World

ISTANBUL (Web Desk) – Turkish police have arrested a brother of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who is accused of masterminding the failed July coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kutbettin Gulen was detained by police acting on a tip-off at the home of a relative in the Gaziemir district of the western Izmir province, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

He is the first of Gulen’s siblings to be detained after the coup bid. He is accused of “membership of an armed terror group”, Anadolu said, without giving further details. Kutbettin Gulen is currently being questioned by anti-terror police.

Anadolu said books belonging to Fethullah Gulen himself were confiscated in the police raid.

Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, is accused by Turkey of orchestrating the July 15 coup plot.

Gulen denies the claims and his supporters ridicule 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).