The Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) turned to hazing to force military cadets into submission or eliminate those opposing them, a new investigation reveals. The terror cult, which was behind the July 15 coup attempt that killed 248 people, is known for its widespread infiltration into the Turkish Armed Forces and is accused of preventing others to rise up the ranks. Gülenist officers in charge at military schools subjected those not obeying cult members or opposing the group to a string of "torture" practices, such as forcing young cadets to stare into sun for a long time or keeping them on the ground on hot asphalt paved roads.
The allegations are included in an inquiry from the Chief Prosecutor's Office in the central city of Konya, which ordered the detention of 84 people linked to the terrorist group Tuesday. Fifty-four suspects were detained in 26 cities and most are career officers. Konya is home to a major Turkish Air Forces base and often hosts international military exercises. Based on witness testimonies, prosecutors claim that some suspects working at the military schools used training sessions to press cadets into working for the cult.
Those refusing were exposed to what amounted to torture, witnesses say. "Staring into the sun training" was among the methods used to intimidate cadets who were forced to look at the sun for a long time. Others were ordered to lay down on hot asphalt roads as part of an intimidation campaign while FETÖ-linked officers deprived them of water in summer training sessions. Cadets were forced either to exhibit loyalty to the terror cult or face expulsion from the military school on the grounds that they were unable to complete their training.
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