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Chief adviser to Turkish prime minister detained

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/06/2017

ISTANBUL — Turkey's official news agency says the chief adviser to the prime minister has been detained for alleged links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed by the government for last summer's coup attempt.

Anadolu news agency said Birol Erdem, who currently advises Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, was taken into custody in Ankara Saturday along with his wife. They are being investigated for their suspected membership in Gulen's movement, which Turkey considers a terror group.

Turkey launched a massive crackdown after the July 15 coup to purge state institutions of suspected Gulen sympathizers. More than 50,000 people have been arrested and 100,000 civil servants dismissed.

Erdem previously served in the highest judicial body and as the undersecretary of the Justice Ministry.

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