Court of Cassation upholds 8,658-year prison sentence for Islamic televangelist cult leader

Turkey’s Court of Cassation upheld 8,658-year prison sentence given to Islamic televangelist cult leader Adnan Oktar who involved in sexual assult, deprivation of liberty, torture and many more crimes.

Duvar English

Court of Cassation, Turkey’s highest appeal court, on July 10 upheld the 8,658-year prison sentence delivered to notorious cult leader Adnan Oktar.

In November 2023, a local court sentenced Oktar to 8,658 years in prison over the charges of "leadership of a terrorist organization," "sexual abuse," "holding a person against their will," "torture," "interruption of the right to education," and "recording personal data,” along with other members of the cult.

Court of Cassation First Criminal Chamber upheld the prison sentence given to Oktar and the other sentences issued under the "Adnan Oktar Armed Criminal Organization."

Court case on cult’s current organization continues 

At the same day, another court case continued regarding the "cult’s current structure" formed by the organization through lawyers and social media groups “to keep its members active and recruit new ones to replace those who had been exposed.”

Oktar who held in Van Prison and four women defendants were connected to the hearing via audio and video communication system.

Arrested women began to "praise" Oktar before the hearing when they see him, as they used to do in television broadcasts.

In his broadcasts on "Islamic values" when he had a TV channel, Oktar forced women, whom he held captive in his compound, to “praise” him with bizarre statements.

What happened?

The 68-year-old cult leader was arrested in 2018 along with 200 collaborators, following allegations of sexual abuse and kidnapping of minors.

Before his arrest, Oktar ran his own television channel, A9, where he hosted talk shows on so-called Islamic values. On occasion, he was broadcast dancing with young women whom he called his “kittens” and singing with young men, his “lions.”

In January 2024, Turkish court documents revealed that 49 high judiciary members, including a former justice minister, were linked to Oktar’s cult.

A former justice minister, a deputy justice ministers, heads and members of Court of Cassation departments, heads and members of courts of appeal, a former chief prosecutor, along with active judges and prosecutors were among the 49 people contacted by the members of the cult who either “associated” with the cult or “aided” to it.