Celal Afşar, a 86-year-old businessman, has been put in pre-trial detention over his alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, which is accused of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to the TR724 news portal, Mr Afşar, his daughter, and son-in-law were initially detained by police as part of an investigation launched by the Niğde Prosecutor’s office last week. After spending several days in police custody, a Niğde court sent them to prison pending trial.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen group.

The groupdenies any involvement.

Tens of thousands of civil servants have either been dismissed or/and arrested over alleged membership in the group. More than 150,000 people including thousands of academics have lost their jobs over links to the group since summer 2016.