Turkish ‘sheikh’ could be jailed for 70 years for child abuse labeled as ‘divine state’
Turkish prosecutors in the Central Anatolian province of Konya have charged a self-named “sheikh” with sexual abuse of seven boys.
According to daily Habertürk, an investigation was launched early this year after an anonymous complaint was filed at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Male witnesses, who were between 15 to 17 years old at the time, testified at the Konya Chief Prosecutor’s Office and confirmed the allegation, stating they had been sexually assaulted by the man while attending his religious classes.
“He had told us we were in a divine state and my religious rank would be promoted [with the abuse]. I had been scared. I could not speak to anyone then,” a 15-year-old witness told the prosecutor.
If convicted, the man, who was unidentified could be jailed for up to 70 years.
The suspect, who pleaded not guilty, was arrested and pornographic material was found at his shop, according to local media reports.