Turkey's main opposition calls for investigative commission over mobster’s Soylu claims

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Sunday called for the formation of an parliamentary commission to investigate criminal accusations against Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu by exiled mob boss Sedat Peker.

The severity of the claims levelled at Soylu necessitates a parliamentary commission, CHP group deputy chairman Özgür Özel said on Twitter, adding that such allegations cannot be overlooked in a democracy.

The Turkish interior minister has been among the primary targets of the 49-year-old mafia leader, whose accusations against past and current government officials, linking them to organised crime, have taken Turkey by storm. Turkish officials have strongly denied the claims

“You cannot maintain your power in democracies by playing the three monkeys,’’ Özel said, in an apparent reference to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Peker, who was known as a staunch loyalist of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has accused Soylu of turning a blind eye to drug trafficking, helping the mobster evade arrest and dropping charges against several people with ties to the movement of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, a religious group that Ankara designates as a terrorist organisation. 

In his latest video published on Sunday, the organised crime leader again targeted Soylu, saying the official had tipped off a Turkish businessman about an investigation on him, advising him to leave the country.

Last month, A Turkish court issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, a Turkish businessman with links to Utah-based business executives, who have pleaded guilty to a $511 million tax credit scheme in the United States, A Haber reported.

Peker’s claims are creating a “regime crisis,’’ Özel said, which cannot be escaped without an investigation.