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Babacan Slams Erdogan’s Silence on Accusations against Interior Minister

Babacan Slams Erdogan’s Silence on Accusations against Interior Minister

Sunday, 20 June, 2021 - 11:15
Head of the opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) Ali Babacan. (AFP)

Turkey’s opposition has slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s silence on allegations that several officials in his government, led by Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, are involved in various corruption and crime cases.

“Won’t you admit that the person you assigned to ensure the country’s internal security has a security problem? Will you remain stubborn?” asked Ali Babacan during an event organized by his Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA).

Convicted criminal gang leader Sedat Peker released a series of videos on YouTube, in which he made uncorroborated claims of corruption, murder and drug running against top politicians close to Erdogan.

Peker, 49, began releasing the videos in May after a police operation across Turkey in April targeted him and his alleged associates. He rose to prominence in the 1990s as a gangland figure and was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2007 for crimes including forming and leading a criminal gang.

Babacan also condemned the attack on the office of a pro-Kurdish party in western Turkey.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, said a gunman entered the building in Izmir province, fired shots and attempted to set the office on fire. The provincial governor’s office said one person was killed.

Turkey has become a country in which crimes are committed during the day, Babacan said, urging Erdogan to take an immediate stance against political violence.

Spokesman for the opposition Republican People’s PartyFaik Oztrak also held Erdogan’s government responsible for the attack.

In the past three years (since the implementation of the presidential system), political tension has increased, Oztrak stressed.

“The threatening rhetoric targets social peace and our freedoms. The country's crisis is getting worse,” he added.

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