Adnan Oktar aka Harun Yahya has been arrested


But he’s such a holy man!

The guy who authored that genuinely bizarre creationist text, The Atlas of Creation, and who ran a weird television program featuring heavily made-up “kittens” robotically endorsing young earth creationism, seems to have fallen spectacularly in a bust by the Turkish government. Singing the praises of the Turkish dictator, Erdogan, doesn’t seem to have helped him.

Notorious Muslim televangelist Adnan Oktar, known for leading a cultish group, was arrested by Turkish police in Istanbul on Friday over a number of serious charges, including forming a criminal organisation, sexual abuse of children and sexual assault.

Police said they are conducting a widescale operation led by the financial services department spanning five Turkish provinces. Authorities are looking to detain 235 of Oktar’s followers, and police said they had detained around 150 so far.

It’s clearly not just the arrest of a single man, but a huge crackdown on the entire cult. I have no sympathy for Oktar and his perversity and foolish ideas, but I also don’t much care for tyrannies and totalitarian police states. He’s a crook and a fraud — fine, arrest him for financial improprieties. He’s running a sex cult — pick him up for human trafficking and assault. I’m not too keen on arresting him for violating religious purity.

Following the court ruling, the head of Turkey’s directorate of religious affairs, Ali Erbas, criticised his TV show.

“There are certain religious references [on his TV show] and he makes belly dancers dance. Is such a thing possible? He has most likely lost his mental balance. He now says he is a freemason but he was punished previously for his remarks about freemasonry,” Erbas said.

“He was also jailed for insulting [founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kamal] Ataturk in the 1980s and 1990s, But now he speaks of himself as the greatest Kemalist. He’s a corrupted person.

“It is not right to watch a TV channel like his,” Erbas added.

You know, it’s not as if they lacked sufficient grounds to charge him on serious crimes without arresting him for featuring belly dancers.

Other charges Oktar faces are sexual intercourse with minors, kidnapping children, sexual harassment, blackmailing, holding people captive, menace, political and military espionage, fraud by exploiting religious feelings and beliefs, money laundering, violation of privacy, forgery of official documents, opposition to anti-terror law, coercion, slander, alienating citizens from mandatory military service, insulting, false incrimination, perjury, aggravated fraud, opposition to law against smuggling, opposition to tax regulation law, bribery, preventing one’s right to education and civil rights, torture, illegal recording of personal data, and violating the law on the protection of family and women.

Wow. Wouldn’t want to be him. I think we can now say that the biggest organization in Islamic creationism has been thoroughly crushed.

Comments

  1. blf says

    The BBC is reporting the round-up is led by the financial police, a significant quantity of weapons were found, and its all the fault of the British intelligence / deep state, Adnan Oktar: Turkish TV preacher arrested on fraud and abuse charges (BBC edits in {curly braces}):

    […]
    Turkey’s financial crimes police were behind the morning raids on Mr Oktar and his followers. They were arrested on suspicion of a litany of charges, including running a criminal organisation, tax offences, sexual abuse, and counter-terrorism laws.

    […]

    State-run news agency Andalou said he was on the financial crimes unit “most wanted” list — and had been caught while getting ready to flee.

    More than 50 guns were seized during the series of raids, along with ammunition, Andalou said.

    […]

    Before being led away, he told journalists that the allegations made against him were lies and a game by the British deep state, a topic he has frequently spoken about in the past.

    He told Cumhuriyet newspaper that the operation was requested by the British intelligence.

    The British intelligence has long wanted an operation to be launched on us. A delegation was sent to Turkey in this regard. This request was conveyed to {President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan} during his visit to the UK, he said.

    […]

    He also once created an entire website dedicated to criticising the BBC, which he said generally acts in line with emotions aroused by the fact that Darwin was British.

    […]

    Hürriyet Daily News, whose reliability is unknown to me, claims that in some of the raids, the police were shot at, Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar’s ‘right-hand man’ nabbed:

    […]
    Police were fired upon when they raided an address as part of simultaneous operations in four provinces, security officials carrying out the investigation told state-run Anadolu Agency […].

