Authorities issued arrest warrants for 70 suspects linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on Friday, while 262 civil servants were dismissed from their jobs under a new state of emergency decree. Meanwhile, hundreds more civil servants previously dismissed on suspicion of links to the group were reinstated to their jobs.
FETÖ, which accused of orchestrating the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 249 people, has been the subject of a continuously escalating crackdown since then. Operating through its members in the judiciary, military, law enforcement and bureaucracy, it tried to topple the government twice in 2013.
The Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office issued arrest warrants for 70 suspects who were former staff of FETÖ-linked schools closed by an earlier state of emergency decree. Some suspects are accused of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app used by the terrorist group, while others are accused of financially supporting Bank Asya, a now defunct lender accused of laundering the terrorist group's money. Twenty-eight suspects were captured when Daily Sabah went to print.
A decree issued in the Official Gazette dismissed 214 civil servants for links to the terrorist group. Some 48 military officers were also dismissed with the same decree. A TV and a radio station associated with the terrorist group were also closed. Those dismissed were staff of the state-run Turkish Television and Radio Corporation (TRT), staff of a state-run public contracting authority, the postal authority, civil aviation authority and employees from various ministries. Sixty academics and 19 university staff were also dismissed. Civil servants working in the military were among those dismissed. Dismissed personnel will not be allowed back in the public sector and their gun licenses, if they have them, will also be revoked, and they will be evacuated from lodgings provided by the state. The decree also orders the cancellation of their passports.
Another 1,823 civil servants who were dismissed were reinstated. Media outlets reported that the majority of them were suspected for using the ByLock app, but were cleared of charges in earlier investigations. Those reinstated include staff from Parliament, public agencies, ministries, municipalities and the military. Reinstated personnel will receive their salaries not paid while they were dismissed, but they are barred from applying for any compensation.