UPDATE – Turkey: Arrest warrants out for over 300 FETO suspects


By Savas Guler, Murat Kaya, Serdar Acil and Zafer Fatih Beyaz

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for over 300 suspects across Turkey for their links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup.

In simultaneous operations across 21 provinces based in Konya, central Anatolia, arrest warrants were issued for 50 suspects, including 40 active-duty soldiers, while 22 suspects were air force staff, the provincial chief prosecutor’s office said.

Meanwhile prosecutors in the capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 92 suspects, including eight active-duty soldiers.

Among them, 56 suspects were from the gendarmerie forces and 36 from the naval forces.

Separately, after Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 53 suspects for using ByLock, an encrypted smartphone messaging app used by FETO members, 37 of them were rounded up by anti-terror security forces.

Also in Zonguldak, a Black Sea region province, a prosecutor office issued arrest warrants for 10 active-duty soldiers accused of using crypto coding as part of an investigation into FETO presence in Turkish military.

Also seek a soldier, police arrested 10 suspects.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the central Kirikkale province issued arrest warrants for 10 active-duty and one former soldier dismissed from the post.

In capital Ankara, 27 suspects were sought with arrest warrants for using ByLock. Out of total, 14 of them were rounded up in Ankara and Istanbul.

In simultaneous operations across three provinces based in Istanbul, 26 suspects out of 46 — sought with warrants — were arrested.

Another 18 military staff — including 10 active-duty soldiers — were issued arrest warrants in western Kocaeli province over the charges of being a member of a terrorist organization.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on 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.