Adnan Oktar (pen name: Harun Yahya) is claimed on his web page to be a ‘world renown and respected scholar’ who has devoted himself to writing about scientific and faith-related subjects such as the theory of evolution and miracles of God.
He is further described by supporters as a respected ‘scientist’ who has publications in incredibly diverse areas of interest (actually he is not a university graduate). He speaks only Turkish. The fact is that, his publications and his foundation (Science Research Foundation) have recently been banned in Turkey, and most members of his “sect” have been sent to court. This was not due to their Islamic and scientific activities, but due to crimes such as blackmail, extortion, possession of unlicensed weapons and sexual intercourse with minors. About three years ago, upon complaints of victims and many years of suspicion, Turkish police raided residences of this group. The discoveries at the houses and testimony of the group members were shocking. Under the mask of promoting Islam and scientific facts, the group members had been found to engage in extensive criminal activity. These crimes included blackmail, possession of unlicensed weapons and sexual intercourse with individuals under age 18. The head of the group, Adnan Oktar (recorded by police cameras, leaked and shown on Turkish TV channels such as Kanal D, ATV, Star) confessed to blackmailing people who they regarded as an obstacle to their enterprises. These people included the reporters for the newspaper Hurriyet, Emin Colasan, and Fatih Altayli, after they questioned some of Harun Yahya’s activities such as bribing the municipality of Ankara.
Also politicians such as Celal Adan (Member of the Parliament) and Mesut Yilmaz (former Prime Minister of Turkey) have been victims of this group. Oktar’s group arranged fake (photomontage) photos of Mesut Yilmaz in Freemason clothes and ceremonies, and forged a fake certificate of Freemasonary for him.
This fake was taken seriously and published in several pro-Islamic newspapers (without knowing it was a fraud). The PM was seriously damaged politically as a result during the remainder of his government. Also coming forth, a fashion model named Ebru Simsek was blackmailed, and then slandered as a “prostitute” in fax messages sent to hundreds of different newspapers, TV channels, major business companies, foreign consulates, government offices etc. The reason for the slander? She refused to have sex with Adnan Oktar. But the most shocking activities of Oktar’s and his followers were not the above. In the sudden raid, 20 women and 2 other men were found at his residence. Most of the females (girls really) were under the age 18, (Oktar is his middle 40′s) and they claimed that they had been having sexual intercourse with Oktar and members of his sect. In his testimony, Oktar claimed that he had committed no crime as the intercourse was consensual, allowed under Turkish law. Further, Oktar insisted that this intercourse was also religiously permissible under Islam because he and his followers did not have a ‘real sexual intercourse with these girls’. He and his followers claimed that they had only engaged in ‘anal and oral’ sex. They preferred this kinds of sexual intercourse since according to Koran, he claimed, these acts are not impermissible outside of marriage.
According to their interpretation ‘vaginal’ intercourse was ‘haram’ but ‘anal and oral intercourse’ was ‘halal’ when not married. So you wonder what happened in the end? Science Research Foundation was closed. Adnan Oktar (aka Harun Yahya), and about 40 of his sect members were taken to the court and judged. Once there, they denied the truth of their original confessions, claiming that they were extracted under torture.
The judicial process lasted over 2 years, during which most of the complainants’ retracted their claims because of threats or bribes from sect members. As a result most of the cases against these people were dismissed, with only two of them jail for 1 year each. That said, coverage of the arrests and trials were so extensive in Turkey that the reputation (and money making opportunities) of the group were permanently destroyed. It is now taken seriously only in foreign countries where their legal troubles received little or no press coverage.