Fourty percent of Turks consider mob boss Peker’s revelations important

Close to 40 percent of Turks consider allegations by convicted crime boss, linking government officials to organised crime, as important, but an almost equal amount remain unaware of the claims, according to a new survey by Istanbul Economics Research (IEA).

The IEA survey found that 39 percent of Turks consider mobster Sedat Peker’s allegations against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party important, Bianet news site reported on Monday.

The survey showed that 24 percent of Turks believed Peker’s claim to be true and another 15 percent considered them important, but impossible to verify. 

An almost equal number of Turks who answered the survey, 38 percent, said that they were unaware of the allegations being made by Peker. Slightly over 11 percent said they personally did not watch the videos but were aware of them through the media. 

Peker has been making shocking accusations against a number of high ranking officials within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), including Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and one of his predecessors Mehmet Agar. Since he began posting on May 2, Peker’s videos have attracted close to 50 million views on Youtube. 

The mobster, a supporter of the AKP before fleeing Turkey last year, has accused government officials of involvement in international drug trafficking, political assassinations in the 1990s, and attacks on newspapers among other offenses.

Peker's videos have not been blocked by the government, but the largely pro-state media has only focused on the response of those who are accused by Peker of wrongdoing. 

IEA's survey also included a question to gauge Turks’ views of the “deep state”, or a shadowy network of powerful figures operating independently of the state. It found that 57 percent of those asked whether a deep state exists said “yes”. Twenty three percent responded “no” and another 20 percent said they did not know. 

Asked whether a deep state should exist, 59 percent said “no”, 29 percent said “yes” and 16 percent said they did not know. 

IEA’s pollster also found that there was a correlation between belief in the existence in the deep state and trusting Peker. It found that those who did not believe the deep state should exist were more likely to believe Peker’s claims about crimes committed by government officials.
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