Turkish police arrested 33 suspects in simultaneous operations over their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, security sources said late Thursday.

The Istanbul-based operations were conducted across 14 provinces.

This came after the prosecutors in Istanbul issued warrants of arrest for 44 suspects for infiltration into Turkish Armed Forces.

While 33 suspects were arrested in the operations, the police delivered notifications for the arrest of two suspects under COVID-19 quarantine, and another one abroad.

The hunt for the remaining eight suspects is underway.

Four of the arrested suspects were active duty soldiers.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen are accused of orchestrating 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 the 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.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan and Dilan Pamuk in Ankara.

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