DISCLAIMER: I'm not arguing about whether he's innocent or guilty -- I don't know anything but what I'm reading on the web. But this case smells really bad.
Here's the Reuters account .
According to the story, he was accused and convicted of "using threats for personal benefit and creating an organization with the intent to commit a crime."
There are two causes for suspicion here:
1) "In that court case, Oktar had been charged with using threats for personal benefit and creating an organization with the intent to commit a crime. The charges were dropped but another court picked them up resulting in the latest case." In other words, Double Jeopardy.
2) "No further details were immediately available." In other words, we aren't given any of the facts underlying the allegations.
Procedural abuses by the authorities and vague claims always raise my hackles -- in my work, these have proven to be a common theme for trumped up charges.
Here is a video of a portion of a long press conference he gave a while back, to the European media. The rest of the press conference is on youtube, and is absolutely fascinating. What I found most interesting was the unsubstantiated allegations made by the reporter -- about his "suing scientists who talk about evolution." Oktar called the reporter's bluff, and the reporter had nothing to say.
That started to smell even more like trumped up charges.
And then you find blogs titled "Whoisharunyahya" that make all only generalized allegations, without any substantiating facts. I'm hurting here. Need more data.
I have a potential lead on what may have happened here. I didn't realize exactly how nuanced, subtle, and balanced his views were. He calls for tolerance of Jews and Christians here. He says that the Jews have a right to the land of Israel here.
Those two views are enough to make him a lot of enemies in the Muslim world. His opposition to Darwinism is enough to earn him no friends among the secularists.
This brings new light to the statement of a spokesman that "the judge was influenced by political and religious pressure groups." Maybe.
I'm open to the possibility that he's guilty. But I haven't seen any coherent allegations or facts to support them. Apparently he's also been accused of cocaine use, having orgies, molesting little girls ... and been acquitted each time. That makes these allegations stink even more.
Thank God for Due Process.
According to this blog, Harun Yahya got a ruling in Turkish courts blocking wordpress blogs in Turkey, for defamation and libel. I'm certainly no fan of censorship of any type, and I don't know much about Turkish defamation law. However, I do know that the few wordpress blogs I saw (like this one) about him were plainly defamatory and libelous. He was accused of just about everything under the sun, all without evidence.