Twenty detained in new operation to stop Gülenists

Published 20.04.2016 23:42

Police detained 20 people Wednesday in a new operation against the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) as Turkey stepped up efforts to curb the group's shady activities linked to the Gülen Movement.

Operations were carried out in the southern cities of Osmaniye, Adana and Mersin, along with the western city of Isparta. Suspects included teachers, businesspeople and bureaucrats.

News agencies reported that local police launched simultaneous operations to stop the financiers of FETÖ - a terrorist organization accused of two coup attempts, money laundering, illegal wiretapping and other charges in multiple cases since 2013.

The detainees are accused of providing financial sources for FETÖ and for acts of corruption in a state-run grant program.

The Gülen Movement is headed by U.S.-based former cleric Fethullah Gülen, prime suspect in a number of FETÖ cases, who remains at large. He is wanted by Turkish courts where prosecutors seek multiple life sentences for him in terrorism cases. Gülenists are accused of attempting coups using infiltrators in police and judiciary who were behind two judicial inquiries seeking to imprison people close to the government in 2013 on trumped-up charges. Since then, thousands of Gülenist infiltrators have been purged from their positions and authorities launched a crackdown on the Gülen Movement. Many members of the group are linked to FETÖ, which has been designated by Ankara as a "a national threat."

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