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Turkey Detains Top Aide to US-Based 'Coup Mastermind'

© REUTERS / ReutersOutside Ataturk Airport In Istanbul People Stand On A Turkish Army Tank
Outside Ataturk Airport In Istanbul People Stand On A Turkish Army Tank - Sputnik International
Turkish authorities detained the "right hand" of US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of masterminding the failed coup attempt, said a spokesperson for President Erdogan.

The post-coup attempt purge against Recep Tayyip Erdogan that left hundreds dead and Turkish civil society in disarray amid growing crackdowns resulting in the arrests of over 10,000 purported loyalists of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen has reached a critical stage with an official deemed to be the adversary's right-hand man being arrested by Turkish officials.

Halis Hanci, described as cleric Fethullah Gulen's right-hand man, apparently entered Turkey two days before the abortive coup, Turkish presidential officials stated. 

Hanci was arrested in Trabzon's arakli district, according to Turkish local news.

Earlier Saturday, Muhammet Sait Gulen, Fettulah Gulen’s nephew, was also arrested on the orders of the chief prosecutor of Ankara.

Fethullah Gulen denies any involvement in the failed coup attempt saying that he was "insulted" by the accusation in light of his own experience living through government overthrow bids. Instead, he accuses Turkish President Erdogan of staging the coup as an act of theater in order to garner more control over the people of Turkey.

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