Turkish mob boss warns of assassination hitlist, says media targeted

Turkish organised crime leader Sedat Peker said political assassinations may occur in Turkey, warning of a hitlist that included himself and members of the media.

The 49-year-old mob boss, who has made international headlines this year for his social media posts targeting past and present Turkish government officials, claimed that the list included dissenting journalists.

“There is talk of an assassination list in which I am included. Some opposition journalists are in the list since they report on my statements. Why do men who hold a gun want to kill those who hold a pen? Besides, I'm the one making these statements, not the journalists,” Peker said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told reporters in the southern Mersin province that he was concerned about possble political murders in Turkey before the next elections.

“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to increase political tension before the elections. We need to stay away from escalation as much as possible. The other parties that make up the Nation Alliance do not want tension either,” he said.

DEVA party leader Ali Babacan said that Kılıçdaroğlu's concerns were valid. IYI Party deputy chairman Koray Aydın said that he had also heard rumours about planned political murders.

Officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), criticised senior opposition politicians for saying that such killings may take place.

“No one in Turkey will be able to revive the period of unsolved murders,” AKP Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmuş said in response to Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments.

Erdoğan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun said the opposition was seeking to create a climate of fear.

Speaking during his party’s weekly group meeting in parliament on Tuesday, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said that Kılıçdaroğlu should “stop spreading fear” and “drop the allegations”.

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