IZMIR, Turkey 

Turkish security forces arrested 198 suspects nationwide for their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, security sources said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in the western Izmir province issued warrants for 304 suspects, including 295 on-duty personnel of the Turkish Armed Forces, said the source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The suspects are accused of communicating by payphone with “covert imams” who are senior FETO members.

Police and gendarmerie forces arrested the suspects simultaneously in 50 provinces during Izmir-based operations.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of 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 infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Since the coup attempt, tens of thousands of FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, judicial system, and education sector.

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