The basic idea in the indictment is the claim that there exists an armed criminal organization and therefore the indictment claims that our group meets the criteria necessary for the existence of an armed criminal organization.
However, our group of friends doesn’t match the criteria of an armed criminal organization in any sense. First of all, no “purpose of engaging in illegal activities” is defined, which is a necessity for the existence of a criminal organization.
There is no interest gained, no hierarchical order, no intimidation or no financial enrichment, which are all necessary conditions for a criminal organization. As a result, while the case started with a total of 31 charges, it was dropped to 24 and 97 individuals have already been released.
Furthermore, apart from 2 charges (sexual crimes, being a member of or establishing a criminal organization) out of these 24, 22 are related to individual actions, but oddly enough everyone is held responsible for all of the charges. These accusations are used to support the claim that an armed criminal organization does exist and as a result, a total of 226 people are held responsible for things they haven’t done.
Below you can find a brief summary of these 24 charges, on what BASELESS ALLEGATIONS THEY ARE BASED ON AND A BRIEF SUMMARY OF OUR DEFENSES.
- Establishing a criminal organization for the purpose of committing crimes
This charge is based on the allegation that there exists a hypothetical idea that Mr. Oktar wishes to be the Mahdi (the Muslim leader expected to appear in the End Times), and manages the group in line with this goal. All the accusations in the indictment are based on the assertion that the Mahdi is the leader of all the faiths in the world and will, together with Prophet Jesus, fight the antichrist and that the Mahdi students who are allegedly the defendants of this case, will be alongside them in this holy war against the antichrist and that the Mahdi will lead the entire humanity and when the time comes Mahdi will be asked to head the state. However, Mr. Oktar declared on live TV numerous times that he is not claiming and will never claim to be the Mahdi. He explains that he only talks about Mahdi as this is an important matter in Islamic traditions. Furthermore, his actions (modern life style, being a freemason, music etc) clearly refute any allegation that he wishes to be the Mahdi as it is clear that such a style doesn’t fit the Mahdi expectations of Muslims around the world. Another very important matter is this: believing or working for the coming of Mahdi is a matter of belief and does not constitute a crime and it is a right protected by the constitution and the universal declaration of human rights. While there is no such goal as “building the Mahdi system or ensuring the domination of the world” for the defendants who are tried in this case, believing in the Mahdi is not a crime. According to the laws, where there is no purpose of commiting a crime, there can be no criminal organization.
- Being a member of an armed criminal organization (220/2-3)
Majority of the defendants have been held in prison for a long time on the basis of the allegation that they were members of the alleged armed criminal organization, only because they know each other and spend time together. Also specifics of ordinary life such as selling and buying properties from each other, or being shareholders to the same companies are also shown as a so-called proof for their contribution to the alleged criminal organization. Where as, each of the defendants explained that their exchanges and financial partnerships were their personal matters, and stemmed from their trust in each other resulting from their long-lasting friendships. The defendants also explained that they had business and personal relationships even more with people outside the group. However, the indictment includes only business and personal relationships within the group -that are actually totally normal and official- in a biased and one-sided manner that would show matters in a negative light for the defendants.
- Attempting political and military espionage
This charge is based on the allegations of defector Ece Koc, who claimed that a Russian translator called Leyla gave her and Mr. Adnan Oktar information about several meetings between Russia and Turkey, where she acted as an interpreter. However, this person has never been an interpreter in confidential meetings that are closed to the press, in fact all those meetings she attended were open to press. Therefore, all the information she might have had could be attained by anyone. Most importantly, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MIT (Turkish National Intelligence Organization) officially confirmed that the information in question was not a state secret and that there was no espionage involved. In spite of that, the indictment still included this allegation and the defendants are unfairly labeled.
