Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s brother detained in İzmir

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One of the brothers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, Kutbettin Gülen, has been detained in the western province of İzmir, Turkish media reports said on Sunday.

Kutbettin Gülen was detained at a relative’s house in the Gaziemir district as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by the Turkish government despite a lack of credible evidence.

Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement within hours of the abortive attempt.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup, a claim not backed up by evidence.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

More than 100,000 people have been purged from state bodies, 32,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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