UPDATES WITH ARRESTS, CHANGES HEAD, LEDE
By Yusuf Soykan Bal and Serdar Acil
ANKARA/IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – Turkish police on Friday arrested at least 68 people for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, security sources said.
The arrests came after the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Izmir issued warrants for 31 people after they were found to be using ByLock, the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Separately, 37 suspects were arrested in an Ankara-based investigation into FETO terror group.
According to a statement by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, the arrests came after a warrant was issued for 37 FETO suspects who were accused of being members of an armed terror organization.
FETO and its US-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.