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HomeWorldTurkish 'cult leader' Adnan Oktar jailed for 8,658 years, women accused him...

Turkish ‘cult leader’ Adnan Oktar jailed for 8,658 years, women accused him of sex slavery

Oktar achieved international recognition for a show which featured a mix of religious discussions alongside women dancing to modern pop.

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New Delhi: Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar has been sentenced to jail for 8,658 years in a retrial for an array of charges against the “cult leader”, who led a television show surrounded by scantily clad women he referred to as “kittens”.

The 66-year-old, who also went by the name Harun Yahya, was jailed last year too, on a range of crimes including sexual abuse of minors, fraud and attempted espionage.

Oktar was sentenced at that time to 1,075 years, but an upper court overturned the ruling citing legal shortcomings and ordered a retrial.

It was during this retrial Wednesday, when Istanbul’s High Criminal Court sentenced Oktar — along with 13 associates — to 8,658 years in prison, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Oktar became an international name for the talk show he hosted on his own A9 TV channel, which often featured a mix of religious discussions alongside women dancing to modern pop music.

Several women, who left his company, also accused Oktar of subjecting them to sexual slavery.

According to a report by London-based online news website, Middle East Eye, a woman previously testified at one of his trials that Oktar had sexually assaulted her and other women and had even forced them to take contraceptives.

The report also mentions that about 69,000 contraceptive pills were found at Oktar’s home.

A former member of Oktar’s organisation, Ebru Simsek, who was a model, told Turkish daily Posta that she faced the repercussions of leaving his group.

Simsek said she was subjected to more than 300 defamation lawsuits from Oktar, who she said was “obsessed” with her after seeing her in a beauty contest on TV in 1994.

8658 years, ‘longest’ prison term

Oktar’s prison term is among the longest in the country, the highest being 9,803 years and six months slapped earlier.

Oktar got 891 years individually for a series of crimes that included directing a terrorist organisation, sexual abuse, preventing the right to education, tormenting, depriving a person of liberty and recording personal data, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Oktar, who was in a managerial position, was also held responsible for the crimes of other defendants. So, in total, the recent sentence sums Oktar’s sentence to 8658 years.

Also read: Viral clip of man distributing alcohol not from poll-bound Gujarat


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