TURKEY

FETO charged for duping students to transfer money

FETO CHARGED FOR DUPING STUDENTS TO TRANSFER MONEY

A local court in Turkey indicted several suspects on Tuesday for using bank accounts of students to transfer money to high-ranking Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) members, which orchestrated last July's failed coup.

The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office had submitted an indictment for 68 suspects to the court in southeastern Batman province, which included a statement by a university student who was "responsible for district students" living in FETO-run houses.

In his statement the student, who was not named for security concerns, said he asked students who lived in the FETO houses to open bank accounts in their names.

The bank cards from these accounts were later used by FETO members to receive salary from the organization, he said.

The student in his statement also spoke about another member with the code name 'Burak' who took students to the bank and collected their bank cards.

There were others with code names Muhammed and Ömer who brought students to the bank, he said.

The balance in these accounts never exceeded 3,000-4,000 Turkish liras ($850-1,134) per month, to prevent undue attention.

The accounts were opened in Bank Asya -- a participation bank affiliated with U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, who leads the FETO group.

Bank Asya's banking license was cancelled on July 22, 2016 -- seven days after the failed coup bid -- by Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).

FETO orchestrated the defeated coup of July 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara has also said FETO is 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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