A Turkish court on Monday sentenced Islamic television preacher and author Adnan Oktar to more than 1,000 years in prison for offences, including the creation and actions of a criminal group, theft and sexual assault, state media reported.
Earlier, Oktar ran his own A9 television channel on which he presented Islamic values talk shows. On occasion, he was seen dancing with young women he called “kittens” and young men he called his “lions”.
In July 2018, Istanbul police arrested Oktar and he was held in detention during the trial, along with 77 others. As part of a crackdown on his group by the Istanbul Police Financial Crimes Unit, the 64-year-old preacher was arrested in June 2018.
The state-owned Anadolu news agency announced that Oktar and 13 other high-ranking members of his party were sentenced to a total of 9,803 years and six months in prison. On 10 counts, Oktar himself was sentenced to a total of 1,075 years and three months in court. The sentences are going to run consecutively.
With 236 prisoners, most of whom pleaded not guilty and sought acquittal, the court proceeded to hand down sentences for the trial, Anadolu said. The charges against him were refuted by Adnan Oktar and he requested his release, Anadolu published earlier.
Oktar told 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.”
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More on Oktar
In the 1990s, when he was the head of a sect that was swept up in several sex scandals, Oktar first came to media prominence. In 2011, his online A9 TV channel started broadcasting, attracting denunciations from the religious figures of Turkey.
One of the victims at his trial, known only as CC, told the court that she and other women had repeatedly been sexually assaulted by Oktar. Some of the women he had raped, CC told the court, were forced to take contraceptive pills. Oktar said they were used to treat skin conditions and menstrual problems when asked about 69,000 contraception pills found in his home by the police.
He also denied any link to a party headed by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused in 2016 by the Turkish authorities of orchestrating a coup attempt.
Oktar is a creationist who, under the pen-name, Harun Yahya, opposes the Darwinian theory of evolution and has written a 770-page book called “The Atlas of Creation”.
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