By Atakan Citlak
GIRESUN, Turkey (AA) - A total of 34 people were arrested across Turkey and 18 others were sent to prison on Monday for suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, according to a security source.
Twenty-four soldiers, some of whom were on-duty soldiers, were detained during operations -- based in the Black Sea province of Giresun -- conducted simultaneously in 15 different cities.
Also, in northwestern Bilecik province, seven suspects were arrested, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
In central Eskisehir province, a former teacher was arrested as part of an investigation launched by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the city.
The suspect, identified by initials I.K., had been accused of using ByLock, an encrypted mobile phone application used by FETO members to communicate during and after the defeated coup attempt.
Separately, two others were also arrested in northwestern Edirne province, as they attempted to enter Greece illegally, a security official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
Meanwhile, in northern Samsun province, 11 former gendarmerie personnel were sent to prison by the 3th High Criminal Court in Samsun, for terms ranging from one year and six months to seven years and six months.
Also, seven former police personnel were given prison sentences, ranging from three years and nine months, and seven years and six months, by the High Criminal Court in Rize, the Black Sea province of Turkey.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara 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.