ISTANBUL  – Turkish police carried out simultaneous operations to arrest 44 people 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.

While many suspects were arrested in the operations, the hunt for the remaining suspects is underway.

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 in Ankara

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