Arrest warrants issued for 60 suspects linked to FETÖ in Turkey


Authorities on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for 60 people across Turkey accused of having links to the Gülenist terrorist group (FETÖ) in separate investigations. The latest round of operations caught 34 suspects while operations are underway to capture the others.

In the capital Ankara, the Attorney General’s Office ordered the arrest of 40 suspects as part of an investigation into the terrorist group’s infiltrators within the Land Forces Command and the Turkish Armed Forces Gendarmerie General Command ( TSK). The bureau said in a statement that the suspects were part of a secret group of infiltrators of the terrorist group, who are responsible for the attempted coup of July 15, 2016. The suspects were identified through their contacts with FETÖ members captured via payphones, a method commonly used by the terrorist group to avoid detection. Other suspects have been identified by former FETÖ members who cooperated with authorities to uncover the vast network of infiltrators. Among those arrested and at large were 33 former cadets who were expelled from military schools on suspicion of their possible links to the terrorist group. Five others were military officers expelled earlier from the army and two “secret imams”, a name given to civilian members of FETÖ who act as handlers of military infiltrators. Twenty-six suspects have been arrested to date during operations in the capital and 12 others in the provinces.

Ankara prosecutors have also issued arrest warrants for 10 other suspects, including six non-commissioned officers as part of a separate investigation. Suspects were investigated in a case of fraud in an exam for promotion of military officers in the gendarmerie forces in 2012. They are accused of having provided and received answers and questions on the exam , which helped suspected members of the FETÖ to rise through the ranks of the army. The terrorist group is known for its attempts and successes to infiltrate the military over the past four decades. Previous investigations had shown that the group had taken to stealing questions and answers to military and promotion school exams, as well as police exams, to facilitate infiltration. Operations were underway in eight provinces to capture the suspects.

In another Istanbul-based operation, eight people were arrested in the city and provinces of Malatya, Tokat Çorum. Seven other people wanted in an investigation into the terrorist group are still at large.

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