Turkey arrests 45 FETO-linked terror suspects
Suspects were arrested in western Izmir, northwestern Istanbul and Black Sea province of Samsun
Turkish security forces on Friday arrested 45 people for their alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the terror group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, judicial sources said.
Earlier, Izmir’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had issued arrest warrants for 20 suspects, including 17 on-duty soldiers, as part of a probe of infiltration of the Turkish Armed Forces by the terror group.
Following the issuance of the arrest warrants, 13 suspects, including two colonels and three lieutenants, were arrested in various provinces.
Separately, Samsun’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 22 suspects -- including on-duty soldiers, a doctor and former students of now-defunct military academy -- for their alleged linked to FETO.
Turkish security forces arrested 14 suspects -- including Coskun K, former director of Turkey's state-run postal service PTT, who is accused of being a senior figure in the FETO’s military structure.
In addition, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 29 suspects for allegedly using ByLock, an encrypted cellphone app used by FETO coup plotters.
So far, 18 suspects have been arrested by the security forces.
Operations are continuing 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.
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 Beyza Binnur Donmez; Recep Bilek from Samsun, Muhammed Enes Can and Basak Akbulut Yazar from Istanbul contribute to this story