April 20, 2016 / 9:17 AM / 2 years ago

Turkish police detain 20 people over links to cleric Gulen: Anadolu

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police on Wednesday detained 20 people over their alleged links to a movement led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Selahattin Sevi/Zaman Daily via Cihan News Agency

It said the arrests were made in an operation carried out in the southern provinces of Osmaniye, Adana, Mersin and Isparta, and that teachers and businessmen were among those detained.

President Tayyip Erdogan accuses Gulen of setting up a “parallel state” and conspiring to unseat the government with a network of supporters in the judiciary, police and media.

Gulen, whose adherents run some schools and are active in the media industry, denies the charges.

The two men were allies until police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to Gulen opened a corruption inquiry into Erdogan’s inner circle in 2013. Thousands of police officers, prosecutors and judges were sacked or reassigned for alleged links to Gulen.

Earlier in the week, the police detained 100 people including executives of a prominent Turkish construction company over allegations of funding Gulen’s movement.

Reporting by Seda Sezer; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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