Turkey probes alleged links in military with U.S.-based cleric - defence minister

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz said on Wednesday that a military prosecutor has opened an investigation into allegations a U.S.-based Islamic preacher has sympathisers in the armed forces, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

It is the latest move against followers of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers have been pushed out of key posts in the judiciary and police force, amid a long-running fued with President Tayyip Erdogan, once Gulen's close ally.

Yilmaz also said that 73 officers, whose convictions for plotting Erdogan's overthrow were overturned, had returned to their posts in the Turkish Armed Forces, Anadolu said on its website.

(Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Nick Tattersall)