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Turkish mobster claims AKP supporters secretly armed after putsch

The latest bombshell by fugitive Turkish crime boss Sedat Peker has stoked calls for an investigation.
Aftermath of 2016 coup attempt in Ankara

Fugitive Turkish crime boss Sedat Peker has dropped a new bombshell in his tell-all vendetta against Ankara, claiming that weapons were secretly distributed to members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after the failed coup attempt in July 2016. The allegations have stoked fears in some quarters about how far the country’s rulers might go to retain their grip on power amid growing signs that their popular support is sagging.

In a series of tweets last week, Peker — a convicted gangster who enjoyed some favor with certain AKP members but was apparently cast out as a result of power struggles in government ranks — accused Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu of “coordinating” the distribution of weapons, not registered in the state inventory, to pro-government groups in the wake of the putsch, when he was still labor minister. The mobster described in ample detail how a crate of AK-47 rifles was allegedly taken from Esenyurt, an outlying Istanbul district, to the neighborhood of Balat in the ancient heart of the city in August 2016. He named the pair in the vehicle as Abdulsebur Soganli, head of the AKP youth branch in Esenyurt, and Ahmet Onay, an Interior Ministry employee. The weapons, he said, were handed over to Osman Tomakin, who today is the chair of the AKP’s youth branches in Istanbul. Onay confirmed he was in the car that night, but said he stayed in the vehicle and was not aware what cargo was handed over to Tomakin.

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