Reuters Ankara, Turkey
Jul 24, 2016, 01.46 AM
Turkish authorities have detained a nephew of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating last weekend's failed military coup, the state news agency Anadolu reported.
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 organisation, the agency said.
It is the first time a relative of Gulen has been reported detained since the failed coup. Turkey has also detained a senior aide to Gulen.
Security forces detained Hails Hanci in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, the official said, describing Hanci as a "right-hand man" of Gulen and responsible for transferring funds to him.
The official said Hanci "apparently" entered the country two days before the attempted putsch that erupted late on July 15.
Separately, the official confirmed a report in the state-run Anadolu news agency that Turkey also detained the son-in-law of Akin Ozturk, a former air force chief already arrested as one of the key suspects.
Lieutenant colonel Hakan Karakus was detained in Ankara, it said.
Meanwhile, police also detained a female Turkish fighter pilot Kerime Kurmas in the region of Yalova south of Istanbul over alleged involvement in the coup, the Dogan news agency reported.
She is accused along with two male pilots who were also detained of flying seized F-16 jets over Istanbul on the night of the coup. Other Turkish media reports said she was the only female fighter pilot in the country.
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.
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.