Turkish police arrests 61 FETO-linked suspects
Operations also saw arrests of on-duty soldiers
At least 61 people were arrested across Turkey on Friday over their suspected links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the July 2016 defeated coup, security sources said.
At least 30 suspects were arrested in Ankara after Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 43 suspects as part of probe into group's "absence houses", a label given to hideouts of secret FETO members, said the security sources on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
The source added that the operation remained ongoing to nab the rest of the suspects.
Separately, Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul issued arrest warrants for 38 suspects as part of probe into FETO’s presence in Turkish military, sources said.
Simultaneous operations in 18 provinces, including Istanbul, was conducted and 20 suspects were arrested following the issuance of the arrest warrants.
Sources said that 18 of the suspects are on-duty soldiers, while the remaining two are cadets.
In southern Kahramanmaras-based operation in 12 provinces, 11 on-duty soldiers were arrested as part of probe into FETO presence in Turkish military.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara 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.
* Murat Paksoy, Muhammed Enes Can and Murat Kaya from Istanbul, Ismail Hakki Demir from Kahramanmaras contributed to this story.
Reporting by Sertac Bulur:Writing by Burcu Arik