Turkey: 45 army pilots detained in FETO probe

Arrest warrants have been issued for 73 pilots allegedly linked to FETO

Turkey: 45 army pilots detained in FETO probe

By Metin Bolat

KONYA, Turkey

Forty-five army pilots have been detained in an anti-terror investigation into the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) on Thursday, security sources said.

A provincial security source spoke on condition of anonymity due to restriction on talking to media told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that the arrests occurred in 17 provinces across the country.

The Konya chief public prosecutor issued the arrest warrants for 73 pilots -- 71 lieutenants and two colonels -- early Thursday as part of a FETO investigation.

The apprehended pilots went through medical examinations at Konya State Hospital, the sources said.

The operation to arrest the suspects is still underway, the sources added.

Meanwhile, 26 police officers were referred to the court in Bursa province Thursday for using a smartphone messaging app, ByLock, linked to the deadly July 15 coup attempt.

ByLock was allegedly used by FETO members, which the government blames for being behind the coup attempt.

The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the coup, prompting the plotters to switch to the WhatsApp messaging service but not before tens of thousands of FETO suspects had been identified.

In addition, four police chiefs were arrested in Istanbul early Tuesday for alleged links to FETO.

Led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, FETO is accused of orchestrating Turkey’s July 15 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 judiciary.

The July 15 defeated coup left 241 people martyred and some 2,200 injured.

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