By Muhammed Enes Can and Murat Paksoy
Turkish prosecutors on Thursday issued arrest warrants for 24 suspects linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants over the suspects’ alleged involvement in infiltrating Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
The case is linked to an incident in February 2012, when an Istanbul prosecutor ordered MIT head Hakan Fidan and other officials to testify in an investigation of an urban network of the terrorist PKK organization. The probe was plotted by FETO.
The suspects include U.S.-based FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, alleged "MIT imam" Murat Karabulut, former Police Commissioner Yurt Atayun, Ali Fuat Yilmazer, Serdar Bayraktutan, Oguzhan Ceylan, Erol Demirhan, former prosecutors Sadrettin Sarikaya and Bilal Bayraktar, journalist Mustafa Gokkilic, lawyers, and former MIT officials.
Ten of the suspects were already arrested as part of other FETO investigations, while five are fugitives.
During simultaneous operations, six out of nine suspects -- including Mustaga Gokkilic -- were arrested, while operations continue to arrest the remaining suspects.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Reporting by Muhammed Enes Can and Murat Paksoy:Writing by Meryem Goktas