Security forces arrested 20 suspects yesterday in a string of operations against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
FETÖ is accused of carrying out the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that left 251 people dead and 2,200 others injured.
The attempt was thwarted thanks to strong public resistance the next day. Since then, authorities have launched operations against the terrorist group almost every day.
In the southern city of Adana, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 22 suspects. Police launched operations in four cities to capture the suspects. Eleven were captured when Daily Sabah went to print. The suspects included former military cadets who were earlier dismissed from military schools on suspicion of links to the terrorist group. In the northwestern city of Kocaeli, prosecutors sought the arrest of 10 suspects and nine were captured while a manhunt is still underway for one fugitive suspect.
All were former employees of the state-run Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and were staff of the council's branch in Gebze, an industrial hub in Kocaeli. They were earlier expelled from their jobs for suspected affiliation with FETÖ. TÜBİTAK was one of the public institutions infiltrated by FETÖ. The terrorist group is known for its widespread infiltration into law enforcement, bureaucracy, judiciary and military over the past decades. Disguising their ties to the group, FETÖ followers managed to rise to the top ranks of many institutions. They became generals in the army and senior police chiefs. Through its "imams," or handlers, FETÖ monitored their infiltrators and gave them orders. FETÖ was also behind two coup attempts in 2013 and tried to seize power in 2016 when the state started a purge of suspected Gülenists in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). After the coup attempt was thwarted, hundreds of lawsuits were filed against the putschists. Turkey also stepped up investigations against members of the terrorist group involved in other crimes.