35 rape complaints filed against Turkish televangelist Oktar
Toygun Atilla – ISTANBUL
Tarkan Yavaş (L) was described by police sources as the "right-hand man" of Adnan Oktar.
A total of 35 people have filed a complaint with authorities against the controversial televangelist Adnan Oktar, also known as Harun Yahya, saying they had been sexually abused and raped by his cult. Fifteen of these complainants have said they had been abused when they were aged from 11 to 17.
One child who was sexually abused has been alleged to have been taken to the cult by their mother. The child was 11 at the time. Authorities have initiated a legal action against the mother in question, whose name has not been disclosed.
Oktar’s “followers” willingly became members of his cult, however, if they had wanted to leave, they were allegedly “coerced” back into the group. For example, some women had their eyebrows or hair shaved and were beaten up, according to various allegations.
The investigation undertaken by police also revealed why Oktar’s female followers, dubbed “kittens,” all looked alike. Oktar allegedly chose women who had high cheekbones, slim waists, and fleshy lips, which is why he made every woman who joined his cult undergo plastic surgery.
On July 11, police detained Oktar along with 171 suspects after the Istanbul Court of Peace ordered the confiscation of 235 suspects’ properties and appointed a trustee to their companies, organizations, and associations.
The number of detentions rose to 190 late July 12, and police detained his “right-hand man,” Tarkan Yavaş, one day after he fled.
During the operations, police confiscated six truckloads of historical artifacts and antiques along with more than 400 memory sticks, 70 weapons, over 3,000 bullets, and considerable amounts of cash.
Following the arrests, many other victims have started coming forward to file complaints, officials have said.
Oktar’s group has been accused of crimes including establishing a criminal organization, child sexual abuse, rape of a minor, kidnapping, violation of tax law, and violation of anti-terrorism law.