Detention warrants issued for 70 police officers over coup attempt
ANKARADetention warrants have been issued against a total of 70 police officers over their suspected links to the Fethullahist Gülenist Organization (FETÖ), which is widely believed to have masterminded the failed July 15 coup.
Police officers who were removed from their posts with state of emergency decrees were among those who were subjected to warrants.
An operation to detain the suspects early on Dec. 29 as part of an investigation launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office involved raids in five provinces. The suspects were allegedly using ByLock, a smartphone application that came to prominence after it was revealed that the coup plotters communicated through the app.
Meanwhile, the trials of a total of 29 police officers continued on Dec. 28, with the suspects, of whom 25 are being tried without arrest, giving their defenses for the second day. The court asked the suspects whether they had any connections to the ByLock program, which was met with denial by the suspects in the hearing at the Istanbul 22nd Court of Serious Crimes.
“I thought it was a blog page,” said one of the police officers, Ali Bozan, in his defense.
The court head Fikret Demir also asked Bozan whether he had stayed in dormitories belonging to U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
“I was comfortable in the dormitory. There were three meals a day with meat. It was a perfect place. If I had stayed at my own home I would have had to cook my own dinner. To be honest, money is important for me. I eat wherever it is cheap,” he said.
Another police officer, Emre Çatalbaş, was asked about the one-dollar bills found in his house, which according to the investigations, are clear signs of being Gülen followers.
“My father is a musician. He plays the drums and the zurna. It’s a tradition to throw one-dollar bills at weddings. My father brought them to me in order for me to change and spend them,” he said.
The suspects were also asked questions regarding Bank Asya, which was seized by the state over its links to the Gülen movement.