A Turkish sex cult leader and televangelist who preached Islamic sermons while surrounded by glamorous women who he dubbed his 'kittens' has been jailed for more than 1,000 years.
Adnan Oktar was found guilty of 10 separate charges including child sexual abuse, leading a criminal gang, rape, blackmail, fraud, political and military espionage and causing torment.
Islamic televangelist cult leader #AdnanOktar was sentenced to almost 1,100 years in prison on charges of sexual abuse of minors, as well as espionage and leading a criminal organization. #Turkey https://t.co/ByCTJwoVZc pic.twitter.com/R8wNmQInbE— Duvar English (@DuvarEnglish) January 11, 2021
The 64-year-old, who denied the charges, was handed a total of 1,075 years in prison.
The conservative Islamic preacher was known for holding theological discussions surrounded by scantily-clad and heavily made-up women on his private television channel.
The hearings have featured lurid details and harrowing sex crime allegations, with Oktar telling the presiding judge in December 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 in another hearing in October.
He added on another occasion: 'I am extraordinarily potent.'
I can never get over this guy being the premier author of Muslim creationist books for kids pic.twitter.com/LnXmwHPmMW— Bactrian ?? (@ElegantiaeArbit) January 11, 2021
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 found guilty of aiding US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt in 2016.
Thirteen of Oktar's associates were also given lengthy sentences on similar charges, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Some 236 suspects have been on trial in the case, 78 of whom are under arrest.
Oktar is expected to appeal the verdict and has maintained that he was the victim of a plot.
He was arrested in 2018 along with dozens of his followers in police raids on his properties in Istanbul and other cities as part of an investigation into his group.
The arrests came after Turkey's media watchdog imposed fines on Oktar's TV channel and suspended broadcasts of his shows where he was surrounded by women who had undergone cosmetic surgery and were known as 'kittens.'
The televangelist - who uses the pen name Harun Yahya - is also known for a series of books he has authored promoting creationism against Darwin's theory of evolution.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.