At least 14 suspects have been arrested across Turkey as part of the ongoing probe into the controversial Turkish cult leader Adnan Oktar, judicial sources said on Monday.
The arrests came after the Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office issued warrants for 33 suspects, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Simultaneous raids for the remaining suspects in 11 provinces including Istanbul are underway.
Oktar's brother Kenan Oktar was among the detained suspects, reports said.
Oktar was remanded in July along with 168 others for allegedly committing numerous crimes.
His group has been accused of crimes including establishing a criminal organization, child sexual abuse, sexual intercourse with a minor, kidnapping, violating tax law, and violating the anti-terrorism law.
Oktar, 62, emerged as a larger-than-life figure in recent years after a string of legal troubles with the law in the 1980s and 1990s. His TV shows, where he surrounded himself with surgically enhanced young women he called "kittens" and "good-looking" men, made him a household name.
His critics claim that he brainwashes young women and men from wealthy families into joining his cult, a claim he has repeatedly denied. Former members of the cult who confessed their ties, accused Adnan Oktar and his male followers of sexual abuse, torturing female members and blackmail.
The cult leader is primarily known for a series of books challenging the theory of evolution he wrote under the pseudonym "Harun Yahya." He first made headlines in the 1980s when he was arrested for promoting theocracy. Adnan Oktar was charged with blackmail and arrested in September 1999, but the charges were dismissed after a two-year trial.
After a court found him mentally ill, he spent 10 months in a psychiatric hospital and after his release, kept a relatively low profile. He established a foundation in 1995 and started publishing books on creationism.
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