More than 50 Fatih University staff, including academics, detained in Istanbul
More than 50 suspects, including academics, sought on terrorism charges were apprehended in an operation launched against the now shut-down Fatih University in Istanbul on Dec. 27, Doğan News Agency reported.
In the operation carried out in 29 cities, 54 people - 26 of whom are women - who previously worked at Fatih University were caught and detained by the police.
One of the detained suspects was identified to have previously been arrested as part of probes into the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the agency reported.
Police are still searching for the remaining 117 suspects, for whom detention warrants have also been issued.
In the meantime, law enforcement officials have been searching the rectorate building at the university’s campus in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district.
The rooms would be sealed following the search, according to the report.
Fatih University, a private institution with strong links to the Gülen network, was shut down with a state of emergency decree following last year’s coup attempt. The university’s staff were found to have been users of ByLock, an encrypted messaging application that is said to have been used by members of the network, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
FETÖ, under the leadership of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, is widely believed to have been behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that left 250 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded.
Since the coup attempt, more than 50,000 people, including civil servants and security personnel, have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 were suspended or dismissed from their jobs.
The Turkish government says the dismissals and arrests are necessary to fight against security threats Turkey has been experiencing since the attempted takeover.