Turkish daily Birgün cuts ties with journalist Erk Acarer for sharing mafia boss' messages

Daily Birgün has announced that journalist Erk Acarer will no longer write for the newspaper after he shared mafia leader Sedat Peker's revelations on his Twitter account last week, online news portal T24 reported. Acarer sparked a debate about journalism with his action last week, with some saying that he had acted as the mafia leader's “spokesman” than being a journalist.

This collage photo shows journalist Erk Acarer (L) and mafia leader Sedat Peker.

Duvar English

Daily Birgün has broken off its ties with journalist Erk Acarer, who was writing columns for the newspaper, online news portal T24 reported on Oct. 1.

The move came after Acarer last week posted mafia leader Sedat Peker's revelations on his Twitter account as Peker said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials had not allowed him to share the posts himself.

Afterwards, media ombudsman Faruk Bildirici said that Acarer had “violated the journalism ethics” by allowing Peker's messages to be shared from his Twitter account. Following Bildirici's criticism, T24 columnist Tuğçe Tatari penned an article named “Is what is done for Sedat Peker journalism or intermediation?” which created a discussion on social media.

Acarer later thanked Peker for confirming the information he shared. As for the criticism targeting him, Acarer said he welcomes them all.

Peker on the other hand targeted Bildirici in a tweet, saying: “While the Z generation will make mention of Erk Acarer's this honorable stance in the future, we will see how they will remember people like Faruk Bildirici.”

In a later tweet the same day, Peker apologized to Bildirici, saying: “I might have a bit overcome the boundaries of courtesy while criticizing.”

Though the tweets posted on Acarer's account last week, Peker had claimed that attempts were underway in Turkey to create a “narco-structure” intertwined with politics and bureaucracy.

Peker, who fled Turkey in early 2020, has so far released nine videos on YouTube that are filled with bombshell allegations against Turkish government officials.

In June, the mafia boss said that UAE officials warned him not to share videos due to high-security risks. Afterwards, Peker has continued to make his sensational claims via Twitter instead.