Harun Yahya in hot water

07.11.2018

Adnan Oktar, the controversial Islamic creationist who publishes under the name Harun Yahya, was arrested by Turkish police on July 11, 2018, according to the Hurriyet Daily News (July 11, 2018).

Through the Scientific Research Foundation (Bilim Arastirma Vakfi, or BAV), Oktar and his followers produce a steady stream of publications and audiovisual material aimed at dismissing evolution as baseless and pernicious.

The Hurriyet Daily News explained, "According to the detention warrant, Oktar and his followers are accused of forming a criminal organization, sexual abuse of children, sexual assault, child kidnapping, sexual harassment, blackmailing, false imprisonment, political and military espionage, fraud by exploiting religious feelings, money laundering, violation of privacy, forgery of official documents, opposition to anti-terror law, coercion, use of violence, slander, alienating citizens from mandatory military service, insulting, false incrimination, perjury, aggravated fraud, smuggling, tax evasion, bribery, torture, illegal recording of personal data, violating the law on the protection of family and women, and violating a citizen’s rights to get education and participate in politics."

It is not Oktar's first brush with the law. In 2008, as NCSE previously reported, he was convicted of "creating an illegal organization for personal gain" and sentenced to three years in prison, although his conviction was overturned on appeal in 2010.

Signs that Oktar and his organization are out of favor with the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were evident earlier in 2018, when, as Newsweek (February 1, 2018) reported, the Directorate for Religious Affairs "slammed" Oktar.