BALIKESIR/VAN/EDIRNE, Turkey

At least 24 people with suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, were arrested in the country, security sources said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in the northwestern Balikesir province issued arrest warrants for 13 suspects as part of a probe into the terror group’s civilian wing, said a source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Gendarmerie forces conducted operations across six provinces and arrested 12 suspects, while efforts were continuing to nab the remaining individual, it added.

Separately, 12 more suspects were held in Van-based operations across five provinces, provincial security directorate said in a statement.

Prosecutors in the eastern Van province had issued arrest warrants for 16 suspects, including two police officers, two teachers, and a prison guard, the statement added.

Police continued an operation to arrest the remaining four suspects, it added.

Also, prosecutors in the northwestern Edirne province issued arrest warrants for 20 suspects, another source said. Police launched operations across 10 provinces to arrest the suspects, including dismissed academicians, doctors, and lawyers, it added.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 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 in Ankara

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