A Turkish religious cult leader, Adnan Oktar, who often preached conservative views while women he called his ‘kittens’ danced around him on his television shows, has been sentenced to a total of 1,075 years in prison for committing sex crimes with his female followers.
A court in Istanbul slammed Oktar with the sentence on Monday, January 11, for 10 separate crimes, including sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, fraud and attempted political and military espionage, according to Turkey-based Anadolu news agency.
The 64-year-old Oktar who is the head of a religious cult that is considered a criminal organization by prosecutors, was arreated with dozens of his followers in simultaneous nationwide raids in 2018.
Some 236 suspects have been on trial in the case, 78 of whom are under arrest, with the hearings revealing lurid details and harrowing sex crime allegations.
During the trial, Oktar reportedly told the presiding judge that he had close to 1,000 girlfriends and they were all very happy with him.
“There is an overflowing of love in my heart for women. Love is a human quality. It is a quality of a Muslim. I am extraordinarily potent,” he said in another hearing.
According to the news agency, Oktar first came to public attention in the 1990s when he was the leader of a sect that was caught up in multiple sex scandals.
His online A9 television channel began broadcasting in 2011, drawing denunciations from Turkey’s religious leaders.
One of the women at his trial identified only as CC, told the court that Oktar had repeatedly sexually abused her and other women.
Some of the women he had raped were forced to take contraceptive pills, CC told the court.
Asked about 69,000 contraception pills found in his home by the police, Oktar said they were used to treat skin disorders and menstrual irregularities.
He also dismissed any link to a group led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish authorities accuse of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016.
The agency described Oktar as a creationist who rejects the Darwinian theory of evolution and has written a 770-page book called “The Atlas of Creation” under the pen name, Harun Yahya.