Prosecutors issued detention warrants for 61 suspects, all military officers, for links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Operations are underway across Turkey to detain the suspects. Eighteen among the suspects are serving officers while the rest were retired or dismissed from the army previously. Among them were members of Land Forces and Naval Forces.
The suspects are accused of secretly communicating with "imams," or civilian members of the terrorist group in charge of its infiltrators in the military. They were identified with the investigation of a network of infiltrators that have already led to the capture of hundreds of suspects. FETÖ, led by U.S.-based former preacher Fetullah Gülen, is accused of orchestrating the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 250 people. Operations started earlier this year against FETÖ military infiltrators who used pay phones to get in touch with their handlers, while hundreds had already been detained in previous nationwide operations. Investigations are still underway, and more infiltrators are expected to be detained in the coming days.
FETÖ, which expanded its clout in Turkey over the past three decades, is known for its wide network of infiltrators in law enforcement, the military, the judiciary and bureaucracy. Through its infiltrators in the police and judiciary, it first tried to topple the government in 2013 but failed. It tried again on July 15, 2016, this time using its members in the military. Strong public resistance thwarted the coup attempt. The state of emergency declared after the coup attempt sped up the crackdown on the terrorist group's infiltrators. Tens of thousands were detained or arrested and dismissed from their jobs in the public sector after the attempt. Some FETÖ members managed to flee abroad, while others are believed to still be hiding their ties to the group.
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