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Turkey detains controversial televangelist over 'fraud'

Turkey detains controversial televangelist over 'fraud'


AFP
ANKARA
TURKISH police on Wednesday detained on fraud charges a televangelist notorious for propagating conservative views while surrounded by scantily-clad women he refers to as his"kittens".
Adnan Oktar, a bizarre and controversial figure who also denies evolution, was detained alongside dozens of mainly female alleged supporters on accusations of fraud, bribery and sexual assault.
Oktar, who critics see as the leader of a cult, gained notoriety for his programmes on the online A9 television channel and had regularly been denounced by Turkey's religious leaders.
He presented programmes surrounded by scantily-clad and heavily made-up women -- who appeared to have had plastic surgery -- who he dubbed"kittens".
In a major crackdown on his group, he was taken into custody in Istanbul as part of a probe by the city's police financial crimes unit, state-run Anadolu news agency said.
A total of 235 arrest warrants were issued and at least 166 people have been detained so far in helicopter-backed raids in Istanbul, Ankara and also southern Turkey, Anadolu said. NTV television said 100 of those detained are female.

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