Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested 67 people over their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
At least 23 FETO suspects were arrested in Istanbul-centered simultaneous operations across 19 provinces over their links to FETO terror group.
This came after Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 54 suspects, including 42 former military school students, an active duty and a dismissed soldier, as part of probe into the terror group’s infiltration of the Turkish Armed Forces.
The suspects are accused of communicating with “covert imams” — senior FETO members — by payphone.
Meanwhile, in Nigde-centered simultaneous operations across seven provinces, 25 suspects were arrested.
The arrests came after prosecutors in central Nigde province issued arrest warrants for dismissed police officers over their links to the FETO terror group.
At least nine more FETO-linked terror suspects, including two active-duty soldiers, were also arrested in the northwestern Kocaeli-based operation that spread to four other provinces.
Separately, police conducted an operation in the capital Ankara and arrested five FETO suspects.
The arrests came after prosecutors in Ankara issued warrants for 22 suspects on charges of using ByLock, the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app and having communicated with the terror group members via pay phone.
A search for the remaining suspects is underway.
In the northwestern Edirne province, seven FETO-linked suspects were arrested while attempting to flee to Greece.
They included three teachers and four judges who were dismissed from their jobs over terror links.
Five more suspects of FETO/PDY were arrested in the southern province of Antalya in an operation. One suspect was acquitted, two were released on bail and two were transferred to cities where an investigation on them is ongoing.
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.
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.
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