Court Sentences a Popular Preacher to 8,658 Years Imprisonment in Turkey

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Court Sentences a Popular Preacher to 8,658 Years Imprisonment in Turkey

A court in Istanbul, Turkey, has sentenced an Islamic televangelist to 8,658 years in prison according to reports by Turkish local media.

Adnan Oktar was a Muslim cleric who host popular television programs. His messages focused on conservative values and creationism (mostly preaching against the theory of evolution). 

The Muslim preacher's lifestyle was however considered controversial by many for surrounding himself with some women he called "Kittens", who wore secular clothes and makeup, unlike the usual hijab Muslim women would wear.

Adnan, 66, was arrested in January 2021 and convicted of 10 counts charges, including, fraud, leading a criminal gang, sexual assault, rape, blackmail, causing torment, sexual abuse of minors, and attempted military espionage.

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The politically related charges resulted from his alleged link with exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government accused of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016 which killed 251 people and injured more than 2,000. The lower court in its ruling sentenced Adnan to 1075 years in prison.

Adnan's case became a bigger woe after a higher court ordered a retrial (involving 215 other defendants) with additional charges including deprivation of someone's liberty. The Istanbul High Criminal Court in its verdict increased his punishment to 8,658 years in prison.

Ten of the other defendants were also given 8,658 years in prison while other defendants were handed shorter terms. Besides the 8,658 years sentences, his television channel has also been shut down.

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