A convicted gang leader and former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan released a recording last week of a phone call with Erdoğan’s right-hand man asking him to postpone the release of explosive YouTube videos until after an Erdoğan meeting with US President Joe Biden during the NATO summit in 2021. The gang leader had previously mentioned this conversation, saying he had agreed to the request.
Notorious mob boss Sedat Peker, who shook Turkey with his YouTube videos, particularly about dark events in recent history and the period he worked for Erdoğan, is once again in the public eye with his tweets.
In May 2021 Peker announced in a YouTube video viewed over 10 million times that he would post a video about Erdoğan, whom he called “Brother Tayyip,” and that he would reveal his relationship with him as well as the actions he took on Erdoğan’s orders. However, he surprisingly failed to post it. As a reason for this, Peker said pro-government journalists were spreading propaganda that he would weaken Erdoğan’s hand prior to the meeting with Biden, promising to share the video after the NATO summit. However, he has not yet released it, more than a year after the announcement. Residing in Dubai, Peker said United Arab Emirates authorities had banned the broadcasting of videos and restricted his social media posts.
Peker later disclosed through a journalist close to him that politician Metin Külünk, Erdoğan’s right-hand man, called him and asked for the postponement until after the Biden meeting. He also said Külünk told him he had to act responsibly since he had been “working for the state for 30 years,” something that Peker often claims.
Last week, violating the social media ban imposed on him, Peker released some parts of this phone conversation on an anonymous Twitter account he admits to using. It can be seen from the phone screen that Külünk called Peker on his son-in-law’s phone. Külünk claims in the recording that Biden and Western capitals are attacking Erdoğan. As can be understood from Peker’s responses in the phone call, which appears to have lasted at least 40 minutes, Külünk also says the CIA was working to put Erdogan in a difficult position. Peker replies that the injustices he claims were done to him and his family have nothing to do with the CIA or Biden.
The phone recording also includes mention of former lawmaker Feyzi İşbaşaran, who was beaten at the entrance to a courthouse in İstanbul in 2014 by an associate of Peker who was also a lawyer on Külünk’s orders. Peker wants Külünk to convey a message to the elder brother of Erdoğan’s son-in-law and former minister Berat Albayrak, Serhat Albayrak, who is tasked with managing pro-government media outlets. Peker brings to mind what he did to Başaran, who was accused of insulting Erdoğan’s family, claiming that the media Serhat ran did not approach his family with respect. Peker repeatedly said the reason for releasing the videos was that the police raided his villa in İstanbul and violated the privacy of his wife and daughter. However many believe that Peker, who fell from grace as a result of a power struggle in Turkey, feels betrayed and is using his family as a pretext for revenge.
Peker had previously stated that he regularly gave large amounts of money to Külünk.
Nordic Monitor previously published documents that show Külünk was a suspect in the Islamist terrorist group the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders Front (İslami Büyük Doğu Akıncıları Cephesi, İBDA/C or IBDA-C).
Former lawmaker Külünk, an old friend of Erdoğan, was responsible for organizing the Turks in Germany to support Erdoğan. Külünk also helped establish the Union of International Democrats (UID, formerly UETD), an organization that functions as a foreign interest group in Europe on behalf of the ruling party in Turkey. In 2017 Külünk’s close relations with an organized crime gang known as Osmanen Germania (Ottomans from Germany) were exposed and an indictment was filed against him in Germany. According to news stories in the German media, Külünk was reporting illegal activities to Erdoğan in phone conversations that were wiretapped by German police. In an alleged phone conversation between Külünk and a gang member, Külünk wanted Erdoğan opponents to be filmed as they were beaten and to use the footage to scare the opponents.
It is not known what will be included in the Erdoğan video, which Peker still says will be released when the time is right. Social media users claim that Peker talks about known past events or targets Erdoğan’s rivals. However, many think that even the information that Peker has disclosed so far is enough to overthrow any government anywhere.
In the videos he has released up until now, Peker claimed that the family of former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, who owns a fleet of ships, is involved in the drug trade, and that Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu directs the drug traffic by managing mafia groups. He also spoke of murders involving state officials and corrupt bureaucrats, elaborating on how the Erdoğan government sent weapons to jihadist organizations in Syria.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) last week imposed a fine on two TV stations for airing Peker’s remarks about Minster Soylu.