Turkish ‘sex cult’ leader jailed for 8,500 years for child abuse and rape


A Turkish sex cult leader and televangelist who preached Islamic sermons while surrounded by scantily-clad young women has been jailed for more than 8,500 years in prison for child abuse, rape and fraud following a retrial.

Adnan Oktar, 66, is known for holding theological discussions while surrounded by glamorous women who he dubbed his ‘kittens’.

He was sentenced last year to 1,075 years in prison after being found guilty of ten separate charges including child sexual abuse, leading a criminal gang, rape, blackmail, fraud, political and military espionage and causing torment.

This ruling was overturned earlier this year by an upper court. 

But following a retrial, the high court in Istanbul yesterday sentenced Oktar to 8,656 years in prison – an eightfold increase to his previous sentence.

Adnan Oktar, 66, is known for holding theological discussions while surrounded by glamorous women who he dubbed as his ‘kittens’

Oktar was arrested in 2018 along with dozens of his followers in police raids on his properties in Istanbul and other cities as part of an investigation into his group

Oktar was arrested in 2018 along with dozens of his followers in police raids on his properties in Istanbul and other cities as part of an investigation into his group

The court held Oktar responsible for the crimes committed by his disciples as he was the head of the cult. Ten others were also sentenced to lengthy prison sentences. 

Oktar, who had pleaded not guilty, welcomed the final ruling, saying it is ‘God’s will’. 

‘We have full confidence in our state,’ Oktar said, reports Hurriyet newspaper. ‘We are happy with the decision. God made the decision. There are good days in our lives. 

‘Islam will dominate the world. Turkey will also be a beautiful country. May the decision be beneficial.’

A number of women who have since left the cult told his trial that they were subjected to sexual slavery. One woman testified that Oktar had sexually assaulted her and forced the women to take contraceptive pills. 

But following a retrial, the high court in Istanbul yesterday sentenced Oktar to 8,656 years in prison - an eightfold increase to his previous sentence

But following a retrial, the high court in Istanbul yesterday sentenced Oktar to 8,656 years in prison – an eightfold increase to his previous sentence

In January last year, Oktar had been sentenced for more than 1,000 years and the initial trial featured lurid details and harrowing sex crime allegations, with Oktar telling the presiding judge in December that he had close to 1,000 girlfriends.

‘There is an overflowing of love in my heart for women. Love is a human quality. It is a quality of a Muslim,’ he said in another hearing in October.

He added on another occasion: ‘I am extraordinarily potent.’

Oktar first came to public attention in the 1990s when he was the leader of a sect that was caught up in multiple sex scandals.

Oktar presented programmes surrounded by scantily-clad and heavily made-up women - who appeared to have had plastic surgery - who he dubbed 'kittens'

Oktar presented programmes surrounded by scantily-clad and heavily made-up women – who appeared to have had plastic surgery – who he dubbed ‘kittens’

Oktar first came to public attention in the 1990s when he was the leader of a sect that was caught up in multiple sex scandals.

Oktar first came to public attention in the 1990s when he was the leader of a sect that was caught up in multiple sex scandals.

His online A9 television channel began broadcasting in 2011, drawing denunciations from Turkey's religious leaders

His online A9 television channel began broadcasting in 2011, drawing denunciations from Turkey’s religious leaders 

His online A9 television channel began broadcasting in 2011, drawing denunciations from Turkey’s religious leaders.

One of the women at his trial, identified only as CC, told the court that Oktar had repeatedly sexually abused her and other women.

Some of the women he had raped were forced to take contraceptive pills, CC told the court.

Asked about 69,000 contraception pills found in his home by the police, Oktar said they were used to treat skin disorders and menstrual irregularities.

Oktar was arrested in 2018 along with dozens of his followers in police raids on his properties in Istanbul and other cities as part of an investigation into his group. 

The arrests came after Turkey’s media watchdog imposed fines on Oktar’s TV channel and suspended broadcasts of his shows where he was surrounded by women who had undergone cosmetic surgery and were known as ‘kittens.’

The televangelist – who uses the pen name Harun Yahya – is also known for a series of books he has authored promoting creationism against Darwin’s theory of evolution.  

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