Turkish media outlets reported that two members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) were captured in western Turkey on Friday and were plotting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Anadolu Agency (AA) said two unidentified suspects were captured in a car in possession of guns, military fatigues, handcuffs and bulletproof vests, although the AA report did not mention if their target was Erdoğan. The president had escaped an assassination attempt by two teams of putschist soldiers accused of links to FETÖ during July 15 coup atytempt last year.
Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Erdoğan said security forces were investigating the incident. "[FETÖ] always threatens me and my colleagues. We are not intimated," Erdoğan said.
The operation comes a few weeks after Fetullah Gülen, the fugitive U.S.-based FETÖ leader, implied an assassination attempt in videotaped remarks. Gülen, who is believed to instruct his followers in coded messages in his speeches, said "some circles" would carry out such assassinations in Turkey soon. "[They will] plan something more serious. They will say we must kill some very important people. These are matters everyone is speaking about behind closed doors," Gülen said in a speech. Emre Uslu, a FETÖ figure who lives in the United States, has cryptically tweeted recently that "leaders in the east leave office only when they died."