Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar has blamed the “British deep state” over his detention in Istanbul along with dozens of his followers on July 11, with several charges ranging from sexual abuse to military espionage against him.
Oktar was asked about the charges by journalists as he was taken to Haseki State Hospital in Istanbul for medical checks following his detention at his home early morning. “This is a conspiracy by the British deep state,” he replied as he was escorted from a police car to the hospital.
Turkish police raided 120 residences and offices early July 11 to detain Oktar and 234 of his followers after criminal complaints filed by multiple plaintiffs whose ages range from 11 to 40.
According to a statement by the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Oktar “was caught while he attempted to run away” from the police.
Oktar’s deputy, Tarkan Yavaş, escaped during the police raid, according to security sources who stressed that the suspect was armed.
Some 79 suspects in the case were detained by noon July 11.
According to the detention warrant, Oktar and his followers are accused of forming a criminal organization, sexual abuse of children, sexual assault, child kidnapping, sexual harassment, blackmailing, false imprisonment, political and military espionage, fraud by exploiting religious feelings, money laundering, violation of privacy, forgery of official documents, opposition to anti-terror law, coercion, use of violence, slander, alienating citizens from mandatory military service, insulting, false incrimination, perjury, aggravated fraud, smuggling, tax evasion, bribery, torture, illegal recording of personal data, violating the law on the protection of family and women, and violating a citizen’s rights to get education and participate in politics.
Oktar hosts talk show programs on his television channel, A9, on which he discusses Islamic values, sometimes dances with young women he calls “kittens,” and sings with young men whom he calls his “lions.”
In 2006, Oktar wrote the Atlas of Creation under his pen-name Harun Yahya, arguing that Darwin’s theory of evolution is at the root of global terrorism. He has written more than 300 books, translated into 73 languages, his channel says on its website.