Barış Terkoğlu

Turkey's Epstein mansion

15 Ocak 2024 Pazartesi

You might think it's a distant tale, something your mind can't quite grasp. Yet, the scandal might have been right next to you.

The world is talking about the Epstein scandal. Epstein was accused in the U.S. of setting up a sexual abuse network targeting young girls. He committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial. The public disclosure of his connections has brought the issue back into the limelight.

The most curious aspect is the mention of Turks in the case files. Learning about Banu Küçükköylü’s connection to the Adnan Oktar group didn’t surprise me. Indeed, those familiar with the Oktarists confirmed this relationship. According to them, Küçükköylü had joined the group for a period as the girlfriend of Oktar's prince, Hasan Basri Güner.

But the similarities don’t end there. Digging deeper reveals more startling parallels.


Epstein bought Little St. James Island in 1998 for $7.95 million and established there the abusive system that would become central to the case. Around the same years, in Turkey, in Istanbul's Silivri, Fener Village, the Oktarists also bought a 50-acre plot of land. An unprecedented structure began to rise on this land. There were sections with aquariums for floors, uniquely designed pools, artificial lakes, various animals ranging from peacocks to camels, a variety of trees brought from abroad, stones through which favorite drinks flowed, walls adorned with priceless paintings, and rooms furnished with extravagant furniture…

The owners of this 'heaven on earth' structure were constantly changing Oktarist names. The last owners appeared to be Metin Güçyetmez and Yakup Balaban. Interestingly, one in prison and the other a fugitive, both are accused of "qualified sexual assault and abuse," just like Epstein. However, the real owner of the structure was none other than Adnan Oktar.

It’s not an island but a farm. Yet, in phone conversations, the structure was referred to in code as "the mansion." Epstein’s second in command was a woman, Ghislaine Maxwell. For Oktar, it was Didem Ürer.

However, the most significant similarity between Epstein’s island and Oktar's "mansion" was the cameras installed for recording! In the rooms of Oktar's "mansion," hidden micro-cameras were placed with special systems. According to revelations during Oktar's trials, hundreds of people were abused in this building. Like in the U.S., many famous people were entertained here, and their most private moments were recorded.

These recordings served two purposes. Those abused remained silent for fear of being recorded, while VIP individuals complied out of fear of the tapes.


So, how did the group acquire micro-cameras in 1998? The answer was found in statements given to the police in 1999. Hasan Basri Güner, whom I mentioned earlier, brought bags full of micro-cameras and remote monitoring listening equipment from the U.S. to Turkey. At that time, even the state didn't have such equipment. Reportedly, Oktar's cousin in the U.S., Mete Oktar, also assisted Güner.

The events at the "mansion," code-named building, were reflected in the statements. Banu Küçükköylü, mentioned in the Epstein files, was brought into the group by Hasan Basri Güner, who was instrumental in setting up the system. Güner, in his statement, described how:

"Adnan Hoca [Oktar] said that if we captured photos and videos of women engaging in sexual acts, they wouldn't be able to speak against us, as they would keep these as a secret. (...) Since I'm an electronics and electrical engineer, Adnan Oktar instructed me to set up a team."

The statements included the names of some individuals recorded on video. For instance, a politically influential businesswoman was first recorded, followed by her daughter, both with the same man, to enforce silence through blackmail.

Kartal İş, another leader of the group, described the recordings at the Mansion in his statement:

"None of these women have ever spoken negatively about us or exposed our group's sexual practices. This is because they were recorded engaging in sex, which Hasan Basri Güner knows best."


When Adnan Oktar was detained in 1999, he described in his handwriting the fate of the tapes recorded at the 'mansion' farm:

"Secret camera recordings were made of many people before. However, because I said they were not morally right, these tapes were burned and destroyed in Silivri. I know these recordings were made by Serkan and Hasan."

The people Oktar referred to were Serkan Ciminli and Hasan Basri Güner.

So, what happened to the Silivri 'mansion' code-named center of sexual blackmail and abuse recordings? Oktar suddenly decided in 2001 to demolish it. One morning, all the animals were set free, and within a few hours, 5-6 bulldozers razed the 'mansion' farm, eradicating all the evidence. The tapes were also destroyed.

The architect of the process, Hasan Basri Güner, was a fugitive during the last operation against the group. He disappeared with his secrets.

That’s the story for now...

While the world has been fixated on the Epstein scandal in the U.S., a parallel story unfolded in Turkey. The Oktarists, once intertwined with politicians and respected as a 'community' among Islamists, continued their activities until 2018. While Epstein, accused of abuse, committed suicide in prison, Oktar, convicted of the same crime, has been imprisoned for about 6 years. He is incarcerated near the 'sinful mansion' in Silivri.

Sometimes, understanding what's happening close to us can be harder than seeing what's far away…

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