Detention warrants issued for over 300 people in Istanbul, Ankara over alleged Gülen links
ISTANBUL / ANKARAThe Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul issued detention warrants for 168 people as part of ongoing investigations into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) on July 21, of which 115 people were detained, while detention warrants were issued in Ankara for another 159 FETÖ-linked suspects on the same day, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The Istanbul-based suspects allegedly belonged to the Gülen movement’s structure in the Üsküdar and Ümraniye districts. Some of the suspects were also accused of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging application that is said to have been used by members of the movement.
Separately, of the 159 suspects for whom the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara issued detention warrants, 20 were personnel from the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry. Out of the 20, six were reportedly on active duty while the rest were previously dismissed or temporarily suspended from their service.
Detention warrants also included 34 others who used to work at media outlets such as the daily Zaman, the Taraf newspaper, Cihan News Agency and Nokta magazine that had been shut down under statutory decrees.
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara also issued detention for 105 former police officers of various ranks in 13 different provinces as part of another FETÖ investigation on charges of the alleged use of the ByLock app. The suspects consisted of police officers, chief police officers, police commissioners, deputy police chiefs, chief inspectors and chief police officers who were previously expelled from duty.
Meanwhile, during a court hearing in the Aegean province of Muğla on July 20, some of the 47 soldiers, accused of attempting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the July 2016 failed coup attempt, closed their ears while accusations against the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen were read.
FETÖ and the organization’s leader Fethullah Gülen are accused of masterminding last year’s coup attempt.
In the 2nd Heavy Penalty Court in Muğla, lawyers of the plaintiffs in the case, President Erdoğan, the Prime Ministry, National Defense Ministry and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak listed the suspects’ charges. Just as one of the lawyers for Erdoğan and Hüseyin Aydın was listing Gülen’s charges, some of the suspects were seen closing their ears.