April 22, 2016 / 5:26 AM / 2 years ago

Turkish court remands executive in custody over Gulen links: media

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish court remanded seven people in custody pending trial, including an executive of a major construction company, accused of funding the movement of President Tayyip Erdogan’s foe, Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, state media said on Friday.

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

The suspects were among more than 100 detained by police on Monday, the latest operations targeting thousands of supporters of the U.S.-based cleric, accused of leading a “Gulenist Terror Group” trying to unseat Erdogan. Gulen denies the accusations.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said Halit Dumankaya, a board member of the Dumankaya construction group, was among four of those that the court ruled should be remanded on a charge of “providing financing for a terror group”.

The other three suspects kept in custody were accused of “being members of an armed terror group”. Another 37 people were released but were to be monitored by judicial authorities.

Various companies, including ones involved in media, mining, furniture and cable-making, have been probed and executives detained during police operations targeting Gulen’s followers.

Media outlets linked to him have been seized and some shutdown.

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 schools and are active in the media sector, denies the charges.

A Turkish court in December 2014 issued an arrest warrant for Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, accusing him of heading a criminal group.

Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Macfie

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