Turkish court reveals former justice minister linked to notorious cult leader Adnan Oktar

A Turkish court found that 49 high judiciary members, including a former justice minister and a deputy minister, had "aided or been associated with" the notorious Adnan Oktar cult.

Duvar English

Turkish court documents revealed that 49 high judiciary members, including a former justice minister, were linked to Islamic televangelist cult leader Adnan Oktar, according to the reporting of KRT TV. 

The judicial process initiated after the 2018 operation against the group referred to by the government as the "Adnan Oktar Armed Crime Organization" has came to an end.

The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office of the Court of Cassation has requested the approval of the sentences handed down by the local court in the case involving 215 defendants.

The court also examined the thousands of pages of documents seized during the operation in 2018. It determined that the members of the cult especially profiled members of the higher judiciary.

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.

The court noted that 25 members of the judiciary "aided" the cult and 22 members were "associated" with it.

While the former justice minister, whose name was mentioned in the court documents, was considered to have aided the organization, the former deputy justice minister was considered to be associated with the cult.

The court's examination of the documents emphasized that members of the cult established relationships by contacting members of the judiciary through their social media accounts, subsequently seeking to gain benefits in cases involving the organization.

The court also stated that there were judges and prosecutors who were not included in the list of 49 people. "Many prosecutors and judges who were not profiled were in contact with the organization, established dialogue with it, and were directed in line with the interests of the organization," the court underscored.

The court concluded, “Adnan Oktar Armed Criminal Organization derived its main power by manipulating judiciary.”

Oktar previously received a total of 1,075 years and three months in prison over the charges of founding and leading a criminal organization, political or military espionage and aiding U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, Ankara's top suspect for the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016. 

The 66-year-old Oktar who owned a TV channel was arrested in 2018 along with 200 collaborators, following allegations of sexual abuse and kidnapping of minors.

He was also convicted of sexual abuse of minors, holding a person against their will, torture, interruption of the right to education, recording personal data, and threatening someone.