Speaking at a mass funeral in Istanbul for civilians who died on Bosphorous Bridge on Sunday, 17 June, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pledged to rid the country of the "virus" caused by Fethullah Gülen. The Turkish president blames the exiled cleric for being behind the failed coup.

"The cleansing [operation] is continuing," said Bekir Bozdag, the Turkish justice minister in a TV interview. "Some 6,000 detentions have taken place. The number could surpass 6,000."

He described the arrests as part of a "clean-up operation".

Erdoğan's purge since the coup, which he described as "a gift from God", has included five generals, more than 50 senior soldiers and 2,700 judges. Alparslan Altan, one of Turkey's most senior judges,has also been taken into custody.

General Bekir Ercan Van, the commander of Incirlik air base is the latest high-ranking military officer to be detained for complicity in the failed coup which was attempted on Friday, 15 July.

Other arrests reportedly include Gen Erdal Ozturk, commander of the Third Army; Gen Adem Huduti, commander of the Second Army; and Akin Ozturk, the former Chief of Air Staff. Maj Gen Ozhan Ozbakir, commander of the Denizli garrison, was among the senior military figures arrested on Sunday, 17 July, according to state-owned Anadolu news agency.

Analysts foresee the failed putsch centralising power around the Turkish president, according to a Guardian report. Andrew Finkel, author of Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know, says that if the coup had "an air of amateur desperation, it is because its perpetrators probably assumed that this was their last chance to stop the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from getting the military completely under its control".

Groups of renegade plotters against Erdoğan are believed to be still hiding out in Istanbul, according to Reuters. A senior official maintained that the government was firmly in control.

The death penalty was being demanded for the plotters, as further arrests take place. Turkey's deputy chief of mission in the UK, Cem Isik, refused to rule out the death penalty being brought back for the plotters.

"This is treason, this treachery. There will be investigations into how this happened and who did it," he said in a Sky interview. "Everything right now points to the fact that a military group from various ranks… loyal to the terrorists group of Fetullah Gülen.

"They will be tried and they will receive their punishment."

Fethullah Gülen, a liberal Sunni cleric, is a vocal critic of Erdoğan. Gülen denies the charge. But the Turkish president issued the imam with an arrest warrant for allegedly running "a terrorist group" and has demanded that the US to extradite him.