Top Turkish judge admits meeting gang leader, denies bribes allegation

Top Turkish judge admits meeting gang leader, denies bribes allegation
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Facing mounting pressure, Kocaman broke his silence and admitted to a meeting with the notorious gang leader Ayhan Bora Kaplan

A top judge in Turkey who was accused of receiving bribes from detained criminal gang leader, Ayhan Bora Kaplan, confessed to meeting him in a restaurant but denied the allegations of accepting a villa and a luxury car as bribes.

In an interview with Halk TV’s Seyhan Avsar, judge Yüksel Kocaman from Turkish Court of Cassation, countered the claims asserted by Kaplan during a police interview where he claimed he bribed a high-ranking judicial official on the day of his wedding, later identified as Kocaman.

"I come from a wealthy family, my father owned an international trucking company, I have never had the need to involve myself in such transactions," Kocaman said as he denied allegations but he accepted that he met the gang leader. He said Kaplan had approached him to complain about what he perceived as unfair targeting by the police.

“One day we were at a dinner party and some friends of mine said, 'There is a man called Ayhan Bora Kaplan. The police are after him unjustly. He doesn't feel safe. He wants to present something to you'. We were at dinner at the time. There were other names. I said, 'Let him come.' He came. He said, 'The police are coming after me a lot. I'm not doing anything wrong. My places are constantly raided,' he said. I said to him, 'This is a state of law, if there is evidence, we do whatever we need to do. If there is no evidence, we do what we have to do.' “

Kocaman expressed his concerns regarding the ongoing investigations, hinting at a potential larger scheme targeting former Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. He expressed his disbelief over the recent police operations, stating, "I suspect that this is an orchestrated move against Süleyman Soylu. The method of this investigation has surprised me."