Turkey: 75 FETO-linked terror suspects arrested

Arrests come after prosecutors in Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Canakkale provinces issued arrest warrants for 162 suspects

Halil Demir, Cemil Murat Budak, Burak Akay and Savas Guler   | 26.11.2019
Turkey: 75 FETO-linked terror suspects arrested


Turkish police on Tuesday arrested 75 suspects for their alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt, security sources said.

The arrests first came after prosecutors in Istanbul issued warrants for 54 suspects.

The police conducted simultaneous raids across the country, and arrested 28 suspects on charges of using the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app, ByLock.

Separately, prosecutors in coastal northwestern Canakkale province issued arrest warrants for 21 active-duty soldiers including a lieutenant colonel as part of an investigation into the terror group’s crypto structure in the Turkish Armed Forces.

Also prosecutors in central Konya province issued arrest warrants for 50 FETO-linked terror suspects who were accused of being "covert imams" -- senior FETO members -- leading terror group members who infiltrated into the armed forces.

In the following hours, 23 of them were arrested in the operation launched in 26 provinces.

Another arrest warrant was issued by prosecutors in Ankara for 37 suspects, including 32 active-duty soldiers and a "covert imam", and 24 suspects were arrested. 

In total, 75 suspects out of 162 have been arrested so far.

A hunt for the remaining suspects is underway.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on 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.

* Writing by Burak Bir and Sena Guler

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