World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 109 suspects were arrested in counter-terrorism operations across Turkey for their alleged links to FETO, the terrorist group behind the 2016 defeated coup in the country, police sources said Tuesday.
Turkish forces arrested 9 in simultaneous raids early Tuesday in the Aksaray, Denizli, and Kocaeli provinces following a warrant for 13 suspects, said a police source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
A lawyer and a pharmacist were among the suspects, the source said, adding that efforts are ongoing to catch the remaining suspects.
Later in the day, 56 Turkish soldiers accused of being member of the terror group were arrested in 22 provinces and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, as part of the investigation carried out by the Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor's office.
50 of them were on-duty military personnel including non-commissioned officers, one of the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said.
The source said that the arrest warrant was issued following the review of the ByLock records, -- an encrypted mobile phone application used by FETO members to communicate during and after the defeated coup attempt.
Another 16 on-duty soldiers -- including officers, non-commissioned officers and specialized sergeants – were arrested in nine provinces, as part of an investigation carried out by Erzincan Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The suspects were accused of being members of the terror group’s network in the Turkish army.
Separately, an on-duty lieutenant in the western Balikesir province was arrested under a warrant over his suspected phone calls with FETO terror group members, the governor's office said in a statement.
The statement said that the officer had been contacted "consecutively" by public telephones.
As many as 27 FETO suspects were also arrested across Turkey in four different probes; many of those were allegedly using the ByLock app.
According to the Turkish government, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
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