UPDATES WITH NUMBER OF ARRESTED SUSPECTS, CHANGES HEAD, LEDE
By Cemil Murat Budak, Tanju Ozkaya, Sertac Bulur and Halil Demir
ANKARA/ISTANBUL/KONYA, Turkiye (AA) – At least 78 people were arrested on Tuesday over suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkiye, sources and officials said.
Prosecutors in Istanbul issued warrants for 16 people as part of a probe into the terror group’s infiltration in the judiciary and penitentiary system.
Security forces arrested 15 suspects in simultaneous operations across Turkiye, while efforts are underway to nab the remaining suspect.
In the operations, a large number of organizational documents and digital materials were seized.
Separately, prosecutors in the Turkish capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 99 suspects as part of an investigation into the group’s covert presence in the Gendarmerie General Command.
Security forces then launched a large-scale Ankara-based operation across 40 provinces and arrested 55 suspects, according to the prosecutor's office.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in the central Konya province issued arrests warrants for 10 people as part of a probe into the terror group’s infiltration in the Turkish Armed Forces.
Eight of the suspects were arrested in Konya-based operations across seven provinces.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 wounded.
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.
Since the coup attempt, tens of thousands of FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, judicial system, and the education sector.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar in Ankara