60 FETO-linked ex-judges and prosecutors detained
Search for other 22 suspects continues in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Eskisehir in probe into last July's defeated coup
By Muhammed Enes Can, Mustafa Yildirim, Cankut Tasdan and Emrah Yasar
Sixty former judges and prosecutors allegedly linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), blamed for last July’s coup attempt in Turkey, were detained Saturday, according to judicial sources.
In Istanbul, a total of 26 suspects were detained after Istanbul prosecutors had issued an arrest warrant for 55 former senior jurists allegedly linked to FETO who were recently dismissed from their posts, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
All the suspects were charged with being members of an armed terrorist group by Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Onder Yaman, who coordinated the investigation.
In addition, at the prosecutors’ request, the court also approved the search and seizure of the suspects' properties and confiscation of any evidence relevant to the crime.
Later Saturday, 10 more suspects were detained in Turkish capital Ankara. One more suspect is still being sought in the capital in addition to the 18 others nationwide.
The 55 were among 202 judges and prosecutors dismissed by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) in Ankara on Friday.
The move is part of an ongoing probe into the defeated coup, which left 249 people martyred and nearly 2,200 wounded.
Led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, FETO is accused of orchestrating Turkey’s July 15, 2016, coup plot as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and the judiciary.
According to HSYK Deputy Chair Mehmet Yilmaz, over 4,000 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed since last July 15.
Later Saturday, four more allegedly FETO-linked jurists were detained in their homes in Turkey's central Eskisehir province as part of the investigation by Ankara prosecutors. A police search continues in the suspects’ offices and homes.
The suspects were among the 202 judges and prosecutors dismissed Friday by the HSYK.
Under similar investigations led by Izmir prosecutors, 20 other allegedly FETO-linked judges and prosecutors were detained in simultaneous operations in the Aegean Izmir province. Three other suspects are still being sought in Izmir as part of the investigation.
The suspects detained in Izmir were also among the 202 judges and prosecutors dismissed Friday by the HSYK.