Turkish police have detained one of the nephews of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen along with his wife and his wife’s parents in İstanbul as part of an ongoing crackdown on followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, according to a statement from the İstanbul Police Department.
Gülen’s nephew, Selman Gülen, his wife Nur and his in-laws Mine and Bekir Öztürk were detained in an operation in Sancaktepe jointly conducted by the İstanbul police and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
The statement said the detainees had been hiding for a year and had links to leading figures from the movement and had served at Gülen-linked organizations, while Selman Gülen is involved in financial activities within the movement.
During the operation, police seized $14,000, 560 Estonian kroon and two passports belonging to other people.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen-inspired movement of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, although it strongly denies any involvement.
Many other of Gülen’s family members including one of his brothers, nephews and nieces have also been arrested since a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Although Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip 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.