KEY POINTS

  • Adnan Oktar was arrested in 2018, following accusations of sexual abuse and kidnapping
  • His 200 collaborators, including women, were also arrested
  • Oktar now faces more than 1,000 years in jail for a total of 10 crimes

A Turkish court has sentenced controversial televangelist and cult leader Adnan Oktar to 1,075 years in jail for 10 separate crimes, including sexually abusing minors and founding a criminal gang.

Oktar, 64, was arrested in 2018 after being accused of sexually abusing and kidnapping minors, reported TRT News. His 200 collaborators, including women, were also nabbed.

Charges against him include founding and leading a criminal organization, political or military espionage, sexual abuse of minors, sexual abuse, deprivation of liberty of the person, torture, disturbance of right to education, recording personal data and threats, the report said. 

Oktar, also known by his pen-name Harun Yahya, has written books against Darwin's theory of evolution and conspiracy theories. Before his arrest, he preached creationism and conservative values through his A9 TV channel. In his shows, he could be seen surrounded by women he called "kittens." Clad in revealing outfits, the women danced around him.

Oktar has also been convicted for aiding a group led by U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed coup attempt in 2016. Oktar denied the charges and called the suggestions that he led a sex cult as an "urban myth."

During the trial, the court heard the lurid details of his sex crimes. One of the women told the court how she and other women were repeatedly abused by Oktar. Besides raping them, Oktar also forced them to take contraceptive pills. According to the woman, who was identified as CC, said she joined the cult when she was 17. 

As many as 69,000 contraceptive pills were found in his home during a raid, which Oktar claimed were used to treat skin disorders and menstrual irregularities.

He also told the court that he had close to 1,000 girlfriends. "There is an overflowing of love in my heart for women. Love is a human quality. It is a quality of a Muslim," he said, claiming to be "extraordinarily potent."

Two other defendants face lengthy jail terms. Tarkan Yavas has been given a 211-year prison sentence for being an executive member of the organization. Charges against him include sexual abuse of a minor, sexual abuse, misstatement of property and committing perjury in an official document. Meanwhile, Oktar Babuna, another defendant, has been given 186 years in jail.

 Adnan Oktar Turkish police officers escort televangelist and leader of a sect, Adnan Oktar (C) on July 11, 2018, in Istanbul, as he is arrested on fraud charges. Photo: AFP/Getty Images