By Zafer Fatih Beyaz, Ismet Karakas and Sergen Sezgin
ANKARA, BURSA, Turkey (AA) – Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for nine on-duty and former military commanders over their alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind July 2016 defeated coup.
According to a statement by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the capital Ankara, the warrants were issued for personnel of the Turkish Land Forces Command — two of them serving.
The suspects are accused of communicating with FETO members with pre-paid phone cards and pay phones periodically, the statement said.
Separately, at least 24 people, including ex-police officers, have been arrested in western Bursa province, police sources said on Monday.
Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had issued arrest warrants for former 25 police officers, who were previously dismissed from their duties for their suspected links to the terror group, said the sources on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The suspects were rounded up at the city center while the hunt for another suspect is underway.
In a separate anti-terror raid in two locations in Bursa city center, police nabbed 3 more suspected FETO members.
One of the suspects were rounded up in the bathroom of a terror group’s house, where he was trying to delete the encrypted messaging application that the group uses, the sources said.
On Saturday, 12 more suspected FETO members had been arrested in the organization’s cell houses in the same province.
The 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.
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.