Claims of organized crime boss rock Turkish government

Devlet Bahceli, head of MHP, one of the right-wing nationalist groups allied with Erdogan, denied any connection to the Mafia in comments on Tuesday.

Mr Peker is not the only one with filthy allegations against the government. Political opponents of Mr. Erdogan, sensing his growing vulnerability, have sought to denounce allegations of corruption or abuse of power at every turn.

But Mr Peker, with up to four million viewers tuning in to his rambling hour-long videos, is by far the sharpest and most damaging.

Among the unproven charges he dismissed were the illegal seizure of a marina by a government insider and its subsequent use for drug trafficking; the death of a woman who filed a sexual assault complaint against a well-placed AKP lawmaker; and even crimes he said he himself committed at the behest of senior officials, such as inciting an assault on a former AKP lawmaker, threatening university academics who signed a petition for peace and assistance to Mr. Soylu, the Minister of the Interior, in his rivalry against Mr. Albayrak, the son-in-law of Mr. Erdogan.

Many of the allegations were directed against the former Home Secretary, Mr Agar, and his son, who both dismissed the allegations as baseless. Police said the woman who filed a sexual assault complaint died in suicide.

In an interview with Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Fikri Saglar, a former lawmaker, said: “We can call this the second Susurluk incident.” Mr Saglar was a member of the parliamentary committee that investigated the 1990s scandal.

“It may be more serious,” he added. “Susurluk was like the foundation for revealing politician-mafia-state relations, now traces of what this establishment did are being revealed.

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