Turkish cult leader Adnan Oktar awarded jail over 1,000 years

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Istanbul

A Turkish court has sentenced the leader of an evangelical sex cult to one thousand years in prison for a litany of sexual offences and fraud.
Adnan Oktar, who promoted creationism on his conservative Islamic TV channel, was known for surrounding himself with scantily dressed women whom he called his “kittens” before his arrest in 2018.
He was detained with around 200 other suspects by Istanbul police and on Monday was jailed for 1,075 years for crimes including sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, fraud and attempted political and military espionage.
The 64-year-old was also found guilty of backing a group led by the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey says was behind an attempted military coup in 2016.
The court sentenced two executives in Oktar’s organisation, Tarkan Yavas and Oktar Babuna, to 211 and 186 years, respectively.
During the trial, which heard harrowing testimonies from victims of sexual abuse, Oktar denied being associated with Mr Gulen and also insisted he was not the head of a “sex cult”.
At a hearing in September, Mr Oktar told a judge he had around 1,000 “girlfriends” which he attributed to his “overflowing of love in my heart for women.—AP

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