Security forces detained 23 suspects in two separate nationwide operations against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on Friday.
Operations that came two years after FETÖ tried to topple the government with a coup attempt by its infiltrators in the military, targeted former soldiers and civilians.
Twenty-two detention warrants were issued by the Chief Prosecutor's Office in the capital Ankara for suspects, including six former military pilots. The rest were Turkish Air Forces personnel. Eight suspects were captured when Daily Sabah went to print. Suspects were identified in an investigation into soldiers secretly communicating with FETÖ's handlers through payphones.
Chief Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul had issued detention warrants for 52 suspects as part of an investigation into Bylock, an encrypted messaging app exclusively used and developed by FETÖ members. Fifteen were captured in operations in 14 cities. Operations follow the deciphering of messages sent by suspects over ByLock. The app was widely used by Gülenists prior to the coup attempt.
FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, was already implicated in a series of criminal cases ranging from orchestrating sham trials to stifle FETÖ critics to money laundering when it decided to seize power on July 15, 2016, five years after two similar coup attempts.