UPDATES WITH MORE ARREST WARRANTS
By Omer Sut and Tahir Turan Eroglu
IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – Arrest warrants were issued Tuesday for 78 people, including on-duty soldiers, in Turkey for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 coup attempt in the country, judicial sources said.
Prosecutors in western Izmir and Mugla provinces and the Aegean Kocaeli province issued the warrants for the suspects across Turkey as part of probes into the terrorist group's clandestine network within the military, according to sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Out of total, 47 suspects were active serving soldiers, and one believed to be a “civilian imam" in charge of communicating with some soldiers, the sources said.
In Canakkale, another Aegean province, the local prosecutor's office issued arrest warrants for 16 FETO suspects who were former police officers.
Police launched simultaneous operations across the country to nab the suspects.
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.
FETO is also accused 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 Vakkas Dogantekin