130 detained in nationwide operations against FETÖ

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 13.03.2019 00:06

Security forces detained 130 suspects linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in nationwide operations Tuesday. The operations are part of a crackdown that started following FETÖ's foiled coup attempt on July 15, 2016, that killed 251 people.

In the western city of İzmir, 42 suspects were captured in operations targeting the group's attempts to revive its cells. Police raided safe houses where suspects were hiding; some suspects were injured as they jumped from safe house windows to flee the police. Other suspects were caught while formatting their cellphones used for communication with fellow FETÖ members. Security sources said suspects included high-ranking members of the group and handlers for the group's infiltrators in public institutions. Searching the safe houses, police found envelopes full of cash, which would be distributed to group's members as well as encrypted cellphones and computers. In another operation, police in nine cities captured 41 former police officers linked to the group after the chief prosecutor's office in the southern city of Adana issued arrest warrants for suspects. Suspects were earlier dismissed from law enforcement for their suspected links to the group. Operations were underway to capture 17 others with outstanding arrest warrants.

In Istanbul, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 102 suspects accused of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app developed and exclusively used by FETÖ members. Forty-five suspects were detained in operations when Daily Sabah went to print. The Interior Ministry announced earlier this month that investigations into Bylock found 4,676 new Bylock users recently, while more than 95,000 users were already identified in previous probes. ByLock investigations started prior to the coup attempt but gained significance after the coup attempt with deciphered messages revealing secret messages pointing to an imminent coup. Elsewhere, soldiers patrolling Turkey's border with Greece captured two FETÖ suspects yesterday. Suspects were attempting to sneak into Greece from the border in the northwestern province of Edirne. They were identified as a police inspector and a deputy inspector, who were dismissed from their jobs on suspicion of affiliation with FETÖ.

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