News ID: 194066
Published: 1009 GMT June 03, 2017

Turkey detains premier's top adviser over links to Gulen movement

Turkey detains premier's top adviser over links to Gulen movement

Turkish security forces have arrested Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's chief adviser over suspected links to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having orchestrated last year’s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Birol Erdem, a former senior Justice Ministry official, and his wife were detained in the capital on Saturday morning.

The source added that Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Harun Kodalak had issued the arrest warrants for Erdem and his wife, Gulumser, as part of a probe into their links to the Gulen movement.

Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the government of Erdogan was no more in charge of the country.

A few hours later, however, the coup was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.

Gulen has censured the coup attempt and strongly denied any involvement in it.

Turkey remains in a state of emergency since the coup, and Ankara has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups, who were believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.

Over 40,000 people have been arrested and more than 120,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants, over alleged links to the failed coup. 

Many rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have denounced Ankara’s heavy clampdown.

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