Cult Leader Adnan Oktar Sentenced To Thousands Of Years In Turkey

He was among the 236 de­fendants on trial since Sep­tember 2019 and had faced a diverse array of charges, from espionage to sexu­al abuse.

A prison term to­taling 1,075 years was han­ded down to Oktar in the trial where 78 people, inclu­ding the cult leader, were in detention. The 64-year-old Oktar and dozens of his fol­lowers were arrested in si­multaneous nationwide ra­ids in 2018.

A 499-page indi­ctment portrays him and ot­hers as a criminal gang th­riving on blackmail, extorti­on, money laundering and a string of other crimes.

Among more serious charges are attempting po­litical and military espiona­ge, torture, abduction, ille­gal wiretapping, fraud, thre­ats, attempted murder and forgery, as well as sexual abuse.

The court gave Ok­tar a total of 1,075 years and three months in prison over the charges of founding and leading a criminal organiza­tion, political or military es­pionage, aiding the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), sexu­al abuse of minors, sexual abuse, deprivation of liberty of a person, torture, distur­bance of right to educati­on, recording personal data and making threats.

Prosecutors say the gang he led had been involved in a recruitment scheme sin­ce the late 1990s and this in­volved brainwashing young women. “The organization used its good-looking mem­bers to deceive young gir­ls and women. Those mem­bers raped or sexually abu­sed women and were black­mailed first by members pretending that their affa­irs were recorded on video. They were also brainwas­hed under the pretext of re­ligious teachings,” prosecu­tors say in the indictment.

In the 2000s, he became a household name after he founded A9 TV and spora­dically appeared on hours­long talk shows where he delivered his opinions on world views, occasionally breaking into bizarre dance routines with his followers.