Turkey

Turkish police raid 51 FETO-linked companies

80 people detained in simultaneous swoops across Istanbul

16.08.2016
Turkish police raid 51 FETO-linked companies

Ankara

ISTANBUL

The number of people detained Tuesday after simultaneous raids on 51 companies suspected of supporting the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) has risen to 80.

Financial crime officers in Istanbul raided companies suspected of providing financial help to the illegal network, a security source said.

Companies, including Akfa Holding and the A101 supermarket chain in the Uskudar and Umraniye districts, were raided with backup from riot police.

Speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the security source told Anadolu Agency that arrest warrants were issued for 120 people, of which 50 – including Fatih Aktas, chairman of Akfa Holding – were detained.

Police said seven remaining suspects were abroad. The detainees who were working at Akfa Holding allegedly helped ‘himmet money’ transfers between 2011 and 2015 via Bank Asya to organizations in the U.S. and Canada. On July 22 Turkish regulators cancelled Islamic lender Bank Asya's banking license.

Bank Asya is a participation bank affiliated with U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen.

‘Himmet’ refers to money collected as charitable donations from followers of the Gulen movement.

A wave of detentions following the July 15 coup attempt has seen around 26,000 people arrested across Turkey. Senior business figures, as well as members of the military, police, judiciary, prosecutors and teachers, have been among those targeted.

Turkey's government has said the defeated coup, which left 240 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, was organized by followers of Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his FETO network.

Gulen is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.

(Reporting By Alptekin Soykan, Halil Demir and Filiz Kınık; Writing by Bahattin Gonultas)

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