Erdogan supporters protest Fethullah Gulen
A Pro-Erdogan supporter holds a portrait of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen during a rally against the military coup on Taksim square in Istanbul OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

The birthplace of cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of being behind the failed military coup by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is to be turned into a public toilet. Gulen, who is a political figure and writer as well as a cleric, lives in the US and denies all involvement in the attempted coup. He was born in the village of Korucuk, Erzurum Province in the east of the country.

The decision was made at the request of local villagers according to Beyaz Gazette, a Turkish media channel supportive of Erdogan's regime. Gulen, who leads the Hizmet movement from exile, has become a hate figure for supporters of the regime, with hundreds of his books being dumped in the street, rivers, skips and in some cases – burned.

Erdogan has demanded the extradition of Gulen from the US, with Washington weighing up the request.

Around 60,000 supporters of Gulen and the Hizmetmovement have been suspended, sacked from their jobs or arrested since the events on 15 July. In total almost 16,000 people have been detained, many of them from the military.

Thousands of academics have also been removed from their posts. Warrants have also been issued for the arrest of 47 journalists.

Human rights groups are growing increasingly concerned at alleged human rights abuses in Turkey, including the torture, starvation and rape of people suspected of involvement in the coup. Many of those detained are said to have been deprived of food, water and medical aid and some have disappeared altogether.