Turkey's defense firm employees accused of FETO links


Prosecutor has been issued arrest warrants against eight former and current employees of Turkey's largest defense company ASELSAN over suspected links to FETO.

Arrest warrants have been issued against eight former and current employees of Turkey's largest defense company over suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), prosecutors said Wednesday.

They are among 18 people who the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office issued warrants against over alleged ties to FETO, which the Turkish government has accused of orchestrating last July's attempted coup.

Four are currently employed by ASELSAN, which produces military equipment including radios and electronic systems, and four are ex-staff members, the prosecutor's officers said in a statement.

The other ten accused are employees at various state organizations, it added.

They are all accused of using the ByLock mobile phone messaging app, which Turkey has said was used extensively by FETO members.

The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the coup, prompting the plotters to switch to the WhatsApp messaging service but not before tens of thousands of FETO suspects were identified.

In a separate operation led by police in the western province of Mugla, 49 people accused of using ByLock were arrested across 24 provinces.

Also Tuesday, police arrested more than 100 suspects accused of having links to FETO.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said 39 suspects were arrested in an operation across seven provinces as part of an investigation into publishing company Kaynak Holding, which was linked to FETO before it was seized in the wake of the coup attempt.

In southern Adana province, 20 suspects were detained for alleged links to FETO, Adana Police's anti-smuggling and organized crime said.

During an operation aimed at the Turkish Armed Forces, 60 suspects were arrested on the orders of the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

In Bursa, six suspects were arrested for depositing money in the FETO-affiliated Bank Asya while in a Samsun, 16 teachers were referred to court accused of using the Bylock app or owning a bank account in Bank Asya.

The July 15 coup attempt, which Turkey says was masterminded by U.S.- based Fetullah Gulen, saw 250 people martyred and 2,200 wounded.

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

In the wake of the coup attempt, tens of thousands of FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, the judicial system, and education and business sectors.

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