Forty suspects were detained Monday in nationwide operations against the inflitration of military institutions by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Police launched operations after the chief prosecutor's office in the southern city of Adana issued arrest warrants for 51 suspects, including 41 active-duty military officers, for their links to the group.
FETÖ is accused of carrying out the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 251. Suspects were detected through their secret contacts with FETÖ members. A manhunt was underway to capture the remaining suspects in the investigation. The Interior Ministry recently announced that more than 30,709 people have been taken into custody for their links to FETÖ since the 2016 coup attempt. Another 19,329 people have been convicted of FETÖ membership and related crimes. The terrorist group led by Fetullah Gülen, a U.S.-based former preacher, is accused of employing its infiltrators in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to overthrow the government. Strong public resistance upon calls by the country's leaders thwarted the ambitions of the Peace At Home Council of putschists, who were forced to surrender within hours after they seized strategic locations, launched airstrikes and tried to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The terrorist group faces almost daily crackdowns to capture its members. Yesterday, soldiers patrolling the country's border with Greece in the province of Edirne detained five FETÖ suspects trying to flee the country. Suspects were identified as five former police officers who were dismissed from duty for their suspected links to the group, with pending criminal investigations.
Meanwhile, the trial of FETÖ suspects arrested following the coup attempt is underway. In Ankara, Hakkı Torlak, a former member of Turkey's Supreme Court, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for membership of a terrorist group. The terrorist group is known for its widespread infiltration in every public agency, from law enforcement and the military to the judiciary and bureaucracy.