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Turkey under attack, says interior minister

Claims voiced by a ringleader who is now based abroad are part of an ongoing operation against Turkey and its rise in the region, the interior minister has said, maintaining that he became the subject of such an attack because of his success in the fight against terrorism and organized crime.

“There is an economic attack against Turkey. They want Turkey’s economy to shrink and lose its capability to maneuver. I am not the subject. Turkey is the subject of an operation,” Interior MinisterSüleyman Soylu said in a televised interview late May 24.

Soylu responded to the questions about claims made by Sedat Peker, a notorious gang leader who is believed to be residing in the United Arab Emirates.

“All these claims and slanders by an organized crime convict are nonsense,” Soylu said, accusing him of being the speaker of foreign powers attacking Turkey.

“Turkey is in Libya, Syria, eastern Mediterranean and Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey has prevented the establishment of a terror state in northern Syria. We have almost cleared Turkey of the terrorists,” he said.

Criticizing the opposition leaders for taking Peker’s claims into account and using them for political reasons, Soylu said: “They know my past. I will give up my life if they accuse me of having a relationship with the mafia or of conducting illegal affairs.”

Soylu said that the reason he was attacked was the fact that he carried out a very successful campaign against terrorism and organized crime during his mandate as the interior minister. “I had to act against this person as I realized that there was a dirty plan put on the stage,” he added.

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