UPDATES WITH MORE ARRESTS
By Zafer Fatih Beyaz, Sertac Bulur and Halil Demir
ANKARA (AA) - At total of 55 suspects were arrested across Turkey for their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, police sources said on Friday.
At least 22 suspects were rounded up in eight provinces, including the capital, after Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued warrants for 52 suspects as part of a probe into the terrorist group’s financial structure.
Among the suspects were some businessmen, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
The hunt for other suspects is in progress, the source added.
Police also arrested 19 suspects in Istanbul-based operations in four provinces as they were allegedly using ByLock application, an encrypted smartphone messaging application used by coup plotters.
In eastern Bingol province, 10 on-duty soldiers were arrested for allegedly having links to members of the FETO terror group.
Another raid in eastern Kars province also saw arrests of 4 suspects for their links to the terror group, according to another police source.
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.
Ankara 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.