TV preacher Adnan Oktar was also the leader of a brutal sex cult.
The Turkish televangelist was jailed for a string of shocking crimes.
Who is Adnan Oktar?
Oktar, 64, built up a devoted band of brainwashed followers over decades, while living a life of luxury surrounded by glamorous women he called his “kittens” while his young male followers were his “lions”.
He was eventually found guilty in an Istanbul court of ten separate charges including leading a criminal gang, sexual abuse of minors, sexual abuse and engaging in political or military espionage.
During his trial, along with 235 other defendants, harrowing testimonies were heard from victims of sexual abuse and Oktar also claimed he had around 1,000 girlfriends, according to The Telegraph.
“There is an overflowing of love in my heart for women. Love is a human quality. It is a quality of a Muslim,” he reportedly said, before adding on another occasion: “I am extraordinarily potent.”
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One woman – named only as CC to protect her identity – claimed she had been sexually assaulted by Oktar, among other women.
She claimed the women would be raped and then forced to take contraceptive pills.
Another former member made more shocking claims in court, according to Daily Sabah – reportedly saying some members would take part in a so called “turnike” (or turnstile) system, where new women entering the group had to have sex with men in the organisation.
The news outlet quotes the former member as saying in court: “They had a scoreboard, and members would be elected ‘champion’ of the week, day or month based on the number of women they had sexual intercourse with.
“Those with less number of rapes were accused of being gay.”
Oktar first rose to prominence in the 1990s, while leading the Science Research Foundation (or, in Turkish, Bilim Araştırma Vakfı or BAV).
It focused on scientific activities “that target mass awareness concerning what the real underlying causes of social and political conflicts are”.
In 2007 Oktar, under the pen name Harun Yahya, published Atlas of Creation, which purported to scientifically debunk Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
However, it was his A9 television channel which he began broadcasting in 2011 which really made him a well-known name around the world.
Where is Adnan Oktar now?
Oktar is currently serving his sentence although it is not clear in which prison he is being held.
The lengthy sentence he was given by the Istanbul court means it is highly unlikely he will be freed, so dying in jail.
Ebru Simsek, a former member of Oktar’s organisation who claimed she was subjected to abuse, told Turkish media that she was happy that justice had been done.
How long will Adnan Oktar spend in prison?
Oktar was sentenced in January 2021 to 1,075 years behind bars.
Edip Yuksel, a religious scholar and activist who was a colleague of Oktar’s in the 80s, said his imprisonment was well deserved after decades of crimes in his “crazy cult”.
“He’s an evil person who destroyed many lives of very bright young men with great potential,” he told Middle East Eye.
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