Turkey detains Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's chief adviser over links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen

Ankara: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's chief adviser was detained over suspected links to the movement of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen blamed for last year's failed coup, state media reported.

File image of Binali Yildirim. Reuters

File image of Binali Yildirim. Reuters

Birol Erdem, a former senior justice ministry official, was taken into custody in Ankara along with his wife Gulumser Erdem, Anadolu news agency said.

He was accused of being a member of the movement led by Gulen, the agency reported, quoting sources from the office of the Ankara chief public prosecutor. The Turkish government claims Gulen ordered the 15 July attempt to oust president Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, denies the charges. Erdem is one of the most senior bureaucrats to be suspected of Gulen links. Others who have been detained come from the military including Erdogan's aide-de-camp Colonel Ali Yazici.

Erdem was called to testify as a witness last year in an investigation into followers of Gulen's movement after several suspected members named him in their testimonies, Hurriyet daily reported.

Turkish authorities have arrested over 50,000 people including judges, prosecutors, police officers and members of the armed forces, accusing them of having connections with the Gulen movement, justice ministry officials told Anadolu last week.

Meanwhile, over 100,000 working in the public sector including doctors, civil servants and academics have been suspended or sacked over alleged links to the movement.


Updated Date: Jun 03, 2017 17:07 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'