Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar has blamed the "British deep state" over his detention in Istanbul along with dozens of his followers on July 11, with several charges ranging from sexual abuse to military espionage against him.
An Islamic creationist and televangelist fond of being surrounded by scantily clad dancing women he calls his "kittens" has been arrested in Turkey.
Oktar, who is regarded by critics as a cult leader, hosts talk shows on his television channel, A9, on which he has discussed Islamic values and sometimes dances with heavily made-up, surgically enhanced young women and sings with young men, his "lions". NTV television said 100 of those detained are female. "This is a conspiracy by the British deep state", he replied as he was escorted from a police auto to the hospital.
The police said Oktar was caught while preparing to flee.
He often rails against the so-called "British deep state" in his programme and in one video, he says it has "sneakily disguised itself" and is linked to criminal groups.
Oktar - also known by his pen name Harun Yahya - has authored numerous books promoting creationism against Darwin's theory of evolution as well as conspiracy theories.
Istanbul police said warrants were issued against Adnan Oktar and 234 of his followers and that financial crime units were carrying out operations in Istanbul and four other cities to detain them.
Oktar is himself accused of political and military espionage by authorities.
He is also accused of "setting up an organisation with the aim of committing crime", "committing fraud through abuse of religious belief and sentiment", Anadolu said.
Oktar first came to media attention in the 1990s when he was the leader of a sect caught up in multiple sex scandals.
Oktar's assets were seized, Anadolu said, adding that authorities appointed a trustee to his companies, associations and foundations.
Weapons including guns and rifles were also found during the raids, the agency said.
One of the "kittens" Ceylan Ozgul said in March that she ran away and slammed the lack of freedom but another woman, Tulay Kumasci, said Ozgul left of her own free will.
He has been regularly denounced by Turkey's religious authorities, with Ali Erbas, head of Turkey's Diyanet religious affairs agency earlier this year saying that Oktar had "likely lost his mental balance".