A total of 34 people were nabbed in Turkey on Wednesday for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind a defeated 2016 coup attempt in the country.
Prosecutors in the Aegean province of Izmir issued arrest warrants for 14 suspects on charges of using the terror group's encrypted smartphone messaging app, ByLock, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office.
Police arrested nine suspects as operations continue to arrest other suspects, the statement said.
The simultaneous operations spanned three provinces -- Izmir, Aydin, and Konya.
Later in the day, 19 of 27 FETO suspects -- for whom arrest warrants were issued earlier -- were taken into custody as part of an anti-terror operation held in ten provinces. Suspects are accused of being in contact through payphone with FETO-affiliated servicemen -- who used to serve in the army before their removal.
Security units continued their search for the remaining eight suspects. Notably, 20 of the suspects were students in military school prior to their suspension.
Additionally, a total of six other FETO suspects -- including those accused of using ByLock application to keep in contact with the terror group -- were nabbed following simultaneous operations held in Elazig, Van and Istanbul provinces.
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.
Source: Anadolu Agency