Istanbul: Istanbul police arrested a controversial televangelist early Wednesday and are also seeking the arrest 235 of people suspected of links to his “gang.”
Adnan Oktar, also known as Harun Yahya, was on the police Financial Crime Division’s most wanted list, said security sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The police said Oktar was caught while preparing to flee.
Oktar’s gang has been accused of crimes including establishing a criminal organization, child sexual abuse, sexual intercourse with a minor, kidnapping, violating tax law, and violating the anti-terrorism law.
Police are seeking the suspects accused of links to Oktar across five province, with 166 arrested so far.
The Istanbul Court of Peace also ordered the confiscation of the 235 suspects’ properties, and also appointed a trustee to their companies, organizations, and associations.
Oktar owns a TV channel called A9, where he broadcast a show on religious and social issues surrounded by women he referred to as his “kittens”.
Reporting by Adem Koc and Halil Demir:Writing by Satuk Bugra Kutlugun