Turkey

Turkey nabs 97 FETO-linked terror suspects

Suspects include active-duty officers, security source says

Tanju Ozkaya, Yusuf Soykan Bal and Mirac Kaya   | 19.10.2021
Turkey nabs 97 FETO-linked terror suspects

ANKARA/BALIKESIR/IZMIR, Turkey

Turkish security forces on Tuesday nabbed at least 97 people over their alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, according to security sources.

Prosecutors in the western Izmir province issued warrants for 158 suspects as part of a probe into the terror group’s infiltration in the Turkish Armed Forces, said a source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The source said 97 of the suspects, including both active-duty soldiers and military school students, were arrested in simultaneous operations held in 41 provinces. Efforts are continuing to round up the remaining suspects, it added.

Separately, prosecutors in the northwestern Balikesir issued warrants for 46 suspects, said the source.

Suspects, including seven active-duty soldiers, a police officer, and five covert imams, were accused of operating within the “private” military organization and using the terror group's encrypted messaging app ByLock.

Anti-terror police launched a simultaneous operation at 55 addresses across Turkey.

Meanwhile, arrest warrants were issued for 123 suspects who communicated with the terror group members via payphone, or were involved in organizational activities, prosecutors in Ankara said.

A simultaneous operation was underway in 16 provinces to arrest the suspects, it added.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.

Ankara 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 Gozde Bayar

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