Turkey: TV preacher gets 1,000-year term for criminal sect

Oktar convicted in trial with 235 followers

11 January, 14:30

    Turkish Islamic preacher Adnan Oktar (C) during his arrest Turkish Islamic preacher Adnan Oktar (C) during his arrest

    ISTANBUL - A court in Istanbul has sentenced the controversial Turkish Islamic preacher Adnan Oktar to over 1,000 years in jail for creating a criminal sect. Oktar hosted very popular television shows for years.

    The author of dozens of anti-Darwinist publications under the pseudonym Harun Yahya, Oktar has been detained for over two years and was on trial with 235 followers on several charges, including criminal association, attempted espionage, fraud and sexual abuse on minors.

    In his show, which was broadcast by pirate TV A9, the 64-year-old preached a controversial interpretation of Islam, which is not recognized by local religious authorities, surrounded by scantily dressed dancers whom he called ''kittens''.

    According to the judges, who sentenced him to 1,705 years and three months in jail on 10 different charges, many of the girls on the show were reduced into a state of slavery.

    Police found weapons and armored vehicles during the operation to arrest him in his luxurious villa in Istanbul's Cengelkoy, a district where he recorded his programs. After a military coup in the 1980s in Turkey, Oktar was detained in a psychiatric hospital.

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