Turkish authorities issued arrest warrants for 48 on-duty and former military personnel Monday for their suspected links to members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which is accused of orchestrating the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Prosecutors in the capital Ankara issued the warrants for 10 on-duty and 26 former officers, all members of the Turkish Naval Forces who allegedly communicated with FETÖ members via pay phone. Twenty-three suspects were arrested while authorities are still looking for the remaining suspects.
Separately, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in the northwestern province of Sakarya issued arrest warrants for 12 suspects as part of an ongoing probe into FETÖ members' infiltration of the army. The suspects include on-duty soldiers and cadets.
FETÖ, known for widespread infiltration in the military, law enforcement, judiciary and bureaucracy, faced an escalated crackdown following the coup attempt that killed 251 people. Tens of thousands were detained, arrested or dismissed from their public sector jobs, while the courts ordered the seizure of a large number of companies associated with the terrorist group. Security forces launch almost daily operations to capture the suspected FETÖ members, although the suspects' tactics to hide their links to FETÖ have proved challenging for investigators. Some suspects can only be identified through their links to the already captured FETÖ members and through the "confessions" of suspects detained in earlier operations who seek a reduction in their sentence in exchange for giving information about the terrorist group.
Turkey also accuses the terrorist group of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.