Turkey detains senior 'Gulen aide', disbands elite presidential guard
Turkey has detained a senior aide to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who it blames for the coup attempt aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an official said on Saturday.
Authorities also disbanded the elite presidential guard after detaining almost 300 of its members in the wake of the failed coup.
Turkish security forces detained Hails Hanci in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, accused of being the "right-hand man" of Gulen and responsible for transferring funds to him.
The official said Hanci "apparently" entered the country two days before the attempted putsch that erupted late on 15 July.
Authorities also detained the son-in-law of Akin Ozturk, a former air force chief already arrested as one of the key suspects.
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said authorities would disband the presidential guard, a regiment numbering up to 2,500 people.
"There will no longer be a presidential guard, there is no purpose, there is no need," Yildirim said, speaking to A Haber channel.
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At least 283 members of the regiment had been detained following last week's attempted coup.
Authorities pushed a sweeping crackdown against suspected coup plotters, defiantly telling EU critics it had no choice but to root out hidden enemies.
Using new emergency powers, Erdogan's cabinet decreed that police could now hold suspects for one month without charge and announced it would shut down over 1,000 private schools it deems subversive.
Fears that Erdogan will seek to further cement his rule and muzzle dissent through repression have strained ties with Western NATO allies and cast a darkening shadow over Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi warned that "a country that jails its own university professors and journalists imprisons its future".
Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik insisted that European leaders do not appreciate the scale of the threat and lamented that none had come to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Turkey's leaders after the bloodshed of 15 July.
"Come here and see how serious this is!" Celik told a foreign media briefing.
"Those who look at Turkey from far away think it is a Pokemon game," he added, referring to the viral smartphone game with Japanese cartoon characters.
He added that Gulen was more dangerous than either the late al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden or Islamic State group.
Agencies contributed to this report.