By Kubra Chohan and Seyit Ahmet Aytac
Turkish security forces handed jail terms to 174 suspects and arrested a total of 87 suspects over their links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup, according to police officials.
The High Criminal Court no:22 in Istanbul handed down jail terms ranging between one year and twelve years to 114 suspects as part of a probe into the organization’s structure in the judiciary.
The 87 arrests came after prosecutors issued warrants for suspected FETO members, the office who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
In the southern Antalya province, police detained ten FETO suspects, all of them former police officers, as part of an investigation into the terrorist organization. Some of the suspects have been accused of using ByLock.
ByLock is an encrypted smartphone messaging app used by FETO members before and during last year's defeated coup attempt.
In a separate operation in the northern Amasya province, police also arrested two people for their alleged links to FETO.
In southeastern Gaziantep and Adiyaman provinces, another 53 people were taken into custody as part of an ongoing investigation into the terrorist group.
Four of the suspects were accused of financing the terrorist organization, as well as for aiding and abetting terrorists.
16 on-duty soldiers were arrested in a simultaneous operation in 10 different provinces as part of a probe launched by northeastern Bayburt Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against the terrorist organization.
In a statement, Western Balikesir’s Governor’s office said that one suspect was arrested for using Bylock app in the province’s Ayvalik district, while another suspect was arrested for the same reason in northwestern Tekirdag province.
A probe launched by eastern Hakkari’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s office resulted in the arrest of two former police officers and two former soldiers in four separate provinces.
In addition, 60 more people were convicted and jailed for being members of the FETO.
The High Criminal Court in the northern province of Samsun handed down one-and-half-year to seven-and-half years of jail terms to 34 people.
Separately, the High Criminal Court in the central province of Sivas also sentenced a lawyer to 6 years and 3 months in prison over his links to FETO.
The same court also sentenced two former police officers to seven-and-half years in jail each of terror charges.
Three former police officers were handed jail terms of six years and three months each by the High Criminal Court in northwestern Kocaeli province.
Jail terms for former teachers
Two former teachers got jail terms from six years and three months to six years and ten months in Ordu, a province in the Black Sea region.
Also, nine suspects, who were included in an investigation into the 2010 civil service examination, were handed jail terms of six years and three months each for being members of a terrorist organization.
Four of the suspects were handed an extra three years one month and 15 days”.
The exam has been the subject of allegations that FETO members organized cheating to allow sympathizers to achieve high scores and obtain government jobs.
In central Eskisehir province, 12 of 14 suspects were handed jail terms from three years and four months to seven years and six months.
FETO and Gulen orchestrated the July 15, 2016, defeated coup in Turkey, which martyred 250 people and left nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara 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.