Turkey detains Islamic televangelist on fraud charges
Adnan Oktar, who also denies evolution and is regarded by critics as the leader of a cult, was detained alongside almost 80 alleged supporters on accusations of fraud, bribery and sexual assault, reports said
Turkish police yesterday detained on fraud charges a televangelist notorious for propagating conservative views while surrounded by scantily-clad women he refers to as his "kittens".
Adnan Oktar, who also denies evolution and is regarded by critics as the leader of a cult, was detained alongside almost 80 alleged supporters on accusations of fraud, bribery and sexual assault, reports said.
Oktar is a controversial figure in Turkey who gained notoriety for his programmes on the online A9 television channel and had regularly been denounced by Turkey's religious.
He presented programmes surrounded by scantily-clad and heavily made-up women — who appeared to have had plastic surgery — who he dubbed "kittens". He was taken into custody in Istanbul as part of a probe by the city's police financial crimes unit, state-run Anadolu news agency said. A total of 235 arrest warrants were issued in a major crackdown on the group.
Oktar was caught as he was trying to run away, the Istanbul public prosecutor said. In raids supported by helicopter in Istanbul and three other provinces, officers have already detained 79 people. His female companions are believed to be among those sought by police.
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