Source: Associated Press
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Thursday formally arrested a controversial Islamic televangelist and cult leader on charges that include forming a criminal gang, blackmail and sexual abuse of minors, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
At least 168 of Adnan Oktar’s followers were also formally arrested on the same charges and taken to separate prisons in Istanbul pending trial.
Oktar and his followers were rounded up last week in raids in Istanbul and other cities after prosecutors issued detention warrants for 234 people linked to his group. Dozens of weapons and ammunition, a bullet proof vest and an armored vehicle were seized during the search.
Anadolu said Oktar rejected all accusations during his questioning, insisted that he was the victim of a plot hatched by plaintiffs and requested that he be released.