Police launch operation to detain cult leader Adnan Oktar, 234 cult members

  11 July 2018    Read: 1712
Police launch operation to detain cult leader Adnan Oktar, 234 cult members

Istanbul police launched an operation early Wednesday to detain cult leader Adnan Oktar along with 234 suspects tied to his cult.

The cult faces accusations ranging from child abuse, sexual assault, abduction, exploitation of religious beliefs, blackmailing, and political and military espionage.

Oktar and his cult previously faced similar accusations in the past.

A Turkish man living in Austria had accused Oktar for brainwashing his daughters to submission. Elvan Koçak, who divorced his wife years ago for her devotion to Oktar, told a Turkish TV station that his two teenage daughters were brainwashed by Oktar.

The cult leader was charged with blackmailing and was arrested in September 1999, but the charges were dismissed after a two-year-long trial.


Oktar surrounds himself with young women and good-looking men during his programs where he delves into everything from evolution theory to the "British deep state" on his A9 TV. He affectionately calls the young women on his show "kittens." His critics claim that he brainwashes young women and men from wealthy families into joining his cult, a claim he had repeatedly denied.

Oktar, 62, who is primarily known for a series of books he wrote under the pseudonym "Harun Yahya," first made headlines in the 1980s when he was arrested for promoting theocracy.

After a court found him mentally ill, he spent 10 months in a mental hospital and, after his release, he kept a relatively low profile. He established a foundation in 1995 and started publishing books on creationism. He became a household name after he launched a TV station in 2011 where his bizarre TV shows made him a favorite topic of internet memes and stirred up controversy. Bordering on obscenity where scantily-clad dancers perform in between Oktar's speeches peppered with religious references, his shows often receive complaints at the country's TV watchdog.

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