- Aiding a criminal organization even though not belonging to the structure of that organization (220/7)
Many people are accused of “willing and knowingly aiding the group” even though they are not postulated even as a “member” in the indictment. This accusation is included in the indictment for the purpose of preventing any public positive statements or support that is done for the group by the public and to intimidate people that have any legitimate links to the group and to convince them to be plaintiffs. This is done to try to paint a negative image in public about the group and to portray anyone that contacted the group as a defendant. For example, Nursel Tekin was arrested and spent 17 months in prison and is still under house arrest only because she talked to the press after the police operation and said that his son and his son’s friends were innocent. Similarly, Muhlis Uvenç, a public servant who is only a post office worker doing his job and delivering notifications coming from the court to a company affiliated with the group, is included in the indictment as aiding the so-called organization. In other words, this accusation is used to give the message that anyone who anyhow got in contact with the group will be tried as a member of the so-called organization and will be arrested. These people who are included in the said accusation are Nursel Tekin, Hatice Akoğlu, Mustafa Kurtuluş, Rıdvan Kuş, Olcay Boybeyi, Hayri Muhammet Keş, Muhlis Üvenç and some others.
- Sexual abuse
The explanation for both of these accusations is as follows.
This accusation is based on the statements of several women. However, there is no solid evidence in any of these claims, only statements that contradict concrete facts. For instance, those women continued to see, to be friends with people by whom they claim to have been abused, happily posted their photos and videos together on social media, never complained to any authority during the time they claim they were abused. Furthermore, during trial many of the defendants provided their passport records proving that they were abroad during the time these people claimed to have been abused by them. The forensic examinations also showed that those women did not show any traces of physical or psychological trauma etc. In some cases, it looks like those women were intimidated and forced into making such statements by hostile defectors, and in some other cases, it looks like they made these statements due to their frustration about some members who refused to marry them (as shown by relevant text messages).
- Violation of Law on Firearms, Knives and Other Tools (Article 6136)
This accusation is included in the indictment to support the baseless claim that this is an armed criminal organization. However, there are no unlicensed guns in the case and none of the guns in the case were involved in any criminal activity. Only one person failed to renew his gun license on time due to his busy schedule. Also, the fact that in a group of 226 people, the majority of the defendants do not have guns and that most of the so-called administrators, including the alleged leader himself, do not have guns, shows clearly that there is no armed criminal organization at all.
- Prevention of the Right to Education and Training (Article 112)
This accusation is based on the statements of some individuals who previously were friends with Adnan Oktar group and who claimed that they left their schools because Mr. Oktar ordered them to do so. However, this accusation is based on mere statements of hostile complainants, with no concrete evidence to back up their claims. Indeed, it became clear during the trial that almost all of the defendants, be them old or newer people in the group, graduated from the top universities in Turkey and spoke at least more than one foreign language. Most of them have master’s degrees and studied abroad. Therefore, the allegation that their right to be educated was prevented, is untrue.
- Inflicting suffering
This is based on the allegation that several women were “persuaded” to have anal and oral sex with several male members of the community and were supposedly persuaded to do so by the use of some religious remarks. According to these baseless claims those women lost their self-confidence and became subservient after such treatment, and put up with the mistreatment by the alleged leader. Also, there are claims that the female members who questioned and didn’t want to obey Adnan Oktar’s instructions were made to have their hair and eyebrows shaved or had their food poured over their heads as a punishment. These allegations are completely baseless, are not supported by any solid evidence and are based merely on the contradictory statements of some hostile complainants. The defendants all rejected these claims in every stage of the proceedings during the police custody, imprisonment and their defenses at court.
This claim is based on the slander that some women were sexually abused and were filmed in a compromising position and that those videos were used to blackmail them into silence. (This is another baseless allegation not backed by any solid evidence. The same claims were brought up years ago but after the examination of evidence the charges were dropped and the defendants were acquitted from these accusations in the court). 120 different houses that were raided in the middle of the night were searched thoroughly and hundreds of computers and phones were confiscated. Despite extensive searches, no such alleged videos or images were found in phones, computers and other material.
Furthermore, the indictment claims that there is so-called law group within Adnan Oktar group and that these people allegedly blackmailed their opponents into silence by the use of laws. This is not true either. The examination of the allegations, however, makes it clear that the defendants merely used their legal and constitutional rights against people who publicly threatened or insulted them on the internet or TV.
