530 Turkish security personnel suspended over FETÖ links returned to duties
Some 533 security personnel were returned to their duties on Nov. 16 after being suspended over links with Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
In a statement on its website, the General Directorate of Security said 533 members of the police department who had previously been suspended were returned to their posts after evaluation and consent from the Interior Ministry.
More than 48,000 suspects have been arrested across Turkey over alleged links to FETÖ since July 15, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu stated on Nov. 15.
“So far 48,739 people have been remanded in custody as part of the fight against FETÖ,” Soylu said during a parliamentary session of the Planning and Budget Commission.
“Nineteen important operations” have been carried out since last year’s defeated coup and state institutions have been largely cleared of FETÖ members, he added.
Soylu said the police had also identified around 215,000 ByLock users, referring to a smart phone messaging app linked to FETÖ.
“The app was used by 147 top administrators of the organization,” he added, noting that legal proceedings have been initiated against 23,171 ByLock users.
The app was cracked by Turkish security agencies, which allowed them to identify tens of thousands of FETÖ supporters within the context of last year’s defeated coup.
FETÖ and its leader Gülen are widely believed to have orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Soylu also touched on Turkey’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the far-left DHKP-C terrorist organizations.
“In the operations against DAESH [an Arabic acronym for ISIL], 146 terrorists were neutralized in 838 operations in 2017,” he said.
“Twenty-two [potential ISIL attacks] were prevented before they were carried out in 2016 and 10 have been prevented in 2017,” said Soylu.
He added that 410 DHKP-C-linked suspects have been detained and 59 DHKP-C militants have been “neutralized” over the past year.
The Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question were either killed or captured.
Meanwhile, at least 60 ex-police officers were detained on Nov. 16 during simultaneous raids across 30 provinces in Turkey, due to suspected FETÖ-links.
The operations against FETÖ were launched after the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 108 former or retired police officers, including high-ranking police staff.