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Turkey Detains Cult Leader Adnan Oktar, 234 Followers in Crackdown

Turkish police detained Adnan Oktar and his 234 followers, inflicting a severe blow to the network of the cult leader who built an organization around fame, richness and beautiful women.

Authorities launched simultaneous operations against the network of Oktar, leader of a self-proclaimed messianic religious cult, early on Wednesday.

Oktar and his sympathizers face charges of child abuse, forceful detention of underage girls, extortion, blackmail and intimidation to expand the wealth and power of their network.

Oktar has drawn public criticism from religious sectors of society over his interpretation of Islam. He is mostly known for his television programs where he preached Islam amid dancing women whose low-cut dresses and unIslamic lifestyle have become a subject of great controversy.

In his initial reaction, Oktar said he was surprised by police operations, arguing that he supported President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the June 24 elections and he should not be subject of an inquiry.

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