Turkey coup: Nephew of suspected plotter Fethullah Gülen detained

Muhammat Sait Gülen is believed to be the first relative of the US-based cleric to be detained

Will Worley
Saturday 23 July 2016 14:22 BST
The Turkish government believe Fethullah Gülen is behind the recent coup attempt
The Turkish government believe Fethullah Gülen is behind the recent coup attempt (Reuters)

The Turkish state has detained the nephew of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, according to local media.

Muhammat Sait Gülen is believed to be the first relative of the preacher - who is a prime suspect in the recent attempt to overthrow the government - to be detained in President Erdogan's iron fisted response to the rebellion.

Muhammat was taken into custody in Erzurum, eastern Turkey, and will be taken to Ankara.

Turkish leaders have alleged supporters of US-based cleric, Fethullah Gülen, infiltrated state agencies and groomed loyalists in a vast network of private schools as part of an elaborate, long-term plan to take over the country. Mr Gülen, former ally of Mr Erdogan but now a staunch critic, has denied any knowledge of the attempted coup.

Also on Saturday, Turkey announced it had seized more than 2,250 social, educational or health care institutions and facilities it claimed pose a threat to national security.

The government carried out sweeping purges after the failed military coup. At least 10,000 people are now in jail and another 60,000 have been removed from their jobs.

A three-month state of emergency has also been imposed while the country's adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights has been suspended.

Judges, military personnel, prosecutors and other civil servants who have been dismissed will lose any gun and pilot licenses, and will have to vacate any publicly funded residences where they live within 15 days, according to according to a decree published Saturday in Turkey's official gazette. Those dismissed cannot work in the public sector or for private security firms.

The decree also extended the period that suspects can be detained without charge up to 30 days. All detainees' communications with their lawyers can be monitored upon the order of the public prosecutor's office.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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