By Cemil Murat Budak, Serdar Acil and Murat Yuksel
ANKARA/CANAKKALE, Turkey (AA) – Turkish authorities on Friday arrested 35 people over their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
In the Turkish capital Ankara, prosecutors had issued arrest warrants for 44 suspects over their alleged links in the leaking of the 2011 judicial exam questions to the FETO-linked candidates.
In a statement, Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office noted that the suspects became judge and prosecutor and were dismissed from their professions.
It added that they were also found to have been using terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app ByLock.
A total of 32 suspects were arrested in simultaneous operations across 23 provinces, it said. The hunt for remaining suspects is underway, it said.
Meanwhile, in Turkey’s western province of Canakkale, three fugitive FETO suspects were arrested in the Yenice district, a security source said on Friday.
Provincial gendarmerie command carried out simultaneous operations to nab the suspects, who are accused of being alleged members of FETO.
A number of digital materials and computers were seized during the operation, it added.
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.
Ankara 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.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar