Over the past couple of weeks, Sedat Peker, a well-known convicted mafia leader, has been releasing videos on YouTube about relations between the state and the mafia in Turkey. In his latest video, published on 30May, he claimed that Turkey sent weapons to al-Nusra in Syria through SADAT, a Turkish paramilitary group which was formed by Erdoğan’s former advisor.
Peker is giving a detailed picture of the alleged cooperation between Turkish officials and al-Nusra and his videos have been viewed millions of times on YouTube.
Sedat Peker said that, on his behalf, SADAT sent weapons to al-Nusra and all trade in Syria is under the control of Metin Kıratlı, the Directorate of the Presidency Administrative Affairs.
‘Mr Erdogan, I am not a traitor’
In Peker’s previous video, he accused the Turkish Minister of Interior of turning a blind eye to criminal activities, murders, rapes, drug trafficking, and other illicit practices. Speaking at the AKP Group Meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a statement regarding the mention of Soylu in Sedat Peker’s videos after support for Soylu came from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.
Erdoğan stated that he is behind Soylu. “We will fight against them,” said Erdoğan, adding that they will capture Peker and bring him back to Turkey.
Referring to Erdoğan’s defense of Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Peker responded to it in his latest video, “Mr President Tayyip said there is an international conspiracy against Turkey and that I am the centre of this conspiracy. He talked about it without mentioning my name. ‘We will bring him to Turkey,’ he said. The state can find me and bring me to Turkey. We have no doubt here. Will finding me change the facts? I want to ask this.”
Paker continued: “If I am part of the international conspiracy, then I will tell about it in the next video in front of you, sitting as Tayyip’s brother. I am not a traitor. You know that best. I was there when you had no power, none of them had any power. We did not expect applause, I was not in the foreground. I did whatever I could. We’ll talk in the next video.”
‘Weapons were not sent to Turkmens’
Peker also touched on the military ammunition that belongs to the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and was sent to the paramilitary groups in Syria on 1 January 2014 from the Kırıkhan district of Hatay and on 19 January 2014, from the Ceyhan district of Adana.
Peker said that sending aid to the Bayirbucak Turkmens in Syria would lift the society’s spirits and that he talked to a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy on the issue. They accepted this, he said. “Then they came and said let’s give additional trucks, [let them go] with your trucks. Our trucks go as ‘Sedat Peker aid convoy’. We also give pictures to the press. We ship all equipment. But other tools go for me. We were thinking that they were also going to Turkmens elsewhere. We knew they were carrying weapons, we’re not kids. That was appropriate. Later it came out that those were sent to al-Nusra and SADAT was sending them in my name. Not MIT nor the Turkish Armed forces, but SADAT,” he said.
SADAT is widely claimed to be Erdoğan’s parallel army and describes itself on its website in the following terms:
“SADAT Defense is the first and the only company in Turkey, that internationally provides consultancy and military training services at the international defense and interior security sector and was founded, under the presidency of Brigadier General (Retired) Adnan TANRIVERDI in 2012.”
However, SADAT is often accused of training jihadists, especially in Syria and Libya.
Peker later started talking about the illegal oil trade with Syria. “Let’s open Pandora’s first box,” he said.
“But I’m not talking about such a two or three small truck business. These are big: illegal crude oil, tea, sugar, aluminum, copper, second-hand vehicles. They are worth billions of dollars. One has to ask Metin Kıratlı, the Directorate of the Presidency Administrative Affairs, for those trades.”
Peker claimed: “After you get approval from Kiratli, there is the MIT group, Murat Sancak, Ramazan Öztürk, the whole hierarchy is there. After their approval, Abu Abdurrahman also uses the name Abu Shayma, an al-Nusra militant responsible for the finances. This is how trade is done.”