By Enes Can, Mustafa Yildirim, Emrah Yasar, and Halil Fidan
An Istanbul court on Saturday sentenced a member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind last year's defeated coup attempt -- to eight years in jail.
Ergin Mercan was serving FETO leader Fetullah Gulen when he was staying at one of the group's private teaching institutions in Istanbul's Altunizade district, according to a ruling by the Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court.
He had been working at the institution for 20 years when he was arrested in Aug. 2016 for suspected links to FETO.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Gulen organized the July 15 defeated coup attempt, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 others wounded.
The group is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Also on Saturday, police in western Izmir province said they had arrested Selcuk S., Gulen's nephew and son of his sister Nardane S.
He was arrested during Friday's raids at several houses along with 27 other suspects.
Gulen's nephew, who previously worked in sugar factories in Corum and Usak provinces, was allegedly responsible for employees who were FETO members.
In a separate operation in northwestern Edirne province, police arrested a former deputy chief of intelligence department of central Eskisehir province, as well as his wife and two children, as they attempted to leave Turkey illegally.
Erkan S. and his wife Halise S. will reportedly be sent to Eskisehir as part of an ongoing investigation into the couple.
They are accused of having links to FETO and using ByLock -- an encrypted smartphone messaging app used by FETO members before and during last year's defeated coup attempt.
A court in southeastern Sanliurfa province remanded in custody five suspects out of 15 for their links to the terrorist group.
Police raided houses on Saturday and arrested 15 FETO suspects, who were later sent to a local court.
Five will be jailed pending trial, while the rest were released under judicial control.