- Restricting one’s freedom
This is based on the allegation that some female members of the group were barred from leaving their homes. However, the complainants who make such claims were live on TV everyday and if there were any such a case, any cry for help would be responded by police authorities immediately. Furthermore, before this case, they were posting their photos on social media, which they took while shopping, jogging, attending events and doing other social activities. Therefore, these allegations are evidently untrue. Indeed, it became clear during the trial that these allegations are far from truth. As a result, the allegation of some complainants that female members were ‘barred from leaving their homes’ was changed into ‘being barred from leaving Istanbul’. After presenting evidence it became clear that this claim was also untrue, the accusation that started from ‘restricting one’s freedom’ then morphed into the allegation of ‘being barred from leaving the country’. This is a very baseless and illogical claim. However, even then, the defendants proved with their passport records that they traveled abroad many times.
In addition to all these, during the sudden and simultaneous police operations not even a single person was found to be held captive.
- Laundering of Assets Acquired from an Offence (Article 282)
This accusation is based on the allegation that the administrators and members of the so-called criminal organization founded companies by ‘organizational instruction’ in order to gain unfair profits and to transfer the earnings of these companies to the supposed enterprise. However, there is no concrete evidence to back up this accusation, either. What is more, the report of the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) and expert reports have made it evident that all activities of the companies in the group and all their earnings are legitimate. Therefore, since there are no assets acquired from an illegal activity, the accusation of laundering of assets from an offence is totally invalidated.
A single person who is not part of the group, but only a distant sympathizer is claimed to have insulted two police officers. Even though this matter is not included in the indictment, an interrogation was held on this allegation. Therefore, it is evident that only the alleged person is to be held responsible for this wrong act, and not the remaining defendants who were meanwhile in prison.
This said offense is attributed to only a single defendant in the indictment. However, due to a post shared over social media regarding a police officer who mistreated the defendants before the press, all the so-called administrators of the group who were in prison at that time are also held liable. By including the act of insult in the indictment, it is intended to increase the number of so-called crimes attributed to the defendants and to create the impression that the group is ‘guilty’.
- Disobedience to Law no. 3628 On Declaration of Property and Fight Against Bribery and Corruption
This allegation is held against only 3 or 4 defendants. It is regarding the obligation to declare the properties of board of directors of a foundation as per regulations in Turkey. Even though a number of the so-called administrators in the indictment are held liable of this charge, this matter was considered to be trivial during the trial and the defendants not even inquired about it.
- Eavesdropping and Recording of Conversations between Persons (Article 133)
This allegation was included in the indictment just because one of the woman defendants recorded the conversation she had with her guest. Yet it is used to hold tens of people responsible for an act they have no knowledge of and at an occasion they have never been. She explained before the court that she recorded the conversation only because she had hearing problems and so that she could remember all the details later on to be able to take notes. Thus, she apologized from all the relevant parties during the trial.
This accusation is based on the statements of a defector, who admits that he did commit forgery and international smuggling. One of the defendants is charged with this crime just because he worked with the said defector, hence tens of others who are alleged to be administrators of the so-called criminal organization are also being tried for this crime. The said defector and admitter of the crime, Özkan Mamati, in an attempt to escape from punishment for his illegal actions, smeared that he committed all the fraud based on the instructions of the supposed administrators of the group. What is puzzling is that Özkan Mamati is not included in the indictment, though he admitted committing the crime. That is to say, he incriminated the crime he committed on someone else in order to be able to accuse Adnan Oktar and his group of friends and the prosecution excluded him from the indictment. However, his contradictory statements and the fact that he also swindled and cheated his friends in the group, showed that all his claims were untrue.
This accusation is included in the indictment due to the actions of a defendant, who is sympathetic to the group with no close links to it and who posted unfitting messages on social media about those police officers that mistreated the defendants before the press. In his defense at court, he explained that he did not threaten anyone, but would seek his rights only by means of law. Yet all the other defendants are held responsible for this same charge even though they were totally unaware of the occurrence because at the time of the incident they were detained or under arrest.
