36 soldiers detained for FETÖ links in nationwide operations

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 17.07.2018 20:46
Updated 17.07.2018 20:48

Thirty-six soldiers were detained yesterday in nationwide operations against the military infiltrators of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Earlier, İzmir Chief Prosecutor's Office issued detention warrants for 47 suspects, including 38 on-duty soldiers. Police raided several locations in 26 provinces in the early hours yesterday to capture the suspects.

Suspects were part of "FETÖ cells" in the army. Prosecutors say they were in contact with terrorist group's handlers and used payphones to avoid detection of their contacts. They held regular meetings where they received instructions from senior FETÖ members. Operations are underway to capture the remaining suspects.Following the July 15, 2016, 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. Two years on, Turkey still struggles to navigate its way through the murky network of Gülenists everywhere.

Although many were caught red-handed on the night of the coup, authorities say many members of the group still roam 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.FETÖ, like many terrorist groups, created a structure based on individual cells within various state organizations, like the judiciary, police and military. Cells of various sizes were each organized around an imam, often an academic or police officer and sometimes, a shopkeeper or people from other professions. It was normal practice for FETÖ member generals, prosecutors and judges to receive orders from an academic or teacher, according to former members who say that the group hierarchy always trumped civilian hierarchy.

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