Turkey police detain Fethullah Gulen's brother

Istanbul, TurkeyUpdated: Oct 02, 2016, 04:20 PM IST

President Tayyip Erdogan has accused Gulen of orchestrating the coup plot on July 15 Photograph:(AFP)

Turkish police today detained a brother of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused of plotting the July 15 coup bid aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, international news agency AFP reported. 


Quoting the state-run Anadolu news agency, the AFP report mentioned that Kutbettin Gulen was detained by police following a tip-off at the home of a relative in the Gaziemir district of the western Izmir province. 


Kutbettin, who has been accused of "membership of an armed terror group",  is Gulen's first sibling to be detained after the coup attempt, according to Andalou.


During the raid, books belonging to Fethullah Gulen were also confiscated. Meanwhile, Kutbettin is currently being questioned by anti-terror police. 


A former Erdogan ally,  Fethullah Gulen,  has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999. He has denied involvement in the coup bid and has also ridiculed the description of his group by the Turkish authorities as the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO), saying he merely runs a peaceful organisation called Hizmet (Service).


Meanwhile, AFP referred to local media reports and highlighted that  Gulen has three living brothers, Mesih, Salih and Kutbettin, as well as two who are dead, Seyfullah and Hasbi. He also has two sisters, Nurhayat and Fazilet. Their current whereabouts are not known.


In July, the authorities arrested Gulen's nephew Muhammet Sait Gulen in the eastern city of Erzurum, long seen as one of the hubs for his supporters.  Another nephew, Ahmet Ramiz Gulen, was arrested in August in the southeastern city of Gaziantep. 


(WION with inputs from AFP)