Turkey detains brother of cleric accused of orchestrating failed coup

Authorities in western Turkey have detained the brother of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of plotting a failed coup on July 15 against his government.

Police detained Kutbettin Gulen in the house of a relative in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir, accusing him of belonging to a terrorist organization, state-run news agency Anadoluu reported Sunday.

Within days of the failed putsch, Ankara declared a state of emergency and launched a massive purge of the military and civil service to remove suspected supporters of Fethullah Gulen, Erdogan's one-time ally who now tops Ankara's most-wanted list and lives in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Authorities formally requested the extradition of the 78-year-old cleric earlier this month.

Turkey has made 32,000 arrests, fired more than 50,000 civil servants and shuttered multiple institutions, including media outlets, since the failed coup.

The country's National Security Council has since recommended an extension of the state of emergency, which is set to expire on October 18. According to the constitution, the council must issue its guidance before the cabinet, chaired by Erdogan, can formally pass the extension.

Last update: Sun, 02/10/2016 - 14:54

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