By Cansu Dikme
ANKARA (AA) – At least 52 suspects have been arrested in counter-terror operations across Turkey over alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, security sources said Tuesday.
In an operation based in the Aegean Izmir region, counter-terrorist police aremed with warrants arrested 22 FETO suspects in the Tekirdag, Eskisehir, Balikesir, and Kocaeli provinces, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Thirteen of the suspects are said to have used ByLock, an encrypted cellphone app used by FETO members to communicate during and after the defeated 2016 coup.
In a southeastern Adiyaman-based operation, police apprehended 15 FETO suspects — all former police officers – in simultaneous operations in seven provinces, while another five suspects were arrested in the central province of Konya.
In a central Kirsehir-based operation conducted across five provinces, as well as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, police arrested nine on-duty soldiers.
Another FETO suspect — a former lieutenant colonel — was arrested in the southern Mugla province.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 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.