TURKEY

FETO accused over Turkish opposition tape scandal

FETO ACCUSED OVER TURKISH OPPOSITION TAPE SCANDAL

Ankara prosecutors on Thursday filed charges against 171 suspects -- including the U.S.-based leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- over a tape scandal involving senior Turkish opposition figures.

The Ankara Prosecutor's Office indictment sent to the capital's 14th High Criminal Court stated the leaked recordings were "organized by FETO which wants to design political life in an attempt to take control of the state with the active participation of organization members in police intelligence units".

Suspects allegedly installed sound and video recorders in 12 different addresses, targeting 24 individuals including Deniz Baykal, former leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

The tape scandal emerged in 2010, followed by Baykal's resignation as party leader.

Former executives of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were also targeted, the indictment added.

According to the indictment, 164 of the suspects are working in police intelligence units, 151 are FETO members, and 118 are ByLock users, an encrypted smartphone app suspected of being used by FETO activists.

FETO and its 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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