By Mustafa Deveci
JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli media largely covered the arrest of Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar, also known as Harun Yahya, highlighting his close ties with Israel.
Haaretz, one of the leading dailies in Israel, covered the story with the headline “Turkish Islamic cult leader, who has a harem of 'Kittens,' detained by police. ”
The story revealed that Oktar, along with 200 other followers, were arrested following the operation, noting he was charged with forming a criminal gang, fraud and sexual abuse.
In an interview with Haaretz in 2018, Adnan Oktar had said: “I have very good friends in Israel who are truly religious Jews. I love them because they are truly religious. ”
Jerusalem Post, for its part, covered the story with the title “Is this the end of the line for Adnan Oktar and his friends in Israel? ”
Underlining that Adnan Oktar, between 2014-2018, wrote dozens of articles for Jerusalem Post, the newspaper drew attention to his meetings with numerous Israeli clergymen and politicians, particularly 2013 when he gathered with some Israeli lawmakers.
Times of Israel, on the other hand, said that Oktar had written anti-Semitic books which denied Jewish massacres, but he later rejected his previous views.
The coverage stressed that Oktar had some close ties with some top officials in Israel and he had hosted Israelis on his TV channel, adding that he backed Israelis to perform religious ceremonies in Masjid al-Aqsa.
Jewish Press also covered the development with “Turkish police arrest pro-Israel Muslim Leader Adnan Oktar ” as the headline of the story.
It also reported that Oktar had close relations with the Jewish clergymen.
Adnan Oktar and his “gang” 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.
*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara