Turkey detains nephew of cleric blamed for coup

By REUTERS
July 23, 2016 20:06

 
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Turkish authorities have detained a nephew of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating last weekend's failed military coup, the state news agency Anadolu reported on Saturday.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999 but has an extensive network of schools, charities and followers in Turkey and elsewhere, denies any involvement in the July 15 coup attempt, in which at least 246 people were killed.

His nephew, Muhammed Sait Gulen, was detained in the northeastern Turkish city of Erzurum and will be brought to the capital Ankara for questioning, Anadolu reported. Among possible charges that could be brought against him is membership of a terrorist organization, the agency said.

It is the first time a relative of Gulen has been reported detained since the failed coup.

President Tayyip Erdogan accuses Gulen of building a "state within a state" and of plotting to overthrow Turkey's government, charges the 75-year-old cleric has denied.

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