Police detain 1,120 in operation on Gülen’s ‘secret imams’
DHA photoSome 1,120 people suspected of links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) were detained in simultaneous raids across Turkey on April 26, in an operation mainly targeting the structure of the organization within the police forces.
A total of 8,500 police officers took part in the Ankara-based operations carried out jointly by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), targeting government-dubbed “secret imams” within the police.
State-run Anadolu Agency said 4,672 suspects were sought – of whom 1,448 are already in jail – meaning that a total of 3,224 arrest warrants were issued.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu confirmed that more than 1,000 “secret imams” have been detained.
“This is an important step for the Republic of Turkey,” Soylu said, indicating that the numbers detained were set to rise and the raids were continuing.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had earlier said detention warrants had been issued for 1,000 people in all 81 provinces with suspected links to Fethullah Gülen, the top suspect behind the failed coup on July 16, 2016.
In Istanbul, detention warrants for 390 suspects were issued and police detained 172 of them. The operation to apprehend the other 218 suspects is ongoing with the participation of around 2,000 police officers.
Another 158 were detained in Ankara.
At least 76 people were detained so far in the western province of İzmir, while in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, 20 of the 119 people for whom detention warrants were issued were also apprehended.
Police seized 1 U.S. dollar banknotes in searches in houses of 17 suspects in the eastern province of Malatya.
Particular banknotes with “F” or “T” series codes on them are alleged to be a tool of communication between members of Fethullah Gülen’s network, according to police.
Some 35 people in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Mardin, Batman and Bingöl and Elazığ in the east were detained as well, Anadolu said.
About 47,000 people have already been arrested in Turkey under a nine-month state of emergency in place since the failed coup bid.
Just before the April 16 constitutional referendum, the Turkish parliament extended the state of emergency by another three months to July 19.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım had hinted in a television interview this month that a new anti-Gülen move was in the pipeline.
“The network of its relationships has not been solved so far,” he said, adding that new evidence would provide the government with the opportunity in the fight against Gülenists.
“Things will take a different course. The details will be clear in the coming days,” Yıldırım said.