UPDATES WITH MORE ARRESTS
By Safak Yel, Ismet Karatas and Sertac Bulur
IZMIR / ANKARA, Turkey (AA) - Turkish police on Friday arrested 74 people for their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt.
Arrest warrants were issued for 47 sergeants in the Turkish Land Forces, including 30 on active duty, as part of a probe into the terror group's infiltration of the Turkish Land Forces, a statement by prosecutors in the capital Ankara said.
Thirty-eight suspects were arrested in simultaneous operations carried out across 21 provinces, including the capital.
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 were also captured, as well as three accused of using the group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app ByLock.
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.
A hunt for the remaining suspects is underway.
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.