Governance

Turkish authorities detain 169 FETO suspects

Arrest warrants have been issued in Ankara for 79 suspects over their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year's defeated coup, according to a police source.

Among the 78 former and one active employees of the Ministry of Finance, 24 suspects were arrested early Thursday during simultaneous operations in 26 provinces, the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

The arrests followed a probe by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

Almost all of the suspects are accused of using FETO's encrypted smartphone messaging app ByLock, handing information about their institution to FETO and having accounts at Bank Asya, a lender affiliated with FETO which recently declared bankruptcy.

According to Turkish authorities, ByLock was a means of communication among members of FETO, which orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 that left 250 people martyred and some 2,200 others injured.

The operations are ongoing, and the arrested suspects will be brought to the capital Ankara, the source said.

Separately, a woman, visiting her husband at a prison in southern Osmaniye, was arrested for having alleged links to the organization.

In Turkey's central province of Konya, police arrested 12 people, including soldiers, in simultaneous operations.

At least 12 FETO-linked suspects were arrested in 4 provinces, including Istanbul and Izmir, as part of a probe into the organization launched by Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in southwestern Mugla province.

20 more suspects, including former teachers and civil servants, were arrested in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

A probe by central Eskisehir's Chief Public Prosecutor's Office into FETO's structure in the Air Force resulted in the arrest of 45 people, including pilots and military officers.

In a southern Antalya-based counter-terrorism operation, 11 people were arrested.

Also, a total of 35 people were arrested for being members of the terrorist organization in simultaneous operations based in northwestern provinces Edirne and Balikesir.

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.

Source: Anadolu Agency