Soldiers, prison guards de­tained in anti-FETÖ ops

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

DOZENS of soldiers and prison guards were de­tained on Fri­day in op­er­a­tions against the Gülenist Ter­ror Group (FETÖ), which is blamed for July 15, 2016 coup at­tempt.

In Istanbul, fel­low gen­darmerie troops ar­rested 40 members of the gen­darmerie com­mand of the city for their FETÖ links. Sus­pects were iden­ti­fied through their con­tacts with the ter­ror­ist group’s non­mil­i­tary members via pay­phones and all were ac­tive-duty per­son­nel. In­ves­ti­ga­tors in Istanbul launched a probe into FETÖ’s pay­phone scheme to con­tact mil­i­tary in­fil­tra­tors last year and since then 3,313 soldiers were found to be linked to the ter­ror­ist group. Some 1,973 of them were di­rectly in­volved in the 2016 coup at­tempt that killed 251 peo­ple and 1,128 of them were cap­tured in ear­lier op­er­a­tions. More than 300 among them col­lab­o­rated with au­thor­i­ties, help­ing iden­tify more sus­pects.

In the cap­i­tal Ankara, pros­e­cu­tors is­sued ar­rest war­rants for 87 for­mer members of the Turk­ish Air Force and 41 were cap­tured when Daily Sabah went to print late Fri­day. Op­er­a­tions were car­ried out all across the coun­try to cap­ture the sus­pects.

The ter­ror­ist group is ac­cused of em­ploy­ing its in­fil­tra­tors from Air, Land, Naval and Gen­darmerie forces of the Turk­ish Armed Forces (TSK) to over­throw the gov­ern­ment. Their 2016 at­tempt failed due to a strong pub­lic re­sis­tance against the putschists and tens of thou­sands of peo­ple were de­tained or ar­rested in its af­ter­math. The Air Force was key in the coup at­tempt and airstrikes by putschists ini­tially gave the im­pres­sion that the coup would suc­ceed. A large num­ber of peo­ple were killed in airstrikes near the pres­i­den­tial com­plex in Ankara and the bomb­ing of the Parliament fur­ther in­creased panic in the coun­try.

In the west­ern city of İzmir, pros­e­cu­tors is­sued ar­rest war­rants for 62 sus­pects, mostly prison guards, in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into FETÖ in­fil­tra­tors among prison staff. A total of 53 peo­ple were de­tained in the op­er­a­tions. Like mil­i­tary in­fil­tra­tors, they were in con­tact with their FETÖ han­dlers via pay­phones, se­cu­rity sources said. In an­other op­er­a­tion in Istanbul, 13 sus­pects were de­tained in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion tar­get­ing FETÖ’s safe houses. Po­lice found fake IDs in pos­ses­sion of sus­pects who went into hid­ing af­ter the 2016 coup at­tempt.

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