ISTANBUL: A journalist for Turkey's state news agency Anadolu was fired Friday after raising embarrassing accusations by a mafia boss against the powerful interior minister at a government press conference.
Turkey has been gripped for the past three weeks by videos posted on YouTube by Sedat Peker, an underworld mobster exiled abroad, in which he accuses members of the government and the ruling AKP party of corruption and various crimes.
In one video, Peker notably accuses Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu of offering him protection and tipping him off about an impending investigation against him last year, allowing him to flee Turkey before being arrested.
Soylu, one of the most powerful figures in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, has been under pressure from the opposition to resign but has rejected Peker's allegations.
Anadolu reporter Musab Turan asked Industry Minister Mustafa Varank and Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli to respond to the allegations at a press conference on Friday.
To the stunned reaction of the two ministers, Turan asked if the government had a plan for responding to the scandal, suggesting that Soylu's name had become "associated with grave moral faults" and describing this as a source of "shame".