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From La Cosa Nostra to La Cosa Erdogan. Would be Sultan accused of being Capo de Tutti Capo de Constantinople

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ISTANBUL — Sliding in opinion polls amid a severe economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is looking unusually embattled these days. And now his administration has been hit by a roiling corruption scandal that some say has a fin de siècle aura about it.

Even as the Israeli bombing of Gaza has filled their television screens over the past week, millions of Turks have been turning to YouTube to hear the latest extraordinary claims of a convicted organized crime boss, Sedat Peker, who is living in exile. In a series of videos over two weeks, Mr. Peker, who was found guilty in 2007 of organized criminal activity and is wanted again by the Turkish police, has flung accusations of rape, drug dealing and suspicious deaths against officials close to Mr. Erdogan.

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