Imam arrested on charges of sexually abusing child in eastern Turkey

Turkish police have arrested an imam in the eastern province of Van on charges of sexually abusing a child, Sözcü newspaper reported on Sunday.

The 36-year-old cleric, which has worked as an imam for six years, is accused of sexually abusing a nine-year-old, who arrived at the mosque he works at to purchase a book, it said.

The alleged sexual abuse came to light when the girl told her mother, Sözcü said. The imam has denied the charges.

The incident follows a high-profile case of a religious leader, who was arrested earlier this month on charges of sexual abuse of a minor in the northwestern Sakarya province.

Fifty-eight-year-old Eyüp Fatih Şağban, the leader of Uşşaki Islamic sufi order, was arrested with the allegation of abusing a 12-year-old girl.