9,103 police officers laid off, over 1000 arrested as part of FETÖ probe

Published 27.04.2017 00:57
Updated 27.04.2017 09:11
A FETÖ suspect in Samsun is escorted by a security officer (IHA Photo)
A FETÖ suspect in Samsun is escorted by a security officer (IHA Photo)

More than 1,000 suspected Gülenist Terror Cult (FETÖ) members were arrested in simultaneous early morning raids across Turkey Wednesday, the interior minister said. Later in the day, 9,103 other officers were laid off due to their alleged links with the terrorist group.

"1,009 covert 'imams' in 72 provinces have been taken into custody so far," Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in the capital Ankara.

The cult uses the code name "imam," an Islamic title that Muslims use to refer to a prayer leader, as a title for senior terror cult figures responsible for organizations and institutions, including law enforcement and the judiciary in specific countries.

The arrests came as part of an 8,500-officer operation coordinated from Ankara targeting FETÖ police infiltration in all of Turkey's 81 provinces. The operations were carried out as part of a probe led by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

The nationwide hunt for other suspects continued.

The terrorist cult and its U.S.-based leader, fugitive preacher Fetullah Gülen orchestrated July's attempted coup, which resulted in 249 deaths.

FETÖ is also behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Since the botched coup, operations have targeted FETÖ suspects in these three areas, as well as other institutions.

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