- Recording of Personal Data (Article 135)
This accusation is based on some information claimed to have been found in dubious digital materials seized unlawfully at a house that is tried to be shown as allegedly headquarters of the group. It is claimed that the group made a list of influential and popular bureacrats, journalists and politicians they met at various instances like meetings, meals, house visits and weddings, some at official positions, and included details like their ‘faith, political views, and ethnicities’ in archiving and presenting to the so-called group leader. First of all, the group does not accept the entirety of the mentioned digital materials. Moreover, the person(s) who is claimed to have committed the alleged action is not identified. Despite this, the so-called administrators of the group are held responsible for this imaginary act that they have no knowledge of.
- Attempt to intentional killing
This allegation is included in the indictment with the claim that Mert Sucu, a member of the so-called organization, fired a gun at two police officers during the police operation. However, as the defendant explained and presented evidence before the court, the results of the crime scene investigations and technical examinations do not confirm this allegation.
- Violating of Anti-Smuggling Law no. 5607
- The Offence of Altering, Destroying or Hiding an Official Document
- Forgery of official documents
These three accusations are related to the same incident and the explanation is as follows:
This accusation is based on the statements of a defector, who admits that he did commit forgery and international smuggling. One of the defendants is charged with this crime just because he worked with the said defector, hence tens of others who are alleged to be administrators of the so-called criminal organization are also being tried for this crime. The said defector and admitter of the crime, Özkan Mamati, in an attempt to escape from punishment for his illegal actions, smeared that he committed all the fraud based on the instructions of the supposed administrators of the group. What is perplexing is that Özkan Mamati is not included in the indictment, though he admitted coming the crime. That is to say, he incriminated the crime he committed on someone else in order to be able to accuse Adnan Oktar and his group of friends and the prosecution excluded him from the indictment. However, his contradictory statements and the fact that he also swindled and cheated his friends in the group, showed that all his claims were untrue.
- Protecting an offender
This allegation is based on the act of one individual who allegedly helped a defendant with a search warrant following the police operation. In fact, this accusation is intended to prevent any positive inclination towards the group, to create a setting in order to frightenen anyone who gets in contact with the group that they can be charged and arrested. Once again, all the alleged administrators are held responsible for this incident, even though it is clear that they couldn’t have had any part or knowledge of this when they were already in prison. Also their only communication with outside was their meeting with their attorneys which took place under supervision, that is to say, it was recorded both audio and video.
- Aiding an armed terror organization without being a member
This charge is based on several telephone conversations between some group members and FETO terror organization members before 2014, a year regarded as a milestone in Turkey (i.e. long before the failed coup attempt of FETO, when it was not yet considered to be a terror group). However, contrary to the allegations, it is made evident with concrete facts presented to the case file by the defense that terror organization FETO has been hostile to the group for many years and even engaged in numerous plots against them.
The charge is also based on the allegation that supposedly the installation files of a FETO-linked website’s mobile application were found in defendant Mehmet Ender Daban’s laptop computer along with the authorization information of FETO member Yasin YALÇINKAYA. First of all, there exists name resemblance here and this is proved by the court’s investigation. Moreover, Mehmet Ender Daban explained in his defense before the court that he had no relations whatsoever with the said website, that he only asked for a reference demo from a software developer who applied for a job and that the application files in question were sent to him as part of the resume of the applicant. Besides, the person who developed the application that is included in the indictment is not a FETO member, but only his name resembled a FETO defendant. However, an altered version of the email address of this person named Yasin was sent for an investigation deliberately, in an attempt to create the impression that defendants were linked to FETO. It is clear from countless TV statements, social media posts that both Adnan Oktar and other defendants are strongly opposed to FETO terror group. Adnan Oktar’s group has never supported the FETO, either before or after the failed coup attempt on 15th July, 2016. It has always stayed beside the Turkish state, and carried out works to ensure the perpetuity of the state while opposing the separatist terror organizations.