The Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office yesterday issued arrest warrants for 20 military officers accused of having links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
The suspects include a number from the Gendarme General Command staff, 17 of which are on-duty officers.
Prosecutors said the suspects were identified based on the testimony of former gendarme officers detained earlier in operations against FETÖ, which is blamed for using its military infiltrators to carry out the July 15, 2016, coup attempt. These former officers had invoked a remorse law that offers leniency in prison terms in exchange for information about FETÖ's presence in the army.
Tens of thousands of people were detained or arrested following the coup attempt that killed 251 people and injured nearly 2,200 others. The Defense Ministry announced earlier this month that 1,164 military personnel were dismissed for their suspected links to the terrorist group since Turkey lifted a two-year state of emergency imposed after the attempt. The ministry has said that investigations are still underway for other suspects linked to FETÖ. FETÖ is known for its widespread infiltration of the army, law enforcement, judiciary and bureaucracy. It first attempted to overthrow the government in 2013 with its infiltrators in the judiciary and the Turkish National Police. It failed and the group faced increased scrutiny. When the news broke that the military was preparing to launch a mass purge of FETÖ-linked officers in August 2016, the group moved to prevent it with the coup attempt. Strong public resistance ultimately stopped the coup and the coup's ringleaders, including generals, were arrested. Several key FETÖ figures, like Adil Öksüz, a theology lecturer who is accused of masterminding the coup attempt with generals, remain at large.
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