More than one year after a failed coup attempt claimed 249 lives, Turkey is continuing with its crackdown on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and others involved.
FETÖ and its infiltrators in the military are being blamed for the coup attempt, according to prosecutors. This week, nearly 2,000 people, mostly military officers, appeared before court in multiple coup trials.
Yesterday, the chief public prosecutor's office in Amasya issued arrest warrants for 53 soldiers, all non-commissioned officers, for their links to FETÖ. So far, 20 soldiers have been detained in 12 cities. They are accused of being members of the terrorist group's secret infiltration of the army.
The term "mahrem," or the secret members of the group, refers to those who managed to remain covert while serving in the army. Thousands were detained or arrested after the coup attempt for links to the terrorist group, but investigations show that FETÖ may still have active members in the military.
Last week, nearly 700 suspects were detained for ties to the terrorist group.
Meanwhile, trials on the insurrection bid are underway across Turkey. In the capital Ankara alone, hundreds of people are being tried in separate trials expected to continue throughout the week.
Most defendants face life imprisonment for their role in the attempt to overthrow the government.
Thanks to a strong public resistance following the calls of the country's leaders, putschists failed to seize power. Some were killed in clashes with police, while a small number of coup plotters managed to flee abroad when their attempt to seize power failed.
A courthouse complex, modified to accommodate the large number of defendants, is hosting six separate coup trials. The trials are on the attempts to take over the Office of the Chief of General Staff, the Akıncı military base, the Gendarmerie Military Academy and another military school, as well as an artillery command.
Putschists abducted Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and other top military brass during the attempt on July 15, 2016. The high-ranking military officials were taken to the Akıncı base, which was used as the putschists' command center. Warplanes from the base carried out airstrikes targeting the Presidential Complex and Parliament.
Appearing in court were 221 suspects in the General Staff case, 486 suspects in the Akıncı base case and 239 suspects in the military academy case.
Likewise, 330 suspects from the 58th Artillery Brigade along with the Artillery and Missile School Command in Ankara's Polatlı district are also on trial.