A series of video confessions by Sedat Peker, a convicted Turkish mob boss who is currently on the run from the Turkish state, has sparked a debate on the collaboration of the Turkish state with the mafia.
Peker recently alleged that he helped cover up a “murder” committed by an MP of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Tolga Ağar, on behalf of his father, Mehmet Ağar, former interior minister, who is infamous for a set of murders and is remembered for his relations with the “deep state”.
Musa Piroğlu, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Istanbul, spoke to MA regarding the Peker’s revelations and described the claims as the “re-exposure of the state-mafia relationship”.
Recalling the Susurluk scandal that exposed state-mafia relations in Turkey in the 1990s, Piroğlu said, “Susurluk was proof that the dirty war waged by Turkey was financed by drugs. Ağar is the main actor of Susurluk. The narco-economy, which emerged in Susurluk, is unveiled now. Billions of dollars he talks about. Peker’s statements are very important for exposing how the dirty war has been financed.”
The AKP has always been involved with organised crime, according to Piroğlu. “Sedat Peker is just someone who made these crimes visible,” he said. “AKP works like a mafia-state and this was so since they came into power.”
He continued: “Human and drug trafficking are done through municipalities. There are cocaine smugglers, rapists and murderers involved within the AKP. It has become a criminal organisation.”
The HDP MP said that the timing of the mafia leader Peker’s statements is not coincidental and might signal conflict among the power elites in Turkey. “Peker’s allegations, coming out now, are about conflicts between ruling factions. Just as a power bloc was dissolved in Susurluk and another bloc was transferred to its place, now one of the factions may be replaced in this conflict between the rulers,” he said.
“If we cannot evaluate the conditions in order to break this chain,” he warned, “one link breaks, and another comes into play. Then again, this revolving wheel only crushes the labour of poor people.”