VAN / ANKARA / ISTANBUL
At least 57 suspects were arrested over alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 failed coup, Turkish authorities said on Monday.
In a statement, the provincial security directorate in Turkey’s eastern Van province said 12 suspects were arrested during simultaneous operations in the Van and Hakkari provinces.
While 10 suspects were remanded in custody, two were released on condition of judicial control, the statement added.
In a separate operation based in the capital Ankara, nine FETO suspects were arrested.
The arrests came after Ankara prosecutors issued warrants for 15 people found to be using ByLock, the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app.
Police are still looking for the remaining suspects.
Meanwhile, 34 other FETO suspects were arrested in Istanbul-based operations launched across 18 provinces on June 13.
*Separately, two FETO suspects were arrested in the Black Sea province of Bolu.
*The suspects were also arrested over their alleged use of ByLock.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey 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.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan and Burak Dag