    During the operations, police confiscated six truckloads of historical artifacts and antiques along with more than 400 memory sticks, 70 weapons, more than 3,000 bullets and considerable amounts of cash.

    […]

    Al Jazeera reports armoured vehicles were also seized, Turkey arrests televangelist Adnan Oktar on multiple charges:

    Controversial televangelist Adnan Oktar and some of his followers face charges ranging from sexual assault to espionage.

    [… S]ecurity forces seized an arms cache, body armours and armoured vehicles at the televangelist’s residence. Oktar was caught as he was trying to run away […]

    […]

    Oktar’s controversial views extend to evolution, which he argued was at the root of global violence.

    […]

    A certain amount of caution needs to be applied to all these reports, since they are relying, directly or indirectly, on the state-run Andalou agency.

      ─────────────────────────

    And what is it with reliable news sites omitting diacritics / accents ? E.g., it’s Erdoğan, not Erdogan. France24 is notorious for doing this (even to French names !), and Al Jazeera seems to be catching the disease. So has the BCC — I corrected, unmarked, Erdoğan’s name in the BBC’s own edit in the above BBC excerpt. </rant>

  2. cartomancer says

    It’s like that interview between Piers Morgan and Alex Jones on gun control. You feel dirty for agreeing with either of them.

  3. zetopan says

    “I think we can now say that the biggest organization in Islamic creationism has been thoroughly crushed.”
    There’s a saying about counting chickens and unhatched eggs… As far as what his crime penalty would be, that depends on his accumulated wealth, which is considerable. Given Erdogan as the
    Turkish tyrant ruler and Oktar’s wealth, I will be unsurprised if Oktar walks away from his arrest.

  4. wzrd1 says

    @zetopan, while substantively correct, you should have a care. You’ve potentially violated Turkey’s infamous Artlce 301, which is taken quite seriously in Turkey.
    Article 301 prohibits “Insulting Turkishness”, with a recently reduced prison sentence of two years. Previously, it was three.
    I’m sure that Yahya will manage to get charged with violating 301 as well, just give him time…

    That said, I’ve long argued that Article 301 violates itself by its very existence and application.
    Still, from his remarks, Drumpf honestly wishes that lèse-majesté was a felony in the US…

  5. KG says

    Still, from his remarks, Drumpf honestly wishes that lèse-majesté was a felony in the US

    Well technically, the USA doesn’t have a majesté to lèse at present. But given Trump’s propensity (despite or because of his enormous but fragile ego) to be over-impressed by unaccountable leaders who are personally more robust psychologically than he is (Putin, Xi, Kim…), I wouldn’t be altogether surprised if he invites Elizabeth Windsor to resume British rule over the American colonies during his current visit!

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Ugh… the only thing he needs to complete the look is a large, gaudy gold chain around his neck.

  7. xmp999 says

    To his credit though, it looks like he managed to develop some sort of cloning technology…

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    xmp999

    I think Oktar uses the same Nazi fugitive geneticists who created Ann Coulter, Tomi Lahren, and Kelly Ann Conway.

  9. zetopan says

    I though that those same geneticists created all of the Faux News (sic) female “reporters”. They not only look alike they appear to have the same identical defective brain (perhaps shared among the many).

  10. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @PZ:

    “It is not right to watch a TV channel like his,” Erbas added.

    You know, it’s not as if they lacked sufficient grounds to charge him on serious crimes without arresting him for featuring belly dancers.

    Before you dismiss the idea of arresting people for watching a condemnable TV show, you might think about where the US might be if we’d rounded up a few hundred thousand mid-westerners who were fans of The Apprentice…

  11. says

    @zetopan
    I think it’s similar to how different puppets of the same ventriloquist have similar vocal characteristics.

  12. says

    Turkey has been down this path with him before but he was too well connected. Lets hope this time they have rounded up his connections as well.

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