Turkey to abolish presidential guard regiment, media claims key aide to Gulen arrested
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the presidential guard regiment would be abolished after some of its members were involved in the coup attempt, local media reported on Saturday.
“There will no longer be a presidential guard, there is no purpose, no need,” Xinhua quoted the prime minister as saying citing A-Haber TV.
At least 283 of the presidential guard regiment members have been detained in the wake of the failed coup.
Turkey on Friday issued arrest warrants for another 300 members of the presidential guards, CNNTurk reported.
The military bases across Turkey will be moved out of city centres, the prime minister said, adding that Turkish gendarmerie will be connected to the interior ministry.
A total of detainees rises to 13,002, including 1,329 policemen, 8,831 military officials, 2,100 judges and prosecutors, according to the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Turkish local media claimed that the government has arrested a key aide to the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who was accused by Ankara of plotting the failed coup attempt.
Halis Hanci, designated as Gulen’s henchman, came to Turkey two days before the coup attempt, Xinhua reported.
He has distributed money to Gulen, who has been living in the US since 1999.
Turkish authorities earlier on Saturday detained Mohammet Sait Gulen, one of Gulen’s nephews, NTV reported.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly demanded the extradition of the cleric and the government has filed an official request with the US for it.
The failed coup attempt, which began on July 15, was crushed the next day; at least 290 people, including more than 100 “coup plotters,” were killed, authorities said.