Dozens of FETÖ's secret members captured in nationwide operations

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Some 140 people were detained yesterday in a new wave of nationwide operations against secret members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) which is blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

Prosecutors in Istanbul, the capital Ankara and the central city of Konya issued 267 arrest warrants for suspects in separate investigations into the terrorist group which is entangled in a string of offenses.

From Muğla in the southwest to Zonguldak in the north, police raided several locations to capture the suspects. A total 137 suspects were detained when Daily Sabah went to print and operations were underway to capture the remaining fugitives.

In one investigation carried out by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul, authorities sought the detention of 96 people linked to businesses allegedly affiliated with the terrorist group.

In Ankara, prosecutors issued warrants for 48 users of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app exclusively used and believed to be developed by FETÖ, to relay messages from the group's U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen.

Among ByLock users with outstanding arrest warrants were engineers, civil servants and staff of private schools linked to the terrorist group. FETÖ runs a vast network of schools and companies internationally. All schools with links to FETÖ were closed down after the coup attempt in 2016.

In other operations, police detained soldiers on active duty and former soldiers linked to the group.

Police also detained dozens of FETÖ suspects in an investigation into "gaybubet (absence) houses," a name given to safe houses the FETÖ members used as hideouts.

Some detained suspects were caught with fake IDs while a professor wanted for his links to the group was hiding in a secret section inside an enclosed balcony of an apartment when captured.

Thousands of people were arrested or detained in the aftermath of the coup attempt. Authorities say infiltrators of FETÖ in the military carried out the coup attempt perpetrated by a group of high-ranking military officers calling themselves the "Peace At Home Council."

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