as if organised by some other people around Erdoğan,” he said.
“However,” he added, “in all these processes, it is impossible even for a single leaf to stir without the involvement or the approval of Erdoğan.”
Taştekin believes Erdoğan may try to handle the crisis by turning the direction more towards his party’s partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and distracting the attention from himself for a while, but this does not alter the fact that Erdoğan is in “a very weak position right now,” he said.
“If things evolve further, and if Erdoğan does not back some people up,” he added, “then these people will eventually draw forth their files against Erdoğan. I believe that they have many tape recordings and information and documents of their own.
“The political power has acted like a crime ring. Everybody has too many documents and they will use them. Erdoğan still has a strong hand, of course, yet his room for manoeuvre gets narrower, in many ways both inside and outside.”