Turkish televangelist sentenced to more than 1,000 years over sex crimes

10:19 PM | 12 Jan, 2021
Turkish televangelist sentenced to more than 1,000 years over sex crimes
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ANKARA – A preacher in Turkey has been sentenced to 1,075 years in prison for multiple crimes including sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, fraud and attempted political and military espionage.

Adnan Oktar, who preached creationism and conservative Muslim values while women in revealing outfits danced around him, told the judge that he had nearly 1000 girlfriends whom he called ‘kittens.’

The entirety of his trail was very public and harrowing accounts of sexual crimes were brought up against him. “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 a separate occasion, “I am extraordinarily potent.”

The 64-year-old was detained in 2018 along with more than 200 other suspects as part of a crackdown on his group by the financial crimes unit of the Istanbul police.

His online A9 television channel began broadcasting in 2011, drawing denunciations from Turkey’s religious leaders. The channel, which was often fined by Turkey’s media watchdog RTUK, was seized by the state and shut down in the wake of the police crackdown on Oktar’s group.

The court also sentenced two executives in Oktar’s organisation, Tarkan Yavas and Oktar Babuna, to 211 and 186 years, respectively.

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One of his victims told the court that Oktar had repeatedly sexually abused her and other women. She said some of the women he had raped were forced to take contraceptive pills. 69,000 contraception pills were found in his home which he claimed were used to treat skin disorders and menstrual irregularities.

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