TURKEY

Detention warrants issued for 45 dismissed intelligence staff over FETÖ links

DETENTION WARRANTS ISSUED FOR 45 DISMISSED INTELLIGENCE STAFF OVER FETÖ LINKS

Detention warrants have been issued for 63 former intelligence personnel and senior members of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) who had connections with the staff as part of an investigation launched in 21 provinces throughout Turkey, reports said Tuesday.

According to reports, the suspects previously worked for Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and were dismissed from their jobs over links to the terrorist group, which carried out a bloody coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

45 of the suspects sought as part of the investigation are former MİT officials, while 18 of them were FETÖ imams, who had connections with dismissed MİT staff, Anadolu Agency reported.

FETÖ uses the code name "imam," an Islamic title that Muslims use to refer to a prayer leader, as a title for senior terror cult figures responsible for organizations and institutions, including law enforcement and the judiciary in specific countries.

Last year, 87 MİT staff were dismissed from duty over FETÖ ties and criminal complaints were filed against 52 of these suspects.

On July 15, a small military junta linked to FETÖ attempted to stage a coup to topple the democratically elected president and government in Turkey and impose martial law. The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy. In total, 241 people consisting of mostly civilians were killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 people were injured.

The attempt was masterminded by Fetullah Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile on a 400-acre property in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania since 1999.

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