Police in Turkey arrested 72 people over their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt, security sources said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in the Aegean Izmir province had issued warrants for 66 suspects, including 27 lawyers and an active duty member of the Turkish Armed Forces, said a source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. 

In an Izmir-based operation in 19 provinces, anti-terror police teams arrested 55 suspects, the source said. 

The police continue the hunt for the remaining suspects, it added. 

In a separate operation based in the eastern Van province, local police arrested 17 suspected FETO members in 12 cities. 

The arrests came after the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Van issued warrants for 19 suspects accused of communicating with senior FETO members by payphone.  

Earlier, Turkish prosecutors in northwestern Balikesir also issued arrest warrants for 24 suspects across the country over their alleged links to FETO. 

Police carried out simultaneous operations in 21 cities against the infiltration of the FETO terror group into the Turkish Armed Forces. 

The suspects are accused of communicating with senior FETO members by payphone. 

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 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.

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