Turkish cult leader Harun Yahya sentenced to 8,658 years

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Turkish cult leader Harun Yahya
(Source: VOA Islam)

Jakarta, IO – Adnan Oktar, popularly known as Harun Yahya, was sentenced to 8,658 years in prison by the Istanbul Court, Turkey, Wednesday (16/11). The cult leader and conservative preacher received the maximum punishment for a number of violations.

Harun Yahya has been on trial after being sentenced to 1,075 years in prison in 2021. He was tried along with his 236 followers. However, the decision was overturned due to procedural issue, reported Katadata, Friday (18/11).

Based on the latest ruling, the court convicted the preacher of running a decades-old sect. He was convicted of a number of crimes including sexual harassment, extortion, money laundering and espionage. The accusations also include aiding a network led by US-based Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey accuses of fomenting a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Harun Yahya became notorious in the 1900s when he appeared before the public by delivering lectures on religious conservatism, flanked by scantily-clad women.

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Harun Yahya has been a televangelist since 2021. His broadcast was considered provocative and criticized by a number of Turkish religious leaders. His television channel was fined several times until it was shut eventually down by the police. Other than television show, Harun Yahya has also published a number of controversial books. (un)