By Safak Yel, Mustafa Yildirim
IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – Police detained 29 suspects in raids targeting the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, also known as the FETO/Parallel State Structure PDY, in western Turkey’s Izmir province Tuesday, unnamed police sources said.
Around 500 officers carried out the raids simultaneously across 73 locations in Izmir, police sources, who spoke with Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restriction on talking to the media, said.
Mehmet Mezher Gulen, 28, who is reportedly the nephew of Fetullah Gulen, a self-exiled U.S.-based preacher accused of trying to topple the Turkish government, is among the detainees, they added.
Mezher Gulen is accused of being the “chief of [Gulen network run] schools and private exam preparation institutions in Turkey,” according to police.
The FETO/PDY group is said to be headed by Fetullah Gulen, who runs a network of schools and commercial enterprises in Turkey and around the world.
Described as the “parallel state”, the FETO/PDY is said to be behind the December 2013 corruption investigation into senior Turkish government figures, including ex-ministers.
The U.S.-based preacher is also the main suspect in the investigation of mass wiretapping of Dec. 17 and 21, 2013, which targeted more than 7,000 people.
Since early 2014, investigations into the parallel state have seen hundreds of civil servants, including police and public prosecutors, arrested or reassigned.
*Anadolu Agency Correspondent Handan Kazanci contributed to this story from Istanbul.