Turkey arrests 140 people in raid against Erdogan's rival

Turkish authorities have arrested more than 140 people over the past two days in raids against alleged supporters of a preacher living in the United States, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

About 105 people were arrested on Monday and another 28 on Tuesday in 10 provinces, the agency reported, citing unnamed security officials.

Among those arrested are teachers, police officers and 41 people who worked for Bank Asya, which was linked to the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish-born preacher living in the US since the 1990s.

Gulen was once allied with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but the two fell out in recent years, with the government accusing the cleric of running a "parallel state," with followers allegedly placed in positions of power throughout state institutions.

The preacher denies the charges that he sought to overthrow the government. His Islamic movement, seen as a moderate group, has been deemed a terrorist organization in Turkey.

The row blew up in late 2013, when Gulenists were accused of leaking information alleging corruption in the government, when Erdogan was then prime minister.

Thousands of people have been arrested in recent operations against the Gulenist movement, Milliyet newspaper reported over the weekend.

Media outlets affiliated with the Gulenists - including Zaman newspaper, once the country's largest daily - have been taken over by the state.

Last update: Tue, 19/04/2016 - 16:29

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