Turkey’s crackdown on supporters of the Gulen movement [often referred by the government as Gulenist Terror Organisation – FETO] continues with 95 arrest warrants issued on December 28th, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Konya issued 60 arrest warrants as part of an on-going probe for FETO’s infiltration in the Turkish army, an unnamed police source was cited.
The suspects are accused of being “imams” of the ‘terror group’ and communicating with on-duty soldiers.
According to the anonymous source, police carried out simultaneous raids in 26 provinces to arrest the suspects.
Separately, prosecutors in Ankara issued arrest warrants for 35 personnel of the Turkish Naval Forces, including 10 on-duty. In a statement, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara said the suspects are accused of communicating with FETO imams through payphones.
The report of the arrest warrants come amid a US delegation visiting Ankara for discussions with Turkish officials on countering the FETO organization.
Anadolu Agency posted an infographic, showing the “many talks” the US and Turkey have held regarding the FETO Organization and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen.
The January 3rd meeting was 11 hours long and was attended by Ankara Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Ramazan Dinc, Public Prosecutor Ali Alper Saylan, Turkish Justice Ministry officials, and the U.S. delegation, including FBI officials, according to unnamed sources.
“Kemal Batmaz — a so-called civilian imam of the FETO terror group who has been remanded in custody — was brought to the hearing room for questioning, but he reportedly refused to provide any information.”
Two other people were also questioned, but their identities were unrevealed.
In December 2018, the US reportedly was working on finding a way to extradite Fetullah Gulen. The visit on January 3rd is allegedly related to that.
Furthermore, according to Anadolu Agency, “FETO schools in the U.S. have faced legal challenges of financial mismanagement, misappropriation of public funds, and abusing the immigration process.”
Ankara accuses FETO and the organization’s leader Fetullah Gulen of orchestrating the failed coup attempt on July 15th, 2016, which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.
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.