The Chief Prosecutor's Office in the capital Ankara issued detention warrants for 30 suspected members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). All were military staff investigated for their links to the terrorist group whose infiltrators in the military carried out 2016's coup attempt. Prosecutors say they communicated with the group's civilian handlers via payphones in a bid to keep their communications secret.
Nationwide operations after the coup attempt weeded out FETÖ's military infiltrators, and more operations are expected in the coming days as investigators sift through phone records of captured members of the group. The number of detained suspects was unclear when Daily Sabah went to print. Police raided several locations in Ankara and 12 other cities, from Istanbul in the west to Batman in the east to capture suspects. Turkish media reported all suspects had already been expelled from the army under a state of emergency decree.
Following the coup attempt, tens of thousands of people were dismissed from the army, law enforcement and the judiciary under a series of decrees targeting those linked to FETÖ. Suspects were not identified but all held either the rank of first lieutenant or lieutenant; four were pilots. Two years after the coup attempt was foiled thanks to strong public resistance, Turkey struggles to navigate its way through the murky network of Gülenists everywhere, from the judiciary to law enforcement and the military.
Although many were caught red-handed the night of the coup, authorities say many members of the group are still free. Operations are carried out almost daily to hunt down FETÖ members. A remorse law in effect that offers a lenient sentence and, in some cases, early release from custody, helps police and prosecutors crack down on the terrorist group.