Former Justice Minister calls on judiciary to investigate state-mafia allegations

Cemil Çiçek, former Justice Minister and current member of the presidency’s Higher Advisory Board, has called on the judiciary to investigate mafia leader Sedat Peker's claims about former Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar and his son, AKP Elazığ deputy Tolga Ağar.

This collage photo shows Sedat Peker (L) and Mehmet Ağar.

Duvar English

Cemil Çiçek, former Justice Minister and current member of the presidency’s Higher Advisory Board, has urged the Turkish judiciary to investigate the claims that have been made by mafia leader Sedat Peker concerning a deep state scheme involving the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP Tolga Ağar and his father Mehmet Ağar, who previously served as an Interior Minister.

“If even one-thousandth of them [claims] are true, this is a catastrophe and a problematic situation...Turkey has had enough experience in the past concerning such issues. The necessary lessons need to be learned and whatever is needed should be done. The relevant prosecutor or prosecutors that have watched the videos [of Peker] or read about them in the news, need to take an action and do what is necessary,” Çiçek told Deutsche Welle's Turkish service on May 12.

In a series of videos posted on YouTube, Peker accused AKP MP Tolga Ağar and Mehmet Ağar, one of the shadiest figures in Turkish politics, of various crimes, including murder and purchasing Bodrum's Yalıkavak Marina through threatening Azeri businessman Mübariz Mansimov Gurbanoğlu.

Peker alleged that both Mehmet Ağar and Tolga Ağar had played a role in the suspicious death of 21-year-old Kazakh national Yeldana Kaharman who was found dead in 2019.

Ağar, whom Peker called "the head of deep state," denied the allegations and said that the state can investigate him anytime. 

Former deputy chief of intel agency calls on parliament to form commission

Cevat Öneş, a former deputy chief in Turkey's MİT intelligence service, called on the parliament to form a commission to investigate Peker's claims. 

“The most important thing here is if there a connection of the politics with such organizational activities or not...The state's independent judiciary needs to investigate such issues for the public security and protection of individual rights, without taking orders,” Öneş told renowned journalist Murat Yetkin in a YouTube podcast on May 12.

“When we look at the incidents of 1990s such as Susurluk, we were also lacking in democracy in those years, but the parliament was able to form a commission at the time. Despite the concrete reports, no conclusion was reached,” he said, referring the 1996 Susurluk scandal which revealed that the state was working with the mafia.

HKP files criminal complaint against Ağar family

Meanwhile, the People's Liberation Party (HKP) filed a criminal complaint against Mehmet Ağar and Tolga Ağar over the suspicious death of Kazakh national Kaharman.

The HKP said that the Ağar family needs to be probed over charges of “deliberate murder,” “destroying, hiding or spoiling crime evidence” and “aiding with a crime.”

The party demanded that an international arrest warrant be issued for Peker so that he can testify to the Turkish judiciary with regards to his allegations.

HDP secretary-general Tacettin Çolak said that the prosecutors' report that Kaharman had committed suicide was inconsistent with the autopsy report.

“In October 2019, local prosecutors have closed the case; the death was made to look like a sucide,” said Çolak.