Turkish police arrest citizen for insulting mafia boss

Turkish police have arrested a man in the western Ayın province for insulting organised crime leader Alaattin Çakıcı, Turkish news agency Gazete Red reported on Saturday.

The citizen, whose name was revealed to be Hakim Ekeli, was arrested by police in the Kuşadası district of Aydın on charges of “inciting enmity and hatred,’’ it said.

Turkish outlet Gercek Gundem reported that Ekeli was sent to Söke Prison over the alleged crime of a message targeting Çakıcı posted on social media, saying “I challenge you.” 

Çakıcı has been in Turkey’s headlines since issuing a threatening letter to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu earlier this month. On Nov. 17, Kılıçdaroğu lambasted Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for “releasing mafia leader and drug smugglers” while imprisoning “prisoners of conscience.” 

The mobster warned Kılıçdaroğlu to “be sensible” following the speech, prompting condemnation from even members of the ruling AKP party.  

Çakıcı was arrested in 2004 on numerous charges including murder, but he was released in April as part of an amnesty bill to reduce prison populations during COVID-19. His release was long sought by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, whose party considers Çakıcı a hero for targeting members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in extrajudicial killings.

Ekeli’s brother said that prior to the arrest, members of the “Idealist Hearths” (Türk Ocakları) in Kuşadası threatened the family for speaking against Çakıcı. 

Idealist Heart is another name for the ultrantionalist youth group known better as the Grey Wolves. Bahçeli, the MHP leader and whose party is close to the Grey Wolves, described the mobster as a Grey Wolf and a comrade when defending him from attacks.

In his Facebook post, Ekeli’s brother blasted the Turkish justice system for arresting his sibling for insulting a mobster. 

“While there should be justice for all, we are faced with a personalised justice system. May God bless us as a nation!”