Turkish authorities yesterday arrested dozens of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) suspects, including active-duty soldiers, in a number of nationwide operations.
FETÖ is accused of orchestrating the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 251 people and has faced an intense crackdown since the coup bid was thwarted.
In yesterday's operations, prosecutors in the capital Ankara ordered the detentions of 48 people, including 26 active-duty soldiers, in an investigation into FETÖ infiltrators into the Land Forces. Some 30 suspects were arrested, and operations were underway to capture the rest of the suspects. The investigation was being carried out in coordination with the Land Forces, whose commander was abducted by the putschists during the coup attempt.
Police arrested several military officers including a colonel and two majors in the operation. Some suspects were stationed at the headquarters of Land Forces Command and their links with FETÖ were discovered through their communication with the terrorist group's members via payphones. Payphones are among the favorite communication tools for the secretive group, whose handlers are believed to have commanded a large number of soldiers.
Elsewhere, prosecutors in the western city of Kütahya arrested 10 soldiers in a separate FETÖ investigation. Ten suspects were arrested in operations in Kütahya and the cities of Şanlıurfa, Hatay, Nevşehir, Ankara, Sivas, Denizli and Erzincan. Police in the northern city of Bolu arrested two police officers who were earlier dismissed from the Turkish National Police for their suspected links to FETÖ. In another investigation, 11 suspects were detained for their links to FETÖ in operations in 11 cities, from Adıyaman in the east to Bursa in northwestern Turkey.
Tens of thousands of people were detained or arrested following the coup attempt, but authorities believe the group still poses a security threat because of yet undiscovered secret infiltrators in the military, law enforcement, judiciary and public institutions.