Most Turks believe the Mafia enjoys protection - opinion poll

More than half of Turks believe the Mafia is protected and watched over, according to a survey by Ankara-based Metropoll.

Sixty-one percent of respondents thought the Mafia enjoyed protection while 23 percent rejected the idea, Metropoll chairman Özer Sencar said on Sunday citing the results of the May survey of 1,719 people in 28 of Turkey’s 81 provinces. The margin of error for the poll was 2.36 percentage points.

Fitty seven percent of people believe the Mafia has grown in prevalence in recent years.

Discussion of secretive relations between the underworld and Turkish officials has intensified over the past month after fugitive mafia kingpin Sedat Peker published several videos on YouTube alleging dirty dealings with the state.

Just over 48 percent of Turks think Peker’s claims are either believable or mostly believable, while about 41 percent either did not believe him or thought few of his claims were true, Metropoll said.