World Bulletin / News Desk
A total of 133 people nationwide were arrested in Turkey on Wednesday over alleged links to the group behind last year’s defeated coup, according to police and judicial sources.
Prosecutors in the southern province of Osmaniye, as part of an investigation of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) infiltration of the military, ordered the arrest of 75 soldiers and ex-soldiers -- 56 active-duty personnel and 19 former soldiers -- said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the military.
In a synchronized operation in 33 provinces to arrest the 75 suspects, so far 40 have been arrested.
There were also 36 arrests in seven provinces as part of a Konya-based investigation of FETO’s military infiltration, but the sources did not specify if the suspects were active duty or former soldiers.
Thirty soldiers on active duty were arrested on Tuesday as part of the same investigation in the central Anatolian province.
Meanwhile, in another FETO probe, prosecutors in the north-central Tokat province ordered the arrest of 19 people, including 14 active-duty soldiers and five civilians.
Twelve have so far been arrested, with operations ongoing to find the remaining seven.
A deputy police chief in the Aegean province of Izmir who reportedly worked in critical positions was arrested over alleged links to high-level FETO members, according to police sources.
Seventeen former public servants in the capital Ankara and 10 dismissed teachers and civil servants in the Merzifon district of the central Amasya province were also arrested over their alleged use of FETO’s encrypted ByLock messaging app.
ByLock was allegedly used by FETO members during last year’s coup attempt. The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies, allowing them to identify tens of thousands of apparent FETO supporters.
Furthermore, 13 former health sector workers were arrested in the eastern Malatya province over alleged links to FETO.
During an anti-drug operation which netted marijuana and opioids, police in the southern Adana province also arrested four people reportedly in possession of books and magazines related to FETO.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of 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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