By Zafer Fatih Beyaz and Ismet Karakas
ANKARA (AA) - A court in Ankara on Wednesday remanded 22 people in custody on suspicion of financing the “parallel state” terror group.
Eight others were freed on bail by the Sixth Ankara Criminal Court of Peace following a series of arrests across five Turkish provinces on Tuesday.
The suspects are said to have funded the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, also known as FETO or the parallel state, through a U.S. non-profit institution. The group is led by U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government through a network of supporters, known as Gulenists, within state institutions.
Another 16 people are still wanted, including nine thought to be in the U.S., according to a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Warrants were issued after the Financial Crimes Investigation Board compiled a file on the institution in Pennsylvania accused of funding his group. Gulen has lived in Pennslyvania since 1999.
According to the source, sums of $9,999 -- just below the level that requires reporting to the U.S. authorities -- were sent to the U.S.-based entity. Most was channeled through Turkey’s Bank Asya, which was close to the Gulen movement until it was taken over by the government in February last year.
Turkish investigators believe the money was earmarked for spending on U.S. election donations, the source said.