Two-year prison sentence sought for Duvar columnist over speech on mafia-politics ties

Gazete Duvar columnist Bahadır Özgür is facing a lawsuit over his speech on mafia-politics ties at a book fair. The authorities have sought up to two years in jail for Özgür over allegedly “insulting” the state, the parliament, the government and judicial bodies.

Duvar English

A Mudanya court has opened a lawsuit against Gazete Duvar columnist Bahadır Özgür over his speech on mafia-politics ties.

Accordingly, Mudanya Public Prosecutor's Office first launched an investigation into Özgür for his speech he made at the book fair in Bursa’s Mudanya district. In the speech, Özgür talked about his co-authored book “Workers' Party of Turkey Research Report on Sedat Peker's Confessions, Disclosures and Allegations.”

The book includes extensive research on the drug trade from Susurluk to today's drug trade, Sezgin Baran Korkmaz's case, Ayhan Bora Kaplan's rise as a criminal organization leader and mafia-politics relations, as well as fugitive mafia boss Sedat Peker.

In his speech, Özgür talked about the relationship between mafia, politics and the state, and why the cases opened in this line could not be finalized.

The prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into Özgür based on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code over allegedly “insutling the State of the Republic of Turkey, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the judicial bodies.”

Mudanya 1st Criminal Court of First Instance accepted the indictment, opening the lawsuit. 

Sedat Peker, who fled Turkey in early 2020, currently lives in the United Arab Emirates. The 52-year-old mobster began posting videos and tweets making a series of scandalous claims against political figures, mainly from the government, including allegations of murder, rape, corruption and drug trafficking.

In June 2021, the mafia boss said that UAE officials warned him not to share videos due to high-security risks. He has been silent since 2022.