20 Turkish Air Force officers detained over FETÖ links

20 Turkish Air Force officers detained over FETÖ links

İZMİR- Anadolu Agency
20 Turkish Air Force officers detained over FETÖ links

At least 20 military personnel have been detained on July 19 for their suspected links to the FETÖ, the group behind the 2016 defeated deadly coup attempt in Turkey, according to a security source.         

Prosecutors in western İzmir province had issued arrest warrants for 52 serving commissioned officers of the Turkish Air Forces, who were allegedly serving as FETÖ's “covert imams” -senior FETÖ figures- said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.         

The suspects are accused of using ByLock, an encrypted smartphone app linked to the group.         

İzmir police also found that one suspect was in contact with senior FETÖ members- Adil Öksüz, a theology professor, alleged to be the “imam” of FETÖ members in the air force and has a key link between U.S.-based FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen and coup plotters in Turkey, and Kemal Batmaz, the accused second-in-command of the FETÖ terror group.         

Police have so far rounded up 20 suspects in simultaneous operations launched in 12 provinces across Turkey. A hunt for 32 remaining suspects was underway.         

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.         

Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.