Cleric Gulen’s top aide held over role in coup
TURKEY has detained a senior aide to the United States-based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom it blames for the coup attempt aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Security forces detained Hails Hanci in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on July 23, an official said, describing Mr Hanci as a “right-hand man” of Mr Gulen and responsible for transferring funds to him.
Mr Gulen denies being behind the failed coup.
Mr Hanci “apparently” entered the country two days before the attempted putsch that erupted late on July 15.
Separately, the official confirmed a report in the state-run Anadolu news agency that Turkey also detained the son-in-law of Akin Ozturk, a former air force chief already arrested as one of the key suspects. Lieutenant Colonel Hakan Karakus was detained here. One of Mr Gulen’s nephews was detained on July 23.
Police also detained a female Turkish fighter pilot Kerime Kurmas in the region of Yalova south of Istanbul over alleged involvement in the coup, the Dogan news agency reported.
She is accused, along with two male pilots who were also detained, of flying seized F-16 jets over Istanbul on the night of the coup. Other Turkish media reports said she was the only female fighter pilot in the country.