TURKEY

Filmmaker arrested over coup group membership

FILMMAKER ARRESTED OVER COUP GROUP MEMBERSHIP

A filmmaker was arrested in Istanbul on Thursday over suspected membership in the group responsible for last year's attempted coup in Turkey, according to a judicial source.

Istanbul prosecutors issued a warrant for producer-director Ali Avcı over his suspected Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) membership, said a source in the prosecutor's office who asked not be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The police arrested Avcı at his home in Istanbul's Bağcılar district.

Another person found at Avcı's home, who tried to flee during the search, gave a false name before police identified him as Fetullah Karabiber, a wanted fugitive in the Yıldız Technical University investigation and a user of the FETO-linked ByLock mobile app.

Karabiber was arrested together with Avcı and both were brought to the police station.

Avcı is the director of the film Uyanış (Awakening).

The ByLock app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies, allowing them to identify tens of thousands of apparent FETO supporters.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also 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.

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