Turkish court blocks tweets of Mafia leader Peker

A Turkish court has blocked access to six tweets published by Turkish mafia leader Sedat Peker about the chief judge of the Ankara Regional Administrative Court, citing a violation of personal rights, Internet freedom watchdog EngelliWeb said on Tuesday.

Peker accused judge Esat Toklu of using his position to enrich himself, staying at an ultra-luxury hotel owned by fugitive businessman Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, and driving expensive cars “thanks to rich FETÖists”, a name used by Turkey to denote the followers of Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen.

The Turkish authorities accuse Gülen of orchestrating attempts to overthrow the government, including a failed military coup in July 2016. More than 125,000 public servants were sacked and some 4,500 members of the judiciary were dismissed or imprisoned in an ensuing crackdown on his clandestine network.

The banning of the six tweets is the first restriction Turkey has imposed on Peker on social media since he began releasing hour-long tell-all videos on YouTube in early May. The nine videos were accessible to internet users in Turkey on Wednesday.

Peker said on Monday that he will release a video on June 13 providing information about Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s former finance minister and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law. He said he will also expand on previous accusations against media mogul Yıldırım Demirören and talk about the activities of pro-government journalist Cem Küçük.

The mafia leader also planned to release a video focusing on Erdoğan. Last week, he said he was postponing its release until after a scheduled meeting between Erdoğan and U.S. President Joe Biden at a NATO summit in Brussels starting on June 14.