IZMIR, Turkey

At least 137 suspected members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) – the group behind the defeated coup of 2016, five years ago this week – were arrested in nationwide operations on Monday.

A total of 229 arrest warrants were issued for 86 soldiers and 143 former military school students by prosecutors in the Aegean province of Izmir. However, arrest warrants for four were canceled, one due to duplication of investigation and three due to health problems.

An Izmir-based operation was subsequently launched in 47 cities.

Among the suspects arrested were two Turkish Armed Forces lieutenant colonels, one major, two captains, eight first lieutenants, five lieutenants, 54 petty officers, and 14 expert sergeants. Operations to find the rest continue.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 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.

*Writing by Beyza Binnur Donmez​​​​​​​

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