Twenty-four suspects linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) were detained Wednesday in police operations in the northwestern province of Bursa.
Suspects include three police officers dismissed from law enforcement for their suspected links to the terrorist group and users of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app developed and exclusively used by the terrorist group's members. Operations were underway to capture nine other suspects at large. Security sources said one of the captured suspects was a "secret imam," a term used to describe FETÖ's handlers for the group's infiltrators in law enforcement, the judiciary, bureaucracy and military.
The terrorist group faces a massive crackdown after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Authorities accuse FETÖ of using its infiltrators in the military to carry out the putsch bid that killed 251 people. Tens of thousands of people were detained or arrested for their links to FETÖ after the coup attempt and during a subsequent state of emergency.
Some officers involved in the coup attempt were sentenced in coup-related trials while the terrorist group faces a barrage of trials for its civilian members. In yesterday's trials, two former jurists were handed down prison sentences for their links to the group. Süleyman Köksal, a former member of the Supreme Court, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for FETÖ membership by a court in the capital Ankara. Köksal was among the high-ranking members of the judiciary arrested after the coup attempt in operations targeting FETÖ's infiltrators in the judiciary. The terrorist group faces accusations of using its judiciary infiltrators to influence trials, organize sham trials to imprison its critics and cover up the crimes its members were involved in. Kemalettin İşlek, a former member of the Council of State, was handed down a sentence of seven years and six months for FETÖ membership by the same court in Ankara.
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