20 arrested in Gülen’s ‘sleeper cells’ probe
AA PhotoA total of 20 people have been arrested in a probe into the “sleeper cells” of the Gülen movement believed to have orchestrated the failed July 15 coup, a judicial source said Oct. 6.
According to the source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, a total of 39 people were detained last month during an investigation into sleeper cells of the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen that have infiltrated critical offices in Turkey.
According to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutors Office, which is conducting the investigation, those detained included suspected Gülenists who did not take part in the failed coup bid but allegedly planned further acts on behalf of the network.
Four of the arrested suspects, including deputy governors, are charged with “forming or managing a terror organization,” while the remaining 16 are accused of “belonging to an armed terrorist organization,” the source told Anadolu Agency.
The court released 19 others on condition of judicial control but ordered that they remain in Turkey by imposing a foreign travel ban on them, the sources added.
The failed seizure of power resulted in the deaths of over 240 people and injured more than 2,100, leading to a nationwide investigations into Gülenists who had infiltrated state institutions, including the judiciary and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Gülen has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999, although Turkey has demanded that the U.S. extradite him.