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Turkish Police Detain a Gulen Sibling in Coup Probe

  • VOA News

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2013 file photo, Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa.

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2013 file photo, Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa.

Turkish police arrested a brother of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who is accused of masterminding the failed July coup attempt to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kutbettin Gulen was detained in Turkey’s western Izmir province on charges of "being member of an armed terrorist organization" and is being questioned by anti-terror police, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Kutbettin is the first of Gulen's siblings to be detained after the coup attempt.

In July, Turkish authorities arrested Gulen's nephew Muhammet Sait Gulen in the eastern city of Erzurum. Another nephew, Ahmet Ramiz Gulen, was arrested in August in the southeastern city of Gaziantep.

Police started searching for him on a tip Kutbettin was staying at a relative's house in the Gaziemir district of the province, Anadolu said, adding that books belonging to Fethullah Gulen were confiscated in the police raid

The U.S.-based cleric, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, is accused by Turkey of inspiring and orchestrating the July 15 coup plot. Gulen has repeatedly denied the claims.

Turkish authorities have labeled an organization he runs as the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO), but the cleric’s supporters say he merely runs a peaceful organization called Hizmet (Service).

According to previous Turkish media reports, 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.

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