Nationwide arrests of academics and government officials continued on Monday as part of a probe into Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group Turkey blames for last July’s defeated coup.
Arrest warrants for 43 officials linked to the Prime Minister’s office, including 37 former staff, were issued by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office, a statement released by the Prime Minister’s office said.
Some suspects, arrested in early morning counter-terrorism operations, were allegedly using the ByLock messenger app, a smartphone software that authorities accuse FETO members of using to communicate.
Police arrested 47 out 72 academics against whom arrest warrants had been issued by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office.
They include 39 academics from the Istanbul Medeniyet University, including its former rector, and eight others from Bogazici University.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' religious affairs head Talip Atalay was arrested in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province. An arrest warrant against him had been issued by the Mersin Chief Public Prosecutor’s office.
Turkey blames FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
The government 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.
Reporting by Tanju Ozkaya, Aylin Sirikli, and Sezgin Pancar; Writing by Sibel Ugurlu