Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for over 200 soldiers in Istanbul and the Aegean Izmir province for their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (Feto), the network blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed 2016 military coup.
According to Istanbul prosecutors, the warrants were issued for 176 active-duty soldiers — including colonels, lieutenants, majors, and captains in Istanbul — and 20 active-duty and five former soldiers as well as 10 civilian suspects in Izmir.
The suspects are being sought as part of a probe into Feto infiltration of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), according to sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The suspects in Izmir are accused of communicating with Feto’s “covert imams” — senior Feto operatives — via pay phone.
The 10 civilian suspects in Izmir are accused of using Feto’s encrypted messaging application ByLock.
Police have rounded up eight of the suspects so far in simultaneous operations in 20 provinces across Turkey.
Ankara accuses Feto and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen for orchestrating the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured. Gulen has denied any role.
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.
Separately, prosecutors in the capital on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for 32 Turkish military personnel, and have so far arrested 20.
As part of a probe into Feto’s Air Force Command infiltration, the suspects are being sought over suspected contacts with “covert imams”, said judicial sources speaking on condition of anonymity.
Suspects include colonels, lieutenants, commanders, captains and sergeants from the Turkish Air Force Command.
Under the probe, police are seeking the remaining suspects in simultaneous operations in 12 provinces across Turkey, including Ankara.