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Turkey: Senior member of ruling party resigns after allegations from mobster Peker

Korkmaz Karaca said the 'immoral troll lynching campaign on social media' was damaging his health and family life
Korkmaz Karaca has denied Sedat Peker's allegations that he sought to elicit bribes (Korkmaz Karaca website)

Korkmaz Karaca, a senior member of Turkey's ruling party, resigned on Wednesday following a wave of corruption claims directed at him on social media by a Turkish crime ringleader.

Karaca is a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the ruling party headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He is also a Presidential Economic Policy Board member.

In 2021, mobster and convicted felon Sedat Peker levelled several allegations of corruption against some Turkish officials on his YouTube channel and Twitter account, blaming Erdogan's top team members for everything from graft to drug smuggling and even murder. He claimed that Turkish officials allegedly dealt with the underworld and that he has plenty of evidence stored on his devices to prove it.

Peker is believed to be hiding out in the United Arab Emirates, and Turkish authorities confiscated his lavish property in Istanbul last week. His YouTube channel has more than one million followers, while millions of viewers watch his tumultuous videos.

'Immoral' campaign

Last week, the 51-year-old mobster accused a string of Turkish officials of seeking bribes from companies trading on the stock exchange, including Karaca. 

Karaca said on Twitter that the "ongoing immoral troll lynching campaign on social media" was damaging his health and ruining his family life.

"This lynching, which has reached my beautiful daughter and wife, has become a threat to my health again. For these reasons, I am resigning from my post," he said late on Tuesday.

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Karaca denied Peker's allegations and argued that he never met the people mentioned by the crime boss.

In June, the UAE government asked Peker to stop posting from an alternate Twitter account, after officials had ordered him to stop broadcasting videos in 2021.

The mobster, with his short silvery hair and a thick chain and pendant, has openly admitted to being a crime boss.

Another Erdogan adviser accused by Peker resigned last Sunday. 

The resignations come in the run-up to the general election next June, in which the AKP is seeking re-election as the governing party.

This week, Turkey's main opposition party called for an official investigation into Peker's latest claims.

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