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16 suspects detained in FETÖ operations across Turkey

Simultaneous operations across six provinces in Turkey saw more than a dozen suspects detained over their alleged ties with Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on Wednesday.

Prosecutors in Bursa province issued the warrants for the detention of 17 suspects, accusing them of infiltrating the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

Raids were carried out across six provinces, including Istanbul and capital Ankara, with the security forces managing to nab all but one suspect.

Authorities said one suspect remained at large and a manhunt was underway.

Some of the suspects were active in the ranks of the Turkish military, according to the authorities, while others were previously dismissed due to various reasons, with their rankings varying from lieutenant to noncommissioned officers.

Some suspects had relied on payphones for communication, a method commonly employed by FETÖ members to avoid detection but were unable to evade capture nonetheless.

Others were identified through the testimonies of former members of the terrorist group.

A total of 10,836 members of the TSK face criminal probes in nationwide investigations, according to a report in the Sabah newspaper published earlier this year.

Prosecutors in Istanbul and Izmir had uncovered multiple networks of infiltrators in a string of operations since July 15, 2016.

The majority of the alleged FETÖ infiltrators in the army served or continue to serve in the army, while 3,802 are members of Turkey’s Naval Forces Command and 1,047 others are from the air force. Only 60 among them were investigated for actively participating in the coup attempt, including five generals.

Tens of thousands of people were detained or arrested in Turkey since the 2016 coup attempt by the group that killed 251 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.

Senior figures of FETÖ fled the country before and after the attempt while authorities believe that some members, particularly infiltrators in the army, managed to disguise their ties to FETÖ and continue to serve.

According to an investigation made public in December 2020 and conducted by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the terrorist group began infiltrating the TSK more than four decades ago.

Based on a report prepared by the gendarmerie, 22 of 239 students who graduated from military schools between the 1970s and 1990s were charged with involvement in the 2016 coup attempt, while 58 others were investigated for being a member of FETÖ following the failed putschist bid.

Source: with agencies

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