Detention warrants were issued for 13 former and serving military officers linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), with 11 of the 13 detained yesterday.
The Chief Prosecutor's Office in the capital Ankara issued the warrants in connection with an investigation into suspected FETÖ members in the Turkish Naval Forces and Coast Guard Command. Eight among the detained suspects were serving officers. Operations are currently underway to capture the last two fugitive suspects.
Operations in eight provinces targeted the terrorist group's infiltrators in the army, who were discovered after a probe was conducted into their communications with civilian handlers for FETÖ, known as "secret imams," through payphones to avoid detection.
FETÖ leader Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999, is believed to have orchestrated the failed military coup in July 15, 2016, which resulted in over 250 deaths.
After the attempt was quelled thanks to an unprecedented public resistance against the putschists, Turkey escalated operations against the terrorist group, which is already blamed for two separate coup attempts in 2013. Tens of thousands of people from the army and public sector have been detained and/or arrested and thousands more were dismissed from their jobs for suspected links to FETÖ.
Hundreds are also on trial for their involvement in the coup attempt and for links to FETÖ. This month, 3,625 defendants will appear before courts across the country in 88 trials on the coup attempt and trials on FETÖ's wrongdoings. The terrorist group is already implicated in a string of crimes ranging from organizing sham trials using its infiltrators in the police and judiciary, to money laundering and illegal wiretapping.