Over 50 men across Turkey have come forward accusing the German-born pop star Bulut Duman of using sexual photos to blackmail them. The allegations describe how Duman contacted the men on gay hookup sites, met them for sex and then returned afterwards using photos of their encounter to extort money.
The list of complainants who filed suits in several varying provinces across the country include the nephew of a former Turkish minister. In that particular case it is alleged the pop star extorted 5000 Turkish Lira (€800) by threatening to send naked pictures to the family of his victim. In another case, when the alleged victim refused to hand over money, it is claimed Duman set up a fake Facebook account, sharing the photos with the victims co-workers, forcing him to resign from his job after his sexuality was exposed.
Another alleged victim, a police officer, stated Duman had blackmailed him to the tune of 80,000 Turkish Lira (€13,000), while yet another man attempted to take his own life by drowning in the sea but was saved by fishermen.
While the majority of the cases are ongoing, in one of them Duman has been convicted for fraud in Istanbul and sentenced to one to five months in jail, but had another acquitted. Duman is appealing the conviction, claiming it is he who is the victim of blackmail. “Most of the complainants know each other. They are the ones who blackmailed me. I am not a member of any gay dating websites,” he told the press. “The allegations against me are ugly… I have filed countersuits.”
Earlier this year, a man from Cork was charged with blackmailing users of a gay dating site in exchange for thousands of Euro. Neil Duggan also threatened to kill one extortion victim and cause damage to his property. He was arrested following a six-month investigation.
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