Turkish court arrests pastry magnate in coup probe


STANBUL, Sept. 8 : (AFP) – A Turkish court on Thursday ordered the arrest of the chairman of a famed traditional sweet pastry manufacturer as well as over a dozen other businessmen for their alleged links to the failed July 15 coup.
Faruk Gullu, the chairman of the Faruk Gulluoglu chain of sweet shops and restaurants, was remanded in custody by the Istanbul court on charges of being a member of the group of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen which is blamed for the failed coup, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Faruk Gulluoglu is one of Turkey’s best known suppliers of baklava, the traditional sweet pastry that rounds off meals, and its main shop is a magnet for tourists in Istanbul. Fifteen other suspects linked to the business world were also placed under arrest ahead of trial, the agency said, without giving their names. Twenty-eight suspects were released under judicial control.Nejat Gullu, Faruk’s brother and the chairman of the similarly-named but rival Gulluoglu baklava firm, has also been detained and investigations are continuing, the agency added.
Omer Faruk Kavurmaci, CEO of the Aydinli Group clothing retailer, is also awaiting a decision on whether he will be remanded in custody.All had been detained in raids in mid-August.
Turkey has pressed a relentless crackdown after the coup with some 20,000 people from all professions including the military, education and journalism detained.In a separate development, Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 92 more people, including six generals, on suspicion of links to Gulen and the coup. Gulen has ridiculed the accusations that he masterminded the coup bid aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But Ankara is pressing Washington for his extradition, accusing Gulen of leading a “terror” group.
Meanwhile two fugitive Turkish admirals were detained late on Wednesday after almost two months on the run, the Dogan news agency said.Admirals Nazmi Ekici and Hayrettin Imren, who were posted at bases in western Turkey, were detained in Tuzla outside Istanbul. They will in the next days appear before a judge to decide if to remand them in custody. The coup investigation has so far seen the arrest of over 150 admirals and generals, half of Turkey’s entire contingent of top-ranking military, forcing a massive shake-up in the armed forces.

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