Restraining order issued for cult leader Adnan Oktar after father's plea

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
The combined photos of Elvan Koçak’s daughters who appeared on Adnan Oktar’s television program.
The combined photos of Elvan Koçak’s daughters who appeared on Adnan Oktar’s television program.

A Turkish court issued a temporary restraining order against television personality and cult leader Adnan Oktar and a mother of two young women, whose father accused Oktar of brainwashing his daughters.

Elvan Koçak, a Turkish man living in Austria who divorced his wife Gülperi K. years ago for her devotion to Oktar, told a Turkish TV station that his two teenage daughters were brainwashed by Oktar.

In an tearful interview to Akit TV, the 44-year-old father said he has not been able to contact his daughters Şeyma and Büşra Koçak for seven months and only recently learned they were in Oktar's entourage. He said his friends notified him when they saw two girls at the ages of 19 and 17 on a live broadcast of Oktar's TV show, among other young women in heavy makeup.

Elvan Koçak said his daughters cut off contact with him and he appealed to the Turkish authorities to help.

The Anadolu prosecutor's office started an investigation against Oktar and Gülperi K. on charges of "deprivation of liberty" and sought a protection order for the father and two women. The court issued a six-month restraining order against Oktar and Gülperi K. and also gave custody of the 17-year-old girl to her father.

Oktar surrounds himself with young women and good-looking men during his programs where he delves into everything from evolution theory to the "British deep state" on his A9 TV. He affectionately calls the young women on his show "kittens." His critics claim that he brainwashes young women and men from wealthy families into joining his cult, a claim he had repeatedly denied.

Oktar, 62, who is primarily known for a series of books he wrote under the pseudonym "Harun Yahya," first made headlines in the 1980s when he was arrested for promoting theocracy. After a court found him mentally ill, he spent 10 months in a mental hospital and, after his release, he kept a relatively low profile. He established a foundation in 1995 and started publishing books on creationism. He became a household name after he launched a TV station in 2011 where his bizarre TV shows made him a favorite topic of internet memes and stirred up controversy. Bordering on obscenity where scantily-clad dancers perform in between Oktar's speeches peppered with religious references, his shows often receive complaints at the country's TV watchdog.

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