Dozens of suspects were issued detention warrants and some were detained yesterday in nationwide anti-terror raids targeting the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Prosecutors in the capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 43 people including six employees at the prime minister's office, while in Istanbul the detention of 72 academics from Boğaziçi and Medeniyet Universities was ordered by prosecutors. Koray Çalışkan, a prominent academic who has long been a fierce proponent of FETÖ, was detained along with 46 others in Istanbul.
Çalışkan has claimed innocence for Fetullah Gülen, the U.S.-based leader of the terrorist group accused of masterminding last year's coup bid that killed 250 people. Security forces also detained Talip Atalay, the head of the state-run religious authority in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, for FETÖ links. Atalay was in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır when he was arrested. Some suspects are accused of using the ByLock messenger app, a smartphone software that authorities say FETÖ members used for encrypted communications. More than 50,000 people have been imprisoned in Turkey for links to the failed July 2016 coup attempt carried out by FETÖ. A further 615 suspects have been arrested and arrest warrants are still out for 8,069 others.
Moreover, 48,371 people have been released under judicial supervision, of whom 8,551 were released after being remanded to custody and 433 others were released without judicial supervision, he said. Since the coup attempt last year, Turkey has arrested tens of thousands of suspected FETÖ supporters and dismissed more than 100,000 public servants from positions in the government. Fetullah Gülen is the prime suspect in the coup attempt and faces life imprisonment if extradited to Turkey, which Ankara has requested from Washington. Prosecutors say Adil Öksüz, a fugitive FETÖ member who was briefly detained when he was captured at Akıncı Air Base in Ankara, plotted the coup with FETÖ infiltrators in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and executed the putsch after Gülen approved it.
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