Turkish televangelist and alleged sex cult leader sentenced to 8,658 years in prison

New York Daily News/February 20, 2024

By Muri Assuncao

A Turkish televangelist known for hosting a TV show featuring young women whom he referred to as “kittens” was sentenced to 8,658 years in prison on Wednesday following a retrial in an Istanbul court, local media reported.

Adnan Oktar, who’s been described as a religious sex cult leader, was convicted of sexual assault and other charges.

The 66-year-old hosted his show on A9 TV, which he also owned.

He preached about conservative values and creationism in his show, which featured his “kittens” dancing to pop music.

He had originally been sentenced to 1,075 years, but that ruling was overturned. A new trial, ordered by an appeals court, resulted in the longer sentence, Al Jazeera reported, citing the Ankara-headquartered Anadolu news agency.

Ten of his associates were also sentenced to 8,658 years in prison. Several other defendants received shorter terms.

The retrial involved 215 defendants, according to the BBC.

Oktar, who also published several books under the pen name Harun Yahya, was initially arrested in 2018 after a police investigation concluded that he was running a criminal ring disguised as a heterodox Islamic cult.

During the arrest, he denied the allegations against him and said that they were “a game by the British deep state.”

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