Turkey’s most important opposition chief, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, pressed prices with the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s workplace towards a infamous Turkish mafia boss Nov. 18 after he overtly threatened him in a letter he shared through Twitter triggering uproar. Kilicdaroglu’s lawyer stated the four-page diatribe handwritten and signed by Alaattin Cakici posed a direct menace to his consumer, who’s the chief of the pro-secular Republican Folks’s Occasion (CHP).
Within the letter, dated Nov. 17 and peppered with obscenities and threats of physical violence, Cakici accused Kilicdaroglu of treason in live performance with Kurdish militants and international powers. “Be wise,” he warned, utilizing an expression that’s generally utilized by Turkish gangsters to intimidate their victims. Cakici’s ire was sparked by Kilicdaroglu’s suggestion in a speech to the parliament the identical day that the mobster had been not too long ago free of jail because of strain on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his far-right nationalist accomplice Devlet Bahceli, whereas hundreds of prisoners of conscience proceed to rot in Turkish jails.
Cakici boasts of his shut ties to Bahceli: The nationalist chief visited Cakici when he fell unwell in jail in 2018 and met with him following his launch in April this yr beneath a controversial amnesty legislation that was pushed by his Nationalist Motion Occasion (MHP). Bahceli took to Twitter to defend Cakici towards Kilicdaroglu’s “collaborators” who he claimed had been making an attempt to smear him, saying that he and the mob chief believed in the identical trigger
His threats towards Kilicdaroglu have been greeted with silence by Erdogan and members of his ruling Justice and Improvement Occasion. Their obvious indifference flies within the face of Erdogan’s latest pledges, which have been echoed by his justice minister, for sweeping financial and judicial reforms that should restore investor confidence in Turkey’s battered economic system.
“The optimists who wished to present Erdogan the good thing about the doubt following his promise of authorized reform should now understand that this was yet one more empty promise of his,” famous Aykan Erdemir, a former CHP parliamentarian who heads the Turkey program on the Basis for Protection of Democracies, a Washington-based assume tank. “Turkish authorities proceed to prosecute reputable expressions of dissent whereas providing impunity to threats hurled by mob bosses and vigilantes. The Erdogan authorities is simply too intimately concerned with a protracted record of prison and corrupt figures to have the ability to afford even the appearance of rule of legislation and due course of,” he added in emailed feedback to Al-Monitor.
Cakici, whose rap sheet consists of working armed gangs and ordering the homicide of his ex-wife on a Turkish ski slope, has dominated Turkey’s underworld for the higher a part of 4 many years. He’s additionally related to the Grey Wolves, the ultranationalist outfit that operated because the MHP’s youth arm in road battles with leftists within the Nineteen Seventies that left hundreds lifeless. It was not too long ago banned in France for its violent assaults towards ethnic Armenians there. Cakici was jailed after the 1980 navy coup over his position within the murders of 41 leftists.
His most up-to-date spell behind bars for the homicide of his ex-wife, whose father was additionally a infamous mobster, started in 2004 when he was caught in Austria carrying a particular service passport beneath the identify of a former intelligence chief. Turkish officers have confirmed that Cakici — working beneath the code identify “Atilla” — was utilized by the state for hit jobs towards its international home enemies. These included Armenian militants who assassinated at the very least 36 Turkish diplomats between 1974 and 1991, in addition to Kurds. Whereas the state’s relations with underworld figures like Cakici are dressed up as patriotism, they’ve benefited a succession of rogue members of the safety equipment concerned within the medicine and weapons commerce. Erdogan got here to energy in 2002 vowing to eradicate the so-called deep state however has ended up in league with it, critics say.
Erdogan’s alliance with Bahceli, struck up within the wake of the failed 2016 coup, has clearly emboldened the likes of Cakici, who has taken potshots on the Turkish president as nicely.
Ryan Gingeras, writer of “Heroin, Organized Crime and the Making of Trendy Turkey” and professor of nationwide safety affairs on the Naval Postgraduate College in Monterey, stated, “I feel it’s protected to imagine Cakici does consider he can get away with threatening Kilicdaroglu due to his ties to MHP and weak point of the justice system.” In emailed feedback to Al-Monitor, he added, “One might also say it is a product of ‘movie star license.’ That is who he’s and it is exactly why he is well-known. So sure, it once more affirms that the Turkish prison justice system is choosey on the subject of who’s prosecuted for clear infractions. It demonstrates the ability of the Turkish proper and the continued relevance of right-wing toughs in up to date historical past.”
But it surely is probably not all plain crusing for Cakici. An Istanbul courtroom slapped him final month with 17 years for a catalog of crimes together with the tried homicide of a relative. An appeals courtroom can have the ultimate say on the case.