Turkish preacher sentenced to over thousand years in jail for sex crimes

A Turkish court has sentenced a televangelist to more than 1,000 years in jail for sexual abuse, leading a criminal gang and fraud. 

64-year-old Adnan Oktar was taken into custody in 2018 along with 200 other suspects as part of a crackdown on his group by the financial crimes unit of Istanbul police. 

Oktar previously ran his own private TV channel where he preached Islamic values while young women he called “kittens” would dance around him. 

Oktar has been sentenced to 1,075 years for crimes including sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, fraud and attempted political and military espionage, reported the Dawn. 

The court has also sentenced two executives in Oktar’s organisation, Tarkan Yavas and Oktar Babuna, to 211 and 186 years respectively. 

The official Anadolu news agency reported that Oktar was additionally found guilty of aiding a group led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen that Turkey blames for staging a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Oktar has denied claims of being related to Gulen and has called charges of leading a sex cult “an urban myth”.