Turkey: 33 suspects arrested for FETO links
Fetullah Terrorist Organization is group behind 2016 defeated coup in Turkey
ANKARA / SAMSUN / SANLIURFA, Turkey
Turkish police arrested 33 people, including 14 soldiers, for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, security sources said Tuesday.
Prosecutors in the capital Ankara had issued arrest warrants for 15 suspects, accused of using ByLock, the terror group's encrypted smartphone messaging app, said a source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
So far 12 suspects have been arrested in Ankara and police are on the lookout for the remaining suspects.
Separately, in a Samsun-based operation in 10 provinces, anti-terror police arrested seven suspects, said another source.
The arrests came after the prosecutor’s office in the Black Sea province issued warrants for 10 suspects, as part of an investigation into the terror group's infiltration to the Turkish Armed Forces, said the source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Also police arrested 14 soldiers, including one on active duty, in operations targeting the "covert imams" -- senior FETO members -- in the Turkish army. The Sanliurfa-based operation was also simultaneously held in Istanbul and Yalova. Police hunt for remaining five suspects is still underway.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey 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.
*Writing by Fahri Aksut and Burak Bir