UPDATES WITH NUMBER OF ARRESTS
By Hamza Tay
NIGDE, Turkey (AA) - A total of 40 people, mainly former soldiers and military cadets, have been arrested across Turkey on Wednesday for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), police sources said.
At least 18 suspects were arrested after Turkish security forces conducted simultaneous operations at 22 locations in Turkey’s 14 provinces, including Nigde, Istanbul, Ankara, Balikesir, Sanliurfa, Kayseri, Nevsehir, Diyarbakir, Giresun, Bursa, Karabuk, Yalova, Hatay, and Kirikkale.
The arrests came after warrants were issued for 22 FETO-linked suspects by the Nigde’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Search for remaining four suspects is in progress, the source added.
Meanwhile, in Turkey’s western province of Manisa, eight suspects have been arrested over their links to the FETO, another police source said.
The arrests came after Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 10 FETO suspects, who were dismissed from military schools.
***Later on the day, police also arrested 14 on-duty soldiers, including the commander of Zonguldak M Type Closed Prison, in a simultaneous operation against the terror members in 12 provinces including Bartin and Zonguldak. ****
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, according to the Turkish government.
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.