German foreign ministry officials are today investigating a cult founded and run by the head of the Turkish consulate in the city of Mainz, near Frankfurt. The investigation follows a string of complaints by both consular staff and immigrants to the area.
Mr. Yalman Okan, the consul, has reportedly been pressurising his staff and the local Turkish community, saying that becoming his “follower” would ensure protection.
Mr. Okan would style himself as the “sheik” of the “Melamilik” and would often hold long conversations with staff in one-to-one settings in which he would recount parables. Later, he would be unable to recall his profundities and tell staff that God had been speaking through him.
A witness giving evidence to the German Foreign Ministry Review Committee, identified only as O.A., said-
“He told us we are on the first level, and in order to improve our level we would have to obey some rules. The first one of these was to learn to sing hymns.”
In addition to parables and the Melamilik psalmody, Mr. Okan would play upon a reed flute to entice staff and expatriates to join his following.
According to several witnesses to appear before the committee, Mr. Okan’s theology remained obscure, he chose instead to offer instruction through allegory and song.
The Turkish government has yet to officially comment on the investigation, however the Turkish embassy in London did confirm that as a secular state Turkey would, objectively speaking, frown on diplomatic staff starting cults.