Turkey

Turkey arrests 62 over suspected links to FETO

Arrests come after prosecutors in capital Ankara issue warrants for over 100 suspects

Serdar Acil, Ismet Karakas and Baris Kilic   | 25.12.2019
Turkey arrests 62 over suspected links to FETO

ANKARA

Turkish security forces have arrested Wednesday 62 people for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup in 2016.

Prosecutors in the Turkish capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 36 soldiers, including 35 on active duty, as part of an investigation into FETO’s infiltration into the Gendarmerie General Command, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the province said.

Eleven of them were arrested in operations carried out 22 provinces across Turkey, it added.

The operation was launched after suspects were found to have periodically and successively communicated with FETO members via pay phone.

Prosecutors also issued warrants for 22 suspects as part of a probe into the terror group’s infiltration into Air Forces Command after they were found to engage in a phone constant with FETO’s "covert imams" -- senior operatives.

Sixteen of the suspects were arrested in operations launched in 12 provinces.

The office also said, Ankara prosecutors separately issued warrants for 19 suspects, including five on active duty, as part of an operation into FETO’s infiltration into the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).

Ten of the suspects were arrested in simultaneous operations in five provinces. The suspects are also accused of communicating with FETO members via pay phone.

Fourteen other suspects were also arrested after prosecutors in Ankara issued warrant for 20 suspects, including former judges, as part of a probe into leaking questions of administrative jurisdiction exam in 2013, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The suspects were arrested in 11 provinces, it added.

Warrants were separately issued in 14 provinces for 26 suspects who were previously dismissed from public institutions as part of an Ankara-based investigation against FETO.

Eight of them were arrested so far, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The prosecutors in Ankara also issued warrants for eight suspect on charges of using ByLock, the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app.

Three of them were arrested in an operation in the capital.

The operations are underway 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 Sena Guler

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