Fethullah Gülen’s nephew detained in Turkey’s İzmir
AA photoA new wave of police operations against alleged sympathizers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen was launched in the Aegean province of İzmir on May 17, leading to the detention of Gülen’s nephew.
Mehmet Mezher Gülen was among 29 people detained in İzmir for alleged links to the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)/Parallel State Structure (PDY).” The 28-year-old is thought to be responsible for the private schools linked to the movement in Turkey.
Around 500 police officers conducted simultaneous operations at 63 addresses as a part of operations against the financial leg of the “parallel structure,” which is accused of trying to topple the Turkish government.
Searches were conducted at a dormitory and a foundation of industrialists and businesspersons reportedly linked to the Gülen movement, with police saying the number of detentions could further increase.
Police operations against the alleged “FETÖ/PDY” were also conducted in several other provinces on May 17, resulting in dozens of detentions.
Some 20 people were detained in the Aegean province of Manisa, including police officers and four teachers.
“Others are also involved but they are in other provinces. There are several other provinces including Istanbul,” Manisa Governor Erdoğan Bektaş told Anadolu Agency, stating that the operations were launched with the order of the Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Another operation was conducted in the southern province of Isparta, in which 10 people were detained.
The police launched simultaneous operations in a number of addresses early on May 17 and detained the suspects including businessmen and personnel from the Süleyman Demirel University.
Meanwhile, trustee panels were appointed to four companies allegedly working for the Gülen movement in the eastern province of Erzurum.
Also on May 17, a senior executive of Boydak Holding, arrested in March for allegedly financing the Gülen movement, was released. Hacı Boydak, the group’s chairman, was arrested in a morning raid early on March 4 along with general manager Memduh Boydak and board members Erol Boydak and Murat Bozdağ.
The trial of Boydak, who was in prison for 70 days, will continue without arrest.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuses Gülen of creating a “parallel state” and conspiring to unseat the government with a network of supporters in the judiciary, the police and the media. Gülen, who is a former close ally of the government, denies the accusations.
A Turkish court in December 2014 issued an arrest warrant for Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, accusing him of heading a criminal group.