By Safak Yel
IZMIR, Turkey (AA) - Turkish police on Friday arrested 36 people for their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt.
Prosecutors in the Aegean province of Izmir issued arrest warrants for 28 suspects on charges of FETO terror group membership, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
Twenty-one of the suspects were arrested in simultaneous operations carried out across nine provinces -- Izmir, Mardin, Antalya, Manisa, Mugla, Kutahya, Artvin, Konya, and the capital Ankara.
Twelve other suspects accused of FETO membership and three accused of using the group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app ByLock were also captured.
During searches, police also seized many fake IDs, cellphones, tablets, unlicensed pistols, a number of organizational documents, digital materials, and a large amount of money.
FETO and its U.S